The Slatest

Ted Cruz Just Called for a Ban on Middle Eastern Refugees Again

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, delivers a speech on the third day of the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

In a statement to the Washington Free Beacon on Monday, former Republican presidential contender Ted Cruz called for an end to the admission of refugees from “hotbeds of terrorism” in the Middle East into the United States following the weekend’s terrorism incidents.

“Terrorist attacks over the last several days across our homeland, from Manhattan to Minnesota,” the Texas senator said, “indicate we are moving into a new phase of the war against ISIS and al Qaida, who are increasingly targeting Europe and the United States.”

According to federal authorities, Ahmad Rahami, the perpetrator of Saturday’s bombing and attempted bombings in Manhattan and Elizabeth, New Jersey, was not a refugee—he was a naturalized American citizen born in Afghanistan. The perpetrator of Saturday’s stabbing attack at a mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota, Dahir Adan, was also not a recent Middle Eastern refugee. He’s Somalian, born in Kenya, and came to the United States 15 years ago.

The statement echoes the stance Cruz took during the Republican primary race. Last fall, Cruz introduced the Terrorist Refugee Infiltration Prevention Act of 2015, a bill that would have banned all refugees from Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, and Iraq from entering the United States, with an exception for those at risk of genocide—a loophole that Cruz implied would mostly apply to Christians.

Read more from Slate on the bombings in Manhattan and New Jersey.