Trump sparks controversy with promise to renew and expand prior travel ban on 'terror-plagued countries'

October 17, 2023
Ben Marquis

In the wake of the murderous Hamas terror attacks against mostly civilian Israelis, former President Donald Trump has returned to one of his most controversial 2016 campaign positions that later became an equally controversial official policy of his administration.

Trump vowed on Monday to reimpose and even further expand his prior travel ban on predominately Muslim nations plagued with jihadist terrorists, according to the New York Post.

The comments from Trump, which predictably stirred controversy among the media, Democrats, and some of his Republican opponents, came while the former president was campaigning in Iowa.

Trump to renew entry ban against potential radical Islamist jihadists

Referencing the prior ban against migrants and refugees coming from particularly "dangerous" countries, former President Trump said during a speech in Clive, Iowa, "In my second term, we are going to expand each and every one of those bans because we have no choice."

"Some very rough people come out of those areas, they want to blow up our country," he continued. "We aren’t bringing in anyone from Gaza or Syria or Somalia, Yemen, or Libya, or anywhere else that threatens our security.

"But I will say this," Trump added. "Tremendous numbers of people are pouring into our country right now. We have open borders -- it's the stupidest thing that anyone's ever seen."

Trump outlines the details of an expanded travel ban on potential terrorists

At another point in his remarks, HuffPost reported that former President Trump told his supporters, "As I’ve already said, many, many times before, I will reinstate and expand the wildly successful Trump travel ban on entry from terror-plagued countries, territories, and places. It just kept us safe; we wouldn’t let people come in from certain countries where there’s tremendous terror. Makes sense, right?"

"If you want to abolish the state of Israel, you’re disqualified; if you support Hamas or the ideology behind Hamas, you’re disqualified; and if you’re a communist, Marxist, or fascist, you are disqualified," he explained. "In addition, we will aggressively deport resident aliens with jihadist sympathies."

The outlet noted that Trump also said he would revoke some student visas, deport foreign students that publicly demonstrate against Israel, oppose any efforts to bring Palestinian refugees from Gaza to the U.S., and broadly impose "strong ideological screening" on all migrants and refugees seeking entry into the country.

According to the Post, Trump further revealed that he would once again cut off all U.S. aid to the Palestinians as he commented on the "depraved savages" of Hamas who went "rampaging through civilian communities," and insisted, "The atrocities in Israel are horrific reminder that immigration security is truly national security."

In order to help drive home his point, the former president also recited the words of the poem "The Snake," as he so often did in his previous presidential campaigns and rallies, about a kind but naive woman who saves an imperiled but dangerous snake that ultimately bites and kills her despite the kindness she had showed.

Similar to his 2016 stance that became official policy

Trump's remarks in Iowa were reminiscent of the position he staked out during the 2016 campaign, when he was "calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on."

That declaration was immediately denounced by Democrats and Republicans alike, but Trump held firm and, after he was elected and despite numerous court challenges, ultimately imposed a travel ban on seven particular predominately Muslim nations prone to Islamist terrorism -- a policy that remained in effect until it was reversed by President Joe Biden upon taking office, per HuffPost.

Unsurprisingly, Trump has again been denounced by Democrats -- and likely soon some of his Republican rivals, if not already -- as being bigoted and Islamophobic, but it seems doubtful that Trump will be swayed by the predictable denunciations and instead will hold fast to his assertion that known and potential jihadists and terrorists should not be allowed entry into the U.S.

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