Cruz bill blocks terror-region refugees from entering U.S.

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Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, took time off his presidential campaign to introduce legislation aimed at curbing the inflow to the United States of refugees from any country controlled in large part by a terrorist group.

That means migrants hoping to cross U.S. borders from Iraq and Syria are on the “no” list, according to a written release from Cruz’s Senate office.

The bill, S. 2302, has only a three-year shelf life “so that Congress can reevaluate the global situation and either let [it] expire or reauthorize it with necessary modifications in light of changed circumstances.”

The measure, with no co-sponsors, was introduced and read twice on Wednesday to the Committee on the Judiciary. The text is not yet posted on the Library of Congress website, but Cruz sent out a statement explaining its justification.

“After watching the horrific scenes play out in Paris, we have to take basic steps to protect ourselves from the growing threat of radical Islamic terrorism,” he said in an email statement to WND. “This legislation will do just that.”

Cruz referred to ISIS as the “new face of the radical terror that has bedeviled the West in recent decades,” declaring the time is ripe for bold action.

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“Unlike some regional jihadists,” he went on, “ISIS represents a direct and growing threat to our citizens, and increasingly to our homeland itself. Unfortunately, the Obama administration has clearly lacked focus on national security interests. I believe we must do everything we can to prevent even a very few jihadis from slipping into our nation and urge my colleagues to join me in this effort to protect the American people.”

The bill immediately puts a stop to any refugee from a nation that includes substantially large portions of land controlled by a U.S. designated “Foreign Terrorist Organization.” Among them are Iraq, Libya, Somali, Syria and Yemen, the statement reads. But the measure also includes some exceptions.

“A refugee from one of the identified high-risk countries can be admitted, but only if the prospective refugee proves ‘clearly and beyond doubt’ that he or she satisfies the requirements for refugee status and is a member of a group that has been designated as a victim of genocide by the State Department or by [an] act of Congress,” the summary from Cruz’s office states. “His exception is for the severest cases of persecution, and a refugee who cannot prove membership in the group cannot be admitted.”

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But even that exception comes with a caveat: “A refugee who qualifies for this narrow exception can only be admitted if he or she has undergone the highest available level of security screening, including assessments by the FBI Terrorist Screening Center and the National Counterterrorism Center; the refugee has been subjected to full multi-modal biometrics; and perhaps most importantly, the secretary of State, secretary of Defense, secretary of Homeland Security, director of the FBI, and director of National Intelligence all certify that the refugee is not a national security threat.”

And one more provision of the bill: Cruz makes clear the Homeland Security director cannot simply “take the refugee’s word” for a clear bill of safety health and open the doors for admission.

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“Instead, the bill requires DHS to coordinate” with several other federal players “to ensure that the refugee’s story is corroborated,” the statement read.

Cruz’s bill comes as President Obama has refused again to associate the Paris terror attack with radical Islam. He’s also anticipating congressional or unilateral action to shutter Guantanamo Bay and transfer the remaining detainees to overseas’ locations.

ISIS, meanwhile, has released new videos promising to unleash more terror on Europe and in the United States, specifically upon Washington, D.C., and New York City.

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