GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s immigration policies drew criticism on Monday after he released his proposal to prevent Muslim immigration to the United States.
Trump released a statement on Monday calling for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”
Highlighting a poll from the Center for Security Policy, the statement claimed that “25% of those polled agreed that violence against Americans here in the United States is justified as a part of the global jihad.”
“Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension,” Trump said. “Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.”
The Intercept described the Center for Security Policy as a think tank “led by Frank Gaffney, a far-right activist who theorized that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the U.S. government,” and pointed that the poll cited by Trump has “no statistical validity” because it was a “non-probability based, opt-in online survey.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan criticized Trump’s proposal on Tuesday, saying that although he usually does not comment on the Republican presidential race, he was making an exception.
“Freedom of religion is a fundamental constitutional principle. It’s a founding principle of this country,” Ryan said. “This is not conservatism. What was proposed yesterday is not what this party stands for. And more importantly, it’s not what this country stands for.”
Trump’s proposal received criticism from GOP rivals such as former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who called the proposal “the kind of thing people say when they have no experience and don’t know what they’re talking about.”
“What we need to do is increase our intelligence capabilities activity both around the world and in the homeland,” Christie said. “We need to back up our law enforcement officers, who are out fighting this fight everyday, give them the tools they need.”
When asked by The Hill if Trump’s proposal would go as far as to exclude Muslim-American citizens who are currently out of the country, Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said, “Mr. Trump says, ‘everyone.’ ”
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush criticized Trump on Twitter, describing Trump as “unhinged.”
Donald Trump is unhinged. His "policy" proposals are not serious.
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) December 7, 2015
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC.), who has made questionable remarks in the past such as reportedly saying that “Everything that starts with ‘Al’ in the Middle East is bad news,” took to Twitter to criticize Trump.
.@Realdonaldtrump has gone from making absurd comments to being downright dangerous with his bombastic rhetoric.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) December 7, 2015
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) referred to Trump’s proposal as another one of his “offensive and outlandish” statements.
I disagree with Donald Trump's latest proposal. His habit of making offensive and outlandish statements will not bring Americans together.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) December 8, 2015
When asked for their opinions on Trump’s proposal to ban Muslim immigration, both Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) did not criticize their rival, and instead presented their own proposals for how they would deal with refugees.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called Trump’s proposal “reprehensible, prejudiced and divisive,” and insisted that it would make the U.S. less safe.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) December 7, 2015
Trump’s proposal also received criticism from GOP officials in the first three states to vote in the primary process states, who usually stay neutral when it comes to presidential primary contests.
Jeff Kaufmann, chair of the Iowa GOP, said on Twitter that “our founding principles are stronger than political cynicism,” and that while the GOP believes Obama has failed on ISIS, it also believes “we don’t make ourselves safer by betraying bedrock Constitutional values.”
Jennifer Horn, the chair of the New Hampshire GOP, said “There should never be a day in the United States of America when people are excluded based solely on their race or religion,” and said to do so, “It is un-Republican. It is unconstitutional. And it is un-American.”
Matt Moore, the chair of the South Carolina GOP, called Trump’s proposal a “bad idea” and said it sent a shiver down his spine.
(2/2) American exceptionalism means always defending our inalienable rights, not attacking them when it’s politically convenient.
— Matt Moore (@MattMooreSC) December 8, 2015
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