Democrats in the Senate blocked a Bill offered up by Sen. Ted Cruz tried to get the Senate to consider a a measure that would prevent Americans who join terrorist groups outside the United States from returning to the United States.
Sen. Mazie Hirono, Hawaii Democrat, objected, saying the bill has not been brought before the Senate Judiciary Committee and it affects “fundamental constitutional rights, which should be given the full deliberation of the Senate.”
Other house Democrats raised objections, noting that Terrorists have the same rights as law abiding citizens.
“If we do not pass this legislation, the consequence will be that Americans fighting alongside ISIS today may come home tomorrow with a U.S. passport, may come home to New York or Los Angeles or Houston or Chicago and innocent Americans may be murdered if the Senate does not act today,” Mr. Cruz said.
Sen. Ted Cruz tried to get the Senate to consider a measure Thursday providing that any American who joins the fight with terrorist groups such as the Islamic State would immediately renounce their U.S. citizenship, but a Democratic senator objected, saying more time is necessary to weigh the significant constitutional issues it raises.
Ahead of the Senate’s scheduled consideration Thursday afternoon of a proposal to arm and train Syrian rebels, part of President Obama’s strategy to combat the terrorist group, the Texas Republican asked for unanimous consent to pass the Expatriate Terrorist Act he introduced earlier this month.
Sen. Ted Cruz stated:
“It is unfortunate that Democratic senators chose to object to this to prevent this common-sense change in law, and I would note when it comes to the constitutional concerns, I don’t know if anyone in this Senate has been more vigorous or more consistent in terms of defending the constitutional rights of Americans that I have endeavored to be during my short tenure here,” he said. “I will yield to no one in passion for defending constitutional liberties … it is current law right now that if you go and join a foreign nation and take up arms against America, that act has long been recognized as constituting a constructive renunciation of United States citizenship.”
“The question is very simple: would any reasonable person want an American who is right now in Iraq, who is right now training with ISIS, who is right now taking up arms, who is right now participating in crucifying Christians, who is right now beheading children, who [has] right now participated in beheading two American journalists, who is right now standing arm-in-arm with virulent terrorists who have pledged to take jihad to America — would anyone of good conscience in either party want that person to be able to come back and land in LaGuardia airport with a U.S. passport and walk unmolested onto our streets?”
The measure makes providing support to or fighting for a terrorist group targeting the U.S. “an affirmative renunciation of American citizenship,” Sen. Ted Cruz said on the Senate floor Thursday. He pointed out that former Sens. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent, and Scott Brown, Massachusetts Republican, introduced a similar measure several years ago related to Al Qaeda.