Donald Trump's immigration policy just got crazier

Donald Trump seen speaking during his rally in Youngstown

Donald Trump seen speaking during his rally in Youngstown.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Donald Trump is attacking immigrants again.  New polls released on Monday show he is nine points down on Hilary Clinton nationally.  So he reacted in a way only Trump can - by making his crazy immigration policies even crazier.

In a speech in Youngstown, Ohio, Trump called for a new screening test, which he labelled "extreme, extreme vetting," designed to keep out anyone who does not share "American values" and who is not prepared to "embrace a tolerant American society." Until such a test is ready, he said, the US should temporarily suspend immigration from countries that have histories of spawning terrorists.

That's right.  Donald Trump wants to stop anyone from certain countries entering America.  He did not specify which nations in particular, but, given his previous comments about a ban on Muslims, many will assume he means certain countries in the Middle East and Africa.

To win back votes, Trump is arguing that only he has the courage to enact the policies needed to stop radicalised Muslims entering the US and committing acts of terror.

The Republican presidential candidate claimed that immigrants from Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East are bringing support for Islamic law, including "honour killings" for women accused of shaming their families, and the death penalty for gays.

In his speech, he called for a return to the types of ideological screening test used during the Cold War.  He vowed to work with moderate Muslim communities to help the US guard against admitting immigrants and refugees from countries with widespread anti-gay, anti-Semitic or misogynistic views and laws.

Is Trump's proposed policy legal? Maybe.  The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 gives the President and the executive branch sweeping powers to deny entry to anyone who would be "detrimental to the interests of the U.S." The law cites a host of reasons for rejecting would-be immigrants, including support or association with terrorist organisations or membership in "totalitarian" political parties.

Will it work? Well that's a whole different question.

Since 9/11 all terrorist attacks committed in the United States have been carried out by an American citizen or a legal permanent resident, not by immigrants or refugees. 

Also, the terrorist attacks and plots in the United States have, in recent years, been influenced by Isis's online propaganda.  This can be viewed by anyone, including seemingly ordinary American citizens, who have access to the internet.

For both the US and Europe, the terrorist threat does not lie in other countries.  Those committing atrocities in recent years have been born and bred in the very nations they attack.  No amount of screening or excluding individuals due to their race, religion or country of origin will stop these people from going about their plans.

If anything, blatant discrimination of Muslims will only incite further hatred and galvanise those already radicalised to implement their plans at a more frequent and deadlier rate.

Like European governments, America needs to look inwards rather than outwards, if it has any hope of protecting its citizens from further acts of violence and terror.

Oshin Shahiean is a partner at OTS Solicitors. Go to www.otssolicitors.co.uk/immigration for more info.

Since 9/11 all terrorist attacks committed in the United States have been carried out by an American citizen or a legal permanent resident, not by immigrants or refugees.