Former President Donald Trump, during a campaign rally in Derry, New Hampshire, on Monday, promised to ban immigrants who “don’t like our religion” and “hate Israel” from entering the United States if he were to be reelected as president.
Trump’s fiery rhetoric targeted his political opponents and proposed a revival of his controversial travel ban.
Speaking to a fervent crowd, Trump framed the upcoming election in stark terms, declaring, “A vote for Crooked Joe is a vote to turn the United States into a hotbed of jihadists and make our cities into dumping grounds very much resembling the Gaza Strip. Have you been to the Gaza Strip?” Trump’s words evoked imagery aimed at stoking fears of violence and instability.
He went on to assert that a vote for him would mean “securing the border” and “keeping radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country.” Central to this pledge was his promise to “immediately restore and expand the Trump travel ban” and “halt all of the refugee settlements to the United States” on “day one” of his presidency.
Trump’s remarks included a pointed assertion that certain immigrants posed a threat to the United States. He stated, “They want to come in, they want to bring the same people that are shooting rockets at Israel, they want to come into the United States. I don’t think a lot of good things are going to happen.”
He pledged to “implement strong ideological screening of all immigrants” based on whether they “hate America,” “want to abolish Israel,” “don’t like our religion,” or “sympathize with jihadists.”
His message was unequivocal: “then we don’t want you in our country, and you are not getting in.”
The crowd responded with cheers as Trump exclaimed, “We don’t want you. Get out of here! You’re fired,” channeling the language of his reality TV career. His speech then shifted to focus on one of his potential Republican primary rivals, Ron DeSantis.
What do Americans think about Israel?
Recent polling suggests that a significant portion of Americans believe that the level of U.S. involvement in the conflict between Israel and Hamas is appropriate.
In an ABC News/Ipsos poll, 49% of respondents thought the U.S. was providing the right amount of support to Israel, with 18% thinking the U.S. was doing too much and 29% believing it was doing too little. Similar results were found in a Quinnipiac poll. However, despite this, President Biden’s handling of the situation did not receive widespread approval. In an average of six recent polls, only 39% of Americans approved of his handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict, while 47% disapproved.
However a SSRS/CNN poll revealed that only 47% of Americans trusted President Biden to make the right decisions regarding the situation in Israel, while 53% expressed low or no trust in his decision-making.
What is ‘Our Religion’?
The United States does not have an official religion, as enshrined in the First Amendment of the Constitution. The country embraces freedom of religion, allowing individuals to practice or not practice any faith they choose. However, the majority of the population – including Trump – identify as Christian.
Trump’s comments come at a time when immigration remains a contentious issue in American politics. Throughout his tenure as president, his policies regarding immigration drew both support and criticism. The travel ban, initially implemented in 2017, targeted several Muslim-majority countries and was challenged in court before being modified. It has been a subject of debate over issues of discrimination and national security.
Georgia Gilholy is a journalist based in the United Kingdom who has been published in Newsweek, The Times of Israel, and the Spectator. Gilholy writes about international politics, culture, and education.