GOLDFIELD, Iowa —
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 late Thursday in Houston and Sacramento, California, to a White House unwilling to recognize the Islamic nature of the threat facing the United States.
Cruz called for a retrospective evaluation of refugees who have already immigrated to the U.S., saying it should be “systematic and careful,” focused on those refugees who have emigrated from high-risk areas.
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?”
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.”