Trump proposes ‘ideological test’ for immigrants
Washington : Vowing to halt the spread of radical Islam, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has laid out his strategy to defeat global terrorism and called for a new Cold War-like “ideological screening test” as part of “extreme vetting” of would-be immigrants.
Trump also stated that the era of nation building should come to an end as he unveiled a blueprint for defeating global terrorism in partnership with NATO and Middle East allies.
The 70-year-old real estate tycoon said his administration will aggressively pursue joint and coalition military operations to crush and destroy ISIS.
“If I become president, the era of nation-building will be brought to a very swift and decisive end. Our new approach — which must be shared by both parties in America, by our allies overseas and by our friends in the Middle East — must be to halt the spread of radical Islam,” Trump said in a major policy speech on defeating ‘radical Islam’ in Ohio.
“All actions should be oriented around this goal and any country which shares this goal will be our ally. Some don’t share this goal. We cannot always choose our friends but we can never fail to recognise our enemies,” he asserted.
Trump also proposed an “extreme vetting process” for new immigrants to prevent entry of radicalised ones into the US.
“We should only admit into this country those who share our values and respect our people. In the Cold War, we had an ideological screening test. The time is overdue to develop a new screening test for the threats we face today. I call it extreme vetting. I call it extreme, extreme vetting,” Trump said yesterday.
“Our country has enough problems. We don’t need more. These are problems like we have never had before. In addition, to scrape out all members of the sympathisers of terrorist groups, we must also screen out any hostile attitude towards our country or its principles, or who believed Sharia law should supplant American law,” he said.
Trump stressed that those who did not believe in the Constitution or who support bigotry and hatred will not be admitted for immigration into the country if he is elected as President.
“Only those who we expect to flourish in our country and to embrace a tolerant American society should be issued visas,” Trump said amidst applause.
To put these new procedures in place, Trump said the country will have to temporarily suspend immigration from some of the most dangerous and volatile regions of the world that have a history of exporting terrorism.
He also proposed calling an international conference focused on stopping the spread of radical Islam.
“We will work side by side with our friends in the Middle East, including our greatest ally Israel. We will partner with King Abdullah of Jordan and the president of Egypt, President Sisi, and all others who recognise this ideology of death that must be extinguished,” Trump said.
A Trump Administration, he said, will also work very closely with NATO on this new mission.
“I had previously said that NATO was obsolete because it failed to deal adequately with terrorism. Since my comments, they have changed their policy and now have a new division focused on terror threats. Very good. Very, very good,” Trump said.
“I also believe that we could find common ground with Russia in a fight against ISIS. Wouldn’t that be a good thing? Wouldn’t that be a good thing? They, too, have much at stake in the outcome in Syria, and have had their own battles with Islamic terrorism just as bad as ours. They have a big, big problem in Russia with ISIS,” he said.
Trump asserted that the US cannot allow the internet to be used as a recruiting tool and for other purposes by its enemy.
“We must shut down their access to this form of communication, and we must do it immediately,” he said.
Trump alleged that the rise of ISIS is the direct result of policy decisions made by President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, his Democratic rival who served as the Secretary of State.
“Let’s look back at the Middle East at the very beginning of 2009 before the Obama-Clinton administration took over. Libya was stable. Syria was under control. Egypt was ruled by a secular president and an ally of the US,” Trump said.
“Iraq was experiencing a reduction in violence. The group that would become what we now call ISIS was close to being extinguished. Iran was being choked off by economic sanctions. Fast forward to today. What we have — and think of this — and the decisions made by the Obama/Clinton group have been absolutely disastrous,” he said.
Trump said as soon as he becomes President, he will ask the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security to identify a list of regions where adequate screening cannot take place.
“There are many such regions. We will stop processing visas from those area until such time as it is deemed safe to resume based on new circumstances or new procedures,” Trump said.
“The size of current immigration flows are too large to perform adequate screening. We admit about 100,000 permanent immigrants from the middle east every year. Beyond that, we admit hundreds of thousands of temporary workers and visitors from the same regions,” he said.
Trump said one of his first acts as president will be to establish a commission on radical Islam which will include reformist voices in the Muslim community who will work with his administration.
“We want to build bridges and erase divisions. The goal of the commission will be to identify and explain to the American public the core convictions and beliefs of radical Islam, to identify the warning signs of radicalisation, and to expose the networks in our society that support radicalisation,” he said.
“This commission will be used to develop new protocols for local police officers, federal investigators, and immigration screeners. And while I’m at it, we should give a hand to our great police officers and law enforcement officials,” he said.
Trump said his administration will keep open Guantanamo Bay, and place a renewed emphasis on human intelligence.