Doubling down on the hard-line immigration policies that have long animated his base, former President Donald Trump on Monday vowed to bar refugees from Gaza and immediately expand his first-term Muslim travel ban if he wins a second term following the deadly attack on Israel last week.
Speaking to supporters in Iowa, Trump said that if he returns to the Oval Office, he will immediately begin “ideological screening” for all immigrants and bar those who sympathize with Hamas and Muslim extremists. The war between Israel and Hamas has sparked what is now the deadliest of five Gaza wars for both sides, with more than 4,000 dead.
His proposals would mark a dramatic expansion of the controversial — and legally dubious — policies that drew alarm from immigrant rights and civil liberties activists, but helped him win the GOP primary in 2016. Trump has long railed against the U.S. taking immigrants from countries he has dubbed inferior, particularly in Africa and the Middle East, and told the crowd Monday that while he was president the U.S. stood up for Israel and “Judeo-Christian civilization and values.”
Trump also continued to paint himself as a martyr for his loyal supporters, railing against the four indictments he is facing along with a narrow gag order that was imposed Monday by the federal judge overseeing the 2020 election interference case against him in Washington. The order, which Trump has pledged to appeal, bars him from making statements targeting prosecutors, possible witnesses and court staff.