Cruz calls for 'retroactive assessment of refugees' after U.S. terror arrests

Story highlights

  • Sen. Ted Cruz called for a retrospective evaluation of refugees who have already immigrated to the U.S
  • 'We need to see a systematic and careful retroactive assessment of refugees brought in from high-risk countries'

Goldfield, Iowa (CNN)Ted Cruz argued the developing story of a terror-related arrest in his hometown of Houston on Thursday was the latest evidence that the United States should not accept refugees from Syria.

    At a hastily-called media availability here in a shuttered high school, Cruz wasted no time in quickly tying arrests in Houston and Sacramento, California, to a White House unwilling to recognize the Islamic nature of the threat facing the United States.
    "These arrests underscore the need... for President Obama to suspend this indefensible policy putting political correctness ahead of national security," Cruz said.
    Cruz called for an evaluation of refugees who have already immigrated to the U.S., focusing on those who have emigrated from high-risk areas.
    "We need to see a systematic and careful retroactive assessment of refugees brought in from high-risk countries to examine the public record, to examine all of the evidence that might indicate whether these individuals have ties to radical Islamic terrorists," Cruz said.
    The arrests did not appear to be directly related, but both men are Palestinians born in Iraq and living as refugees in the United States, according to the U.S. Justice Department. Both are accused of lying to immigration officials about their alleged ties to terrorist organizations.
    "I commend the law enforcement for apprehending these two individuals, but their apprehensions raises the immediate question: Who else is there? What are they planning next?' Cruz asked. "And what can we do to prevent the next terrorist attack before yet more innocent life is taken?"
    "These are dangerous times," Cruz said. "This isn't a time for politics. This is a time when we need a president who says I have not more solemn obligation to this country than to keep the men and women of this country safe.
    Texas officials, who are trying to keep Syrian refugees from coming to the United States, similarly moved on Thursday evening blame the Obama administration for the surging threat. State Attorney General Ken Paxton said the arrest of the man from Iraq was a "troubling revelation," while Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick said the arrests could have prevented a "catastrophic" attack.
    "This is exactly what we have repeatedly told the Obama administration could happen and why we do not want refugees coming to Texas," Patrick said. "There are serious questions about who these people really are, as evidenced by today's events."