Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), a GOP presidential candidate, is proposing a bill to halt visas from all countries with “significant jihadist movements”  in light of Friday night’s terror attacks in Paris for which Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has claimed responsibility. 
“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,” Paul told reporters on Monday.

“It is about time, and I think Paris should wake us up to the fact that we can’t just let anyone come to this country,” he added.

{mosads}Paul initially signaled that the legislation would extend to all refugees, but his office clarified that moratorium only extends to the approximately 30 high-risk countries that Paul said have “significant jihadist movements.” 
The restriction bars all visas in those countries, including for students and tourists, and would be lifted once Congress certifies that a country has complete control over who is crossing its borders.

The proposal would also institute a 30-day waiting period for visas from countries that are currently part of America’s Visa Waiver Program, which includes France.

The GOP presidential candidates have largely called for America to reexamine its refugee policies, especially for those coming from Syria, in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 129 people and injured more than 300. The Obama administration is planning on admitting more than 10,000 Syrian refugees in response to the crisis prompted by the civil war there.

Multiple news reports have linked at least one of the Paris attackers to the Syrian refugee crisis.

Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas), another GOP presidential candidate, bashed the idea of letting in Syrian Muslim refugees as “nothing less than lunacy” Saturday on Fox News, but countered that Christian refugees fleeing persecution should be granted safe harbor.

Paul said he’s open to private charities helping to resettle Christian refugees, but that those efforts have to be in the context of America’s national security.

“In order to be safe, in order to be secure, we cant just say, ‘Hey we’ve got an open door and we’re going to take people form the Middle East,'” he said, adding that Iran and Saudi Arabia need to step up to help resettle refugees.

–This report was updated at 3:37 p.m.

Tags Paris attacks Rand Paul Syrian refugees
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