A day after the terrorist attack in Orlando, Donald Trump on Monday vowed, as president, to suspend immigration of people who come from countries with a history of terrorism.
“The immigration laws of the United States give the president powers to suspend entry into the country of any class of persons,” Trump said during a speech at St. Anselm’s College in New Hampshire.
“I will use this power to protect the American people,” Trump said. “When I’m elected, I will suspend immigration from areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or our allies until we fully understand how to end these threats.”
Discussing the shooting of nearly 50 people at a gay club in Orlando over the weekend, Trump said he will not “not use or ever say” the name of the killer. He spoke of how the shooter’s parents immigrated from Afghanistan.
“His father published support for the Afghan Taliban, a regime which murders those who don’t share its radical views,” Trump said. “And they murdered plenty. The father even said he was running for president of Afghanistan. The bottom line is the only reason the killer was in America in the first place was because we allowed his family to come here.”
Speaking of the country’s immigration system, Trump said current policies do “not permit us to know who we let into our country and it does not permit us to protect our citizens properly.”
“With 50 people dead and perhaps more ultimately and dozens more wounded,” Trump said. “We cannot talk around issues anymore. We have to address these issue ahead on.”
Referencing his past call to temporarily ban all Muslims from entering the country, Trump said: “I called for a ban after San Bernardino and was met with great scorn and anger. But now…many are saying that I was right to do so.”
“And although the pause is temporary, we must find out what is going on,” Trump said. “We have to do it. It will be lifted, this ban, when and as a nation, we’re in a position, to properly and perfectly screen these people coming into our country. They’re pouring in and we don’t know what we’re doing.”
Trump repeatedly went after his likely rival, Hillary Clinton, throughout his speech.
“Under the Clinton plan, you’d be admitting hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Middle East with no system to vet them, or to prevent the radicalization of their children,” Trump said.
He added: “The burden is on Hillary Clinton to tell us why she believes immigration from these dangerous countries should be increased without any effective system to screen who we are bringing in. The burden is on Hillary Clinton to tell us why we should admit anyone into our country who supports violence of any kind against gay and lesbian Americans.”
The terrorist attack in Orlando over the weekend changed Trump’s plan for Monday. The speech at St. Anselm’s College had been previewed as an attack on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. But on Sunday, Trump’s campaign said he would be “discussing the serious threats facing all Americans and his solutions for making this country safe again.”