Donald Trump's Muslim Ban Proposal Is Extreme, but It's Not Unique

December 7th 2015

Alex Mierjeski

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's acidic policy statement calling for the abrupt, total, and complete curtailing of Muslims' ability to enter the U.S. — including Muslim-Americans currently abroad — is stirring up a firestorm online.

But it's also calling attention to similar proposals put forth recently by at least two other Republican presidential candidates — Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Rand Paul (Kentucky).

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Last month, Cruz, the son of a Cuban refugee himself, put forth a bill that would block refugees coming from countries with "territory substantially controlled by a foreign terrorist organization," except those fleeing genocide, the Hill reported. "What Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are proposing is that we bring to this country tens of thousands of Syrian Muslim refugees," Cruz told CNN in November.

"I have to say, particularly in light of what happened in Paris, that's nothing short of lunacy."

The legislation was in part a response to the attacks in Paris by militants with links to the self-proclaimed Islamic State militant group, and in part a jab at President Barack Obama, who had called Cruz's remarks on rejecting Syrian refugees "shameful," CNN reported.

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Around the same time, Paul also proposed a bill halting visas from countries with "significant jihadist movements" in the wake of the Paris attacks. "The best way to defend the country from attackers that don't really have an army, but come here as individuals, is to prevent their access into this country," he said in November, according to the Hill.

On Monday, when asked by reporters for a response to Trump's proposal, a Paul campaign spokesperson said that "Paul has led on the issue of border security, proposing real solutions."

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