Are you a frightened refugee fleeing the violent mess in Syria? Are you also Christian? Good! Sen. Ted Cruz likes you. Welcome to America!
Are you pretty much the exact same person, but not Christian? Well then, in Republican presidential candidate Cruz' fantasy world, you can take a hike. And according to Cruz, you are also probably a terrorist.
"We need to be working to provide a safe haven for those Christians who are being persecuted and facing genocide, and at the same time we shouldn't be letting terrorists into America," Cruz said while speaking on Sunday at a tiny middle school auditorium in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina before heading on the broadcast media circuit to reiterate his stance.
"There is no meaningful risk of Christians committing acts of terror," Cruz said Sunday according to the Washington Post, apparently ignorant to the many documented instances of violent terrorism recently committed by Christians, or at least by non-Muslims. "If there were a group of radical Christians pledging to murder anyone who had a different religious view than they, we would have a different national security situation. We can’t roll the dice with the safety of Americans and bring in people for whom there is an unacceptable risk that they could be jihadists coming here to kill Americans."
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Cruz indicated that the basis for his argument here is that one of the alleged terrorists in the Paris violence was a Syrian refugee, even though all anyone really knows at this point is that the alleged attacker posed as a Syrian refugee and used a fake passport to enter Europe from Greece.
"It makes no sense whatsoever for us to be bringing in refugees who our intelligence cannot determine if they are terrorists here to kill us or not," Cruz told Fox on Sunday. "Those who are fleeing persecution should be resettled in majority Muslim countries in the Middle East."
It is unclear where these majority-Muslim safe havens are in the Middle East. The Syrian refugee populations in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey have already exhausted resources in all three countries past the point of crisis. Iraq would be a lateral move at best for Syrians fleeing ISIS. And the wealthy Gulf countries apparently don't really do the whole "refugee" thing.
While Cruz said our intelligence can't tell who is a terrorist and who isn't, according to the Post, Cruz himself couldn't say how he planned to determine who is Christian and who isn't. Whatever the Ted Cruz Test might be, it's hard to imagine that a religious background check would be effective against a tiny population of determined terrorists apparently already willing to acquire a fake passport and travel the long journey from the rocky shores of Greece through Europe only to eventually blow themselves up. It would, however, almost certainly be effective at leaving a whole lot of innocent Syrians out in the cold.