The United States has been particularly closed off to Syrian refugees: as of June, NPR reported, America has taken in fewer than 1,000 Syrian refugees out of more than 4 million fleeing the country.
“Sen. Cruz is advocating for humanitarian assistance to the refugees from both Syria and Iraq and north Africa,” Cruz spokesperson Catherine Frazier told The Daily Beast. “However, given the logistical challenges and the security risk posed by resettling large numbers of them far afield in the US, he is not in favor of this plan if the ultimate intent is to return them to their homes. As I’m sure you are aware, Cuba is 90 miles from the United States, so this was not the case with the senator’s father.”
Cruz’s position is especially frustrating for advocates who have been urging the United States to do more to confront the Assad regime and aid Syrian refugees. Evan Barrett, a political adviser to the Coalition for a Democratic Syria, a Syrian-American opposition umbrella group, called Cruz’s Tuesday remarks “disingenuous.”