Admission to US would be stricter in Trump presidency

2016-08-15 22:06
Donald Trump at a rally at Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Florida. (File, AP)

Donald Trump at a rally at Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Florida. (File, AP)

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Youngstown — Donald Trump on Monday will call for a new ideological test for admission to the United States, vetting applicants on their stance on issues like religious freedom, gender equality and gay rights. The policy would represent a significant shift in how the US manages entry into the country.

In a speech in swing state Ohio, Trump will also call for "foreign policy realism" and an end to nation-building if elected president. And he'll argue that the United States needs to work with anyone who shares the mission of destroying the Islamic State group and other extremist organisations, regardless of other disagreements.

"Mr Trump's speech will explain that while we can't choose our friends, we must always recognise our enemies," Trump senior policy adviser Stephen Miller said.

The Republican nominee's foreign policy address comes during a rocky stretch for his campaign. He's struggled to stay on message and has consistently overshadowed his policy rollouts, including an economic speech last week, with provocative statements, including falsely declaring that President Barack Obama was the "founder" of the Islamic State.

Clinton spent Monday campaigning with Vice President Joe Biden in Scranton, Pennsylvania, a working class area where both have family ties. Biden vigorously vouched for Clinton's readiness for the White House and called Trump's foreign policy views "dangerous" and "un-American."

Biden also warned that Trump's false assertion about Obama founding the Islamic State could be used by extremists to target American service members in Iraq. "The threat to their life has gone up a couple clicks," he said.

Clinton knocked Trump for having previously said he prefers to keep his foreign policy proposals secret in order to catch enemies by surprise.

"Then it turns out the secret is he has no plan," she said.

"Mr. Trump will outline his vision for defeating radical Islamic terrorism, and explain how the policies of Obama-Clinton are responsible for the rise of ISIS and the spread of barbarism that has taken the lives of so many," Miller said on Sunday in an email.

Under Trump's new immigration policy, the government would use questionnaires, social media, interviews with friends and family or other means to determine if applicants support American values like tolerance and pluralism. The US would stop issuing visas in any case where it cannot perform adequate screenings.

It will be the latest version of a policy that began with Trump's unprecedented call to temporarily bar foreign Muslims from entering the country — a religious test that was criticised across party lines as un-American.

Trump had promised to release his list of "terror countries" soon. But now, aides say, the campaign needs access to unreleased Department of Homeland Security data to assess exactly where the most serious threats lie.

While Trump has been criticised for failing to lay out detailed policies, aides say Monday's speech will again focus on his broader vision. Additional speeches with more details are expected in coming weeks, they said.

Seeking to beat back criticism of his struggling campaign, Trump and his top advisers have blamed the media for failing to focus on his proposals.

"If the disgusting and corrupt media covered me honestly and didn't put false meaning into the words I say, I would be beating Hillary by 20%," he tweeted on Sunday.

Read more on:    donald  |  trump  |  hillary clinton  |  us  |  us elections 2016

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