In a speech on his foreign “policy” delivered Monday, GOP nominee Donald Trump said that before being allowed to come to the United States, potential immigrants and refugees should have to take an idealogical test. Trump called the idea part of his new plan of “extreme vetting,” and said, “The time is overdue to develop a new screening test for the threats we face today.”
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) turned the tables on Trump shortly afterwards, asking him to take “the one test every immigrant has to pass to become a United States citizen,” in a statement released Monday night.
“He would almost certainly fail, given his general ignorance and weak grasp of basic facts about American history, principles and functioning of our government,” Reid said. “The fact is, Donald Trump is nothing more than a spoiled, unpatriotic drain on society who has earned nothing and helped no one.”
According to Reid, his richest experiences as Senator of Nevada were attending naturalization ceremonies for new citizens.
“These are men, women and children who worked hard to get here, who worked hard to become citizens and who are now working hard as productive members of our society,” Reid said. “Unlike immigrants, Donald Trump represents none of the qualities that make America great. Immigrants work hard to get here and become Americans, while Trump inherited everything from his father and works hardest at Tweeting insults and ripping off hard-working people with two-bit scams.”
“Indeed, the naturalization test is just one part of the process immigrants undergo to become citizens, but Trump would almost certainly fail that test,” Reid continued. “Immigrants make America great. Trump makes America small, petty and mean.”
The naturalization test is taken by all those pursuing U.S. citizenship, and includes a list of ten questions from the possibility of 100. USCIS offers free study guides, but many of the questions may be difficult for a natural-born citizen to answer even with a dedicated course of study. Topics include principles of American democracy, systems of government, rights and responsibilities of citizens, detailed American history, and “Integrated Civics,” including geography, symbols, holidays.
Trump, as is characteristic, did not go into significant details about his proposed “extreme vetting,” but did say he would expect immigrants to answer questions about their values and whether they share “Western” ideals like LGBT and religious tolerance. This is laughable coming from Trump, who himself has a poor record of any kind of tolerance. In Trump’s view, the government would have an ideological litmus test, based on social media and interviews with friends to determine an immigrant’s eligibility for citizenship.
Trump would also put a hold on those entering from countries with “terrorist ties.” Earlier in his campaign, Trump called for a ban on Muslims entering the States, which was roundly denounced by several prominent members of his own party. He’s since re-worded that pledge and returned to the original version, depending on what suits him at the moment.
Photo: Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) speaks on the third day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. July 27, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar