In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Ted Cruz Backed Allowing Syrian Refugees In The US As Recently As February

AP Photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta

The attacks in Paris, however, have apparently changed the presidential contender's calculus. Cruz and other Republicans vying for the White House have rushed to distance themselves from Syrian refugees in a race to appear tough on national security. President Obama has blasted the field for its rhetoric. Cruz has challenged Obama to "insult me to my face."

Cruz has been more sympathetic to Syrian Christians than to the Syrian Muslims he has said should be banned. He says that Syrian Christians are facing immediate persecution. This week Cruz penned his own legislation – "The Terrorist Refugee Infiltration Prevention Act – in the Senate to block refugees from countries like Syria from coming to the United States. His rationale today is that there is no way for the U.S. government to monitor whether an individual might have ties to the Islamic State even though individuals are screened in a multi-agency process that often spans more than a year. Cruz told CNN Monday that "in light of what happened in Paris," the president's plan to continue accepting Syrian refugees to the United State is "nothing short of lunacy.”

Cruz's bill includes a narrow exception, but according to a statement from his office, "the bill also mandates that the Secretary of Homeland Security may not admit any refugee based solely on the assertions of the refugee. DHS cannot simply take the refugee’s word for it."

About The Author

Lauren Fox is a reporter at Talking Points Memo.