Donald Trump has an answer to the massacre at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub: Ban immigration.
In his most anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant speech of the entire campaign, Trump manipulated the shooting into an opportunity to spread vitriol and criticize the U.S. immigration system, which he claims brings terrorism into the country. He repeatedly used the term “radical Islamic terrorism” to cheers from the crowd — a semantic point Trump has focused on in place of any real counter-terrorism proposals.
“We cannot continue to allow thousands upon thousands of people to pour into our country, many of whom have the same thought process as this savage killer,” he told the crowd.
Simultaneously boasting about his NRA endorsement, Trump pledged that he would use his executive power to restrict immigration from countries with “a proven history of terrorism” against the United States and its allies.
“We are importing radical Islamic terrorism into the West through a failed immigration system,” he said.
Though Trump’s Islamophobia is no secret, his hateful rhetoric on Monday attacked immigrants in general as well, as he made generalizations about Middle Eastern and African countries — even though the Orlando shooter himself was born in Queens, New York, minutes from Donald Trump’s birthplace.
“When I am elected, I will suspend immigration from areas of the world when there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or our allies.”
In particular, Trump attacked Hillary Clinton for her plan to allow a greater number of Syrian refugees into the U.S., calling these efforts “a better, bigger version of the legendary Trojan Horse” that would somehow sneak terrorists inside the U.S.’s borders, apparently without a screening plan, according to him.
“We don’t know who they are, they have no documentation, and we don’t know what they’re planning,” he said. “The bottom line is that Hillary supports the policies that bring the threat of radical Islam into America, and allow it to grow overseas.”
Never mind, though, that the current 21-step screening process for Syrian refugees does, in fact, require potential immigrants to submit identifying documents as well as detailed information on biodata. There have been no incidents of terror attacks as the result of the incredible small number of Syrian refugees allowed into the United States. Recent domestic terror attacks — such as those in Orlando, San Bernardino, and Boston bombings — have been committed by citizens.
If immigrants get past the U.S.’s screening system, then, they will create “large pockets of radicalization,” Trump said, and lead to further terrorist attacks.
“Even a single individual can be devastating, just look at what happened in Orlando. Can you imagine large groups?” he said. (Again: the Orlando shooter was not an immigrant.)
But Trump didn’t forget about Muslim Americans either. Insinuating that they know about potential terrorist attacks ahead of time, he said, “Muslim communities must cooperate with law enforcement and turn in the people who they know are bad – and they do know where they are.” This follows a similar pattern from his campaign of painting Muslim Americans as knowledgeable conspirators in terror attacks.
Trump has previously said he would “absolutely” require a database of Muslims in the U.S., and he joined other Republican presidential candidates in calling for surveillance on mosques — even though the NYPD stopped a program that surveilled mosques after it strained community relations and did not lead to any terrorism leads.
Photo: Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump delivers a speech at St. Anselm’s College in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., June 13, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder