Attacks In Brussels Reverberate in US Politics

AUSTIN, Texas -- The deadly attacks in Brussels are being felt around the world.

"It's a horrible thing that you can just be an ordinary civilian going about your work or trip or whatever it is and be targeted in this way. It's horrible," said Jeremi Suri of the LBJ School of Public Affairs.

It's a horrible thing that has politicians split.

Both sides can agree that ISIS needs to be defeated, but one of the main differences in strategy - comes down to the tone surrounding Muslims.

"We need to immediately halt the President's ill-advised plan to bring in tens of thousands of Syrian Muslim refugees. Our vetting programs are woefully insufficient. This administration has no means of preventing those refugees from being ISIS terrorists,” said Texas Senator and Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz.  

Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton said, "To do anything that implies we are at war with an entire religion with one, or two, or four billion people is not only wrong, it is dangerous. You know right here at home we need to be reaching out and including Muslim-Americans and communities where they live in our first line of defense."

Texas Governor Greg Abbott also weighed-in on the attacks, Tweeting, "Our hearts and prayers are with the Brussels victims. Our minds must realize the consequences of open borders. Our resolve must be security."

Suri added, "I think connecting this in any way to US immigration policies is not only a waste of time, it is dishonest."

Jeremi Suri is a foreign policy expert at UT-Austin.

Suri continued, "First of all, this didn't happen in the United States, and second we don't know whether these were citizens or non-citizens, and third it's not clear that the immigration restrictions that Europe has which are pretty serious, are in any way helping. Raising the walls and making it harder for good people to get in doesn't necessarily stop bad people from acting in your society."

It's a policy debate that will continue as America looks to elect a new leader this November.

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