In an effort to get his Presidential campaign back on track, Republican nominee Donald Trump gave a speech yesterday in which he discussed the so-called ‘extreme vetting’ he would instigate against those wishing to migrate to the US.
Addressing a select crowd at Youngstown State University in Ohio, the billionaire property developer pitched himself as the only Presidential candidate capable of taking on ‘Islamic terrorism’, and keeping out those who favor ‘bigotry and hatred’.
He accused his opponent, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, of lacking, ‘the mental and physical stamina to take on ISIS.’
‘Military, cyber and financial warfare will all be necessary to dismantle Islamic Terrorism. But we must use ideological warfare as well,’ he said.
‘The time is overdue to develop a new screening test for the threats we face today. I call it extreme vetting.’
‘In addition to screening out all members or sympathizers of terrorist groups, we must also screen out any who have hostile attitudes towards our country or its principles – or who believe that Sharia law should supplant American law.
‘Those who do not believe in our Constitution, or who support bigotry and hatred, will not be admitted for immigration into the country.
Temporary suspend immigration
He added that, ‘To put these new procedures in place, we will have to temporarily suspend immigration from some of the most dangerous and volatile regions in the world that have a history of exporting terrorism.’
As has become a hallmark of his campaigning, his speech was short on specifics.
However, according to Associated Press, Trump aides reported prior to the speech that, ‘questionnaires, social media, interviews with family and friends or other means to vet applicants’ stances on issues including religious freedom, gender equality and gay rights.’
Some commentators have pointed out that migrants to the US are already expected to share common values. The policy manual for the manual for the US Citizenship and Immigration Services states, ‘An applicant who is hostile to the basic form of government of the United States, or who does not believe in the principles of the Constitution, is not eligible for naturalization.’
Clinton herself responded swiftly via Twitter, saying: ‘Whenever you hear Trump talk about foreign policy, picture him in the Situation Room making decisions for all of us.’
Today she posted a video saying that Trump himself would fail any ‘extreme vetting’, given that he has previously spoke out against same-sex marriage and has refused to condemn the white supremacist David Duke; that it is he who is ‘out of step with American values’.
Donald Trump says he’ll create a new test for immigrants.
It’s a test he’d fail.https://t.co/LZoCq8bJFx
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 16, 2016
Trump’s call for an ideological test for migrants was also criticized by Hillary Clinton’s advisor Jake Sullivan in a statement: ‘This so-called “policy” cannot be taken seriously. How can Trump put this forward with a straight face when he opposes marriage equality and selected as his running mate the man who signed an anti-LGBT law in Indiana?
‘It’s a cynical ploy to escape scrutiny of his outrageous proposal to ban an entire religion from our country and no one should fall for it.’