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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – What is the plan for Syrian refugees who are heading to the United States right now? A pair of Texas leaders went public with their proposals Tuesday morning. Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, along with Gov. Greg Abbott, announced their plans for refugees at a joint news conference.
Cruz and Abbott want to temporarily keep refugees from coming into the U.S. if they are fleeing from Syria, along with Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Iraq — nations identified as being controlled by a terrorist organization. They see this as a way to maintain safety. “That’s where the threat is coming from,” Cruz had previously explained.
Federal groups are tasked with thoroughly checking immigrants and refugees who come to the U.S. to resettle. However, Cruz had added, “The FBI has told us they don’t have the resources to properly vet those refugees to determine whether or not they are ISIS terrorists.”
“Both the federal government and the refugee relocation organizations,” Abbott stated on Tuesday, “are not following the laws that have already been passed by Congress.”
During the Tuesday morning event, Abbott offered thanks to Cruz for “providing leadership at a time when there is a growing vacuum of leadership in national security.” Cruz has already proposed the Terrorist Refugee Infiltration Prevention Act, a law that would bar refugees from nations associated with terrorist groups.
Cruz and Abbott on Tuesday proceeded to unveil the State Refugee Security Act and the Expatriot Terrorist Act.
The new legislation would impose a three-year moratorium on refugees from countries that ISIS and al-Qaeda control, protect the authority of the states to opt-out from receiving refugees, and remove U.S. citizenship from Americans who travel overseas to join ISIS and wage jihad.
Cruz added, “President Obama’s proposal to bring tens of thousands of Syrian refugees, even though his own head of the FBI said that the Obama administration cannot vet these refugees to determine whether they are ISIS terrorists or jihadists — that should be the end of the matter.”
“We should not be bringing in when our own FBI tells us we cannot ascertain whether they are ISIS terrorists,” said Cruz.
Nearly two dozen refugees are already headed to Texas from Syria this week, including a family who just resettled in Dallas on Monday. Those six people moved into an apartment complex where other Syrian families already live, and have been reunited with relatives who have also resettled in North Texas.
The new Dallas family completed orientation, met with a Syrian community liason and received a housing assignment in their lower-income apartment complex. Volunteers have already given the family some furniture, hygiene products and bicycles for the two children.
Mohammad Ashraf resettled in North Texas after fleeing Afghanistan. He explained that the family has been checked out, and should now receive the same kind of help that he did. “It doesn’t make sense at all. They are in a bad situation. That’s the point of view you have to think about,” Ashraf stated. “If you like peace and stability, please help them out.”
Other refugees resettled in Houston on Monday, and another nine people from Syria will arrive in Houston on Thursday. The State of Texas has taken in more refugees than any other state in the last five years, including about 250 people from Syria. It has also fought harder than any other state to stop Syrian refugees after the recent terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino.
This is happening at a time when the world has many questions and concerns about terrorist organizations that are operating in the very countries that many of the refugees are escaping. “The American people want to see leadership in this country, and they want to see America winning again,” Cruz said.
“The politically correct blindness is impacting the policy decisions of this administration,” Cruz continued Tuesday. “We have no strategy to defeat ISIS. ISIS is getting stronger because the President refuses to lead and do what it takes.”
“America is a charitable nation,” said Abbott, “but we cannot allow charity for some to compromise the safety for all.”