Donald J. Trump called on Monday Dec. 7 2015, for the United States to bar all Muslims from entering the country until the nation’s leaders can “figure out what is going on” after the terrorist attacks in San Bernardino, Calif., an extraordinary escalation of rhetoric aimed at voters’ fears about members of the Islamic faith. This is unconstitutional, not realistic, shocking … just as Trump liked to have it perceived.
While many critics of Mr. Trump reassured themselves that neither he nor his idea would ultimately go anywhere, they were aghast that a mainstream presidential candidate would ever utter it.
“This is just so antithetical to the history of the United States,” said Professor Nancy Morawetz, a professor of clinical law at New York University School of Law, who specializes in immigration. “It’s unbelievable to have a religious test for admission into the country”. “It would be particularly bizarre,” she said, “to have an immigration test based on religion given that the country was founded by people who were fleeing religious persecution.”
“It would certainly be challenged as unconstitutional,” he said. “And I predict the Supreme Court would strike it down.”
“I think Trump’s idea may be too strong, but I think something jarring is very helpful in leading to a national debate in how big this problem is, and how dangerous it is,” said Newt Gingrich, a former Republican speaker of the House who ran for president in 2012. “Nine percent of Pakistanis agree with ISIS, according to one poll. That’s a huge number. We need to put all the burden of proof on people coming from those countries to show that they are not a danger to us.”
Tens of thousands of Muslims enter and stay in the United States each year as tourists or through the immigration system, experts say, with an estimated 100,000 Muslims becoming United States permanent residents in 2012, according to the Pew Research Center. The United States issued 680,000 green cards to migrants from Muslim-majority countries in the five-year period from fiscal year 2009 through fiscal year 2013, according to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, which cited data from the Department of Homeland Security.
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