Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Monday promised to institute “extreme vetting” of immigrants to protect the nation from radical Islamic terror, as part of his plan for fighting terrorism.
He also promised an international conference to strengthen the coalition fighting the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria while arguing he would take major steps to clamp down immigration at home.
“The common thread linking the major Islamic terrorist attacks that have recently occurred on our soil…is that they have involved immigrants or the children of immigrants,” he said in a speech in Youngstown, Ohio, and quoted by The Hill.
“We should only admit into this country those that share our values and respect our people. We will be tough, and we will be even extreme,” Trump added.
He said the fight against radical Islamic terror was this generation's Cold War, and added it was long “overdue” to reestablish an “ideological screening test” like the one America used during that time.
“Just as we won the Cold War in part by exposing the evils of Communism and the virtues of free markets, so too must we take on the ideology of radical Islam,” said Trump, according to The Hill.
Trump also blamed the Democrats’ foreign policy for creating the vacuum that allowed ISIS to thrive.
"The rise of ISIS is the direct result of policy decisions made by President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton,” he said.
In 2009, before the Obama-Clinton Administration took over, Trump pointed out, “Libya was stable. Syria was under control. Egypt was ruled by a secular President and an ally of the United States. 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 have the decisions of Obama-Clinton produced? Libya is in ruins, our ambassador and three other brave Americans are dead, and ISIS has gained a new base of operations.”
“Syria is in the midst of a disastrous civil war. ISIS controls large portions of territory. A refugee crisis now threatens Europe and the United States.”
“In Egypt, terrorists have gained a foothold in the Sinai desert, near the Suez Canal, one of the most essential waterways in the world.”
“Iraq is in chaos, and ISIS is on the loose.”
“ISIS has spread across the Middle East, and into the West. In 2014, ISIS was operating in some seven nations. Today they are fully operational in 18 countries with aspiring branches in six more, for a total of 24 – and many believe it is even more than that. The situation is likely worse than the public knows.”
Another danger is Iran, “the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism”, which “is now flush with $150 billion in cash released by the United States – plus another $400 million in ransom,” continued Trump, who warned that the nuclear deal with Iran “puts Iran, the number one state sponsor of radical Islamic terrorism, on a path to nuclear weapons.”
“In short,” he added, “the Obama-Clinton foreign policy has unleashed ISIS, destabilized the Middle East, and put the nation of Iran – which chants ‘Death to America’ – in a dominant position of regional power and, in fact, aspiring to be a dominant world power.”
“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,” said Trump.
“All actions should be oriented around this goal, and any country which shares this goal will be our ally. We cannot always choose our friends, but we can never fail to recognize our enemies,” he continued.
In that regard, Trump said he would call for an international conference focused on this goal.
“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 President Sisi of Egypt, and all others who recognize this ideology of death that must be extinguished.”
Trump also said that American values should be impressed upon “newcomers,” calling for the assimilation of immigrants.
“Assimilation is not an act of hostility, but an expression of compassion. Our system of government, and our American culture, is the best in the world and will produce the best outcomes for all who adopt it,” said Trump.
“This approach will not only make us safer, but bring us closer together as a country.”