No Passport for Terror
Language is not a barrier in communicating the international outrage over the multiple terror attacks on innocent civilians in Paris on Friday. As French citizens mourned the deaths of over 130 people, leaders of other nations began rethinking their policies regarding refugees and how to deal with their own citizens who have traveled to fight alongside of ISIS. At least two of the suspected terrorists in Friday’s attack had fought and trained with ISIS terrorists in Syria. As this information comes to light, Americans are rightfully asking what steps leaders in Congress are taking to ensure Americans’ safety, since the policies of the Obama administration are escalating the risk.
One possibility is passing a bill Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) introduced in January, S. 247, the Expatriate Terrorist, Act, which would strip Americans of their citizenship, and the rights associated therewith, if they — like some of the Paris terrorists — voluntarily travel to foreign countries to train with terror groups, formally declare allegiance to a foreign terrorist organization, serve in the military of a foreign country hostile to the United States of America, renounce their United States citizenship, or commit treason against the United States. The bill also clarifies the situations in which a passport shall be denied a person associated with terrorist organizations. Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) introduced a companion bill with identical language in the House of Representatives, H.R. 503, in February, and both sit with few co-sponsors, awaiting congressional action.
In light of the recent terror attacks in Paris and the constant threats ISIS poses against freedom everywhere, it is important Congress take steps to ensure the safety of Americans. Americans should not have the freedom and authority to travel on an American passport to foreign nations, to train with foreign terrorist organizations, only to return to the United States to use what they learned abroad to target Americans on our own soil.
The Values Half of the GOP
Over the years, left-wing pundits have eagerly looked for any and every opportunity to eulogize what they call the “religious right.” But the movement to advance these timeless values can’t be buried in one election cycle or by five lawyers on the U.S. Supreme Court. These values aren’t going away nor are the millions of voters who use them to guide their vote. You only need to look at the crowded GOP presidential field and their persistent efforts to win the support of social conservatives. In September, eight of the candidates spoke at the Values Voter Summit including Dr. Ben Carson, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Gov. Mike Huckabee, Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Sen. Rick Santorum, and Donald Trump.
These candidates know values voters are key to any successful GOP campaign strategy and the data backs it up. This weekend, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) released a new polling analysis that flies in the face of those eager to proclaim the demise of the values voter. The WSJ/NBC News pollsters combed through three of their last three polls and concluded that values voters (or those the Journal describes as the “staunchest opponents of abortion and gay marriage”) make up 47 percent of the GOP electorate. These voters make up an even greater proportion in the early primary states. The WSJ divides the rest of the GOP into moderate, libertarian and tea party categories.
Far from being “dead,” I believe the values movement is finding new life in the next generation — a point that I drive home in my new book No Fear: Real Stories of a Courageous New Generation Standing for Truth. Leading the values movement is a concern over the threat to religious liberty. Barna Research recently reported that a whopping 56% of practicing Christian millennials said they are “very concerned about the state of religious liberty in America — up 37% from just three years ago. That’s even more alarm than their Baby Boomer parents registered. As militant secularists and LGBT activists attempt to drive orthodox Christian beliefs from the public discourse, religious liberty is becoming an umbrella issue that covers a number of policy concerns. Look for religious liberty to continue to rank near the top of issues addressed by the conservative GOP presidential candidates and know that there is a reason — Republican primary voters care about it.
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.