Donald Trump Plans To Expand His Immigration Ban – Former President Donald Trump vowed to reinstate and expand his travel ban on predominantly Muslim countries if reelected at a rally on Monday.
Trump was addressing supporters in Clive, Iowa – the first state to hold its caucus in next year’s Republican primaries. The rally was notable for several reasons, including the Republican frontrunner’s objection to a gag order imposed on him by Judge Tanya Chutkan in relation to his federal indictment for alleged election interference.
Much of his speech, however, was devoted to planned policies on immigration. The rally came just weeks after President Joe Biden was forced to make a U-turn on his objection to his predecessor’s border, authorizing an extension despite vowing not to in the inaugural days of his presidency.
Ban To Be Expanded Under Trump
During his first term in office, Trump imposed a policy severely restricting travelers from Iran, Libya, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. The ban was later extended to include several African countries, but was soon rescinded by President Biden upon taking office in January 2021.
On Monday, Trump told supporters that he would introduce “strong ideological screening of all immigrants to the United States” while the U.S. would block “dangerous lunatics, haters, bigots and maniacs to get residency in our country”.
The ban would apply to Gaza, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Libya, or “anywhere else that threatens our security.”
Moreover, the Republican frontrunner pledged to revoke student visas of “radical anti-American and antisemitic foreigners” enrolled in US colleges and universities and deport them.
Trump also slammed pro-Palestinian protests as “pro-jihadist demonstrations” which he would disperse with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.
“We have to protect our own country,” Trump told the crowd.
Immigration Remains Prevalent
A Reuters/Ipsos poll last week revealed an uptick in immigration concerns among Americans, most notably from Republicans. It’s expected to be a key priority for most Republican candidates, whom Trump leads by more than 40 points in some polls.
Trump’s stance on immigration echoes his previous campaigns, often delivering his speeches to a chorus of “build the wall”. The former president’s rhetoric has been deemed racist by critics, but the concerns he raises do resonate with a plurality of GOP voters.
Last week, the 77-year-old landed in hot water for his comments about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, where he said the right-wing leader had been surprised by Hamas’ attack on the country. He also described the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah as “very smart.”
Trump’s comments drew criticism from Republican rivals and Israeli government ministers. However, he’s since backtracked on the comments, with his campaign claiming “there was no better friend or ally of Israel” than Trump himself. He also posted “#IStandWithBibi,” a reference to Netanyahu’s nickname, on Truth Social.
Shay Bottomley is a British journalist based in Canada. He has written for the Western Standard, Maidenhead Advertiser, Slough Express, Windsor Express, Berkshire Live and Southend Echo, and has covered notable events including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.