Capitol Report: Ted Cruz calls for patrolling Muslim neighborhoods after Brussels attacks
Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz is calling for patrolling Muslim neighborhoods in the wake of the deadly attacks in Brussels on Tuesday.
Cruz, a Texas senator, said in a statement that the U.S. should “immediately halt” refugee immigration from countries with significant al Qaeda or ISIS presences. He added: “We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.”
Cruz did not say in his statement where such patrols should be done. A message left with his campaign was not immediately returned.
Islamic State, also known as ISIS, claimed responsibility for the three explosions that rocked Brussels and left more than 30 people dead.
U.S. stocks turned positive Tuesday afternoon, after the news rattled equity markets around the world.
Cruz’s comments brought condemnation from the campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, who are competing for the Democratic presidential nomination. Here’s what a Clinton spokesman said on Twitter:
Under a @HillaryClinton presidency, it’s unequivocally clear what we would NOT do: 1) Close our borders, or 2) Patrol Muslim neighborhoods.
— Ian Sams (@IanSams) March 22, 2016
Sanders, speaking to reporters in Arizona, said such patrols would be unconstitutional and wrong.
More Sanders on Cruz “patrol”: That would be unconstitutional, it would be wrong.
— Katy Tur (@KatyTurNBC) March 22, 2016
Cruz’s call for a halt to immigration from certain countries echoed a similar call from his Republican-primary competitor Donald Trump. Trump, the Republican front-runner, has called for banning immigration by all Muslims.
Cruz, Trump and Ohio Gov. John Kasich are competing in Arizona’s Republican primary on Tuesday, as well as in Utah’s GOP caucuses. Cruz is favored to win in Utah but Trump has the edge in Arizona, according to prediction markets.