Under President Trump, prospective immigrants would face political test

Donald Trump's Monday speech in Youngstown, Ohio, will call for a new ideological test for those wishing to enter the United States.

Gerald Herbert/AP
Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks in Youngstown, Ohio, Monday.

Donald Trump once again amended his immigration policy Monday, calling for a new ideological test for admission into the United States. 

In a speech at Youngstown State in Ohio, a swing state, the Republican presidential nominee proposed using questionnaires, social media, and interviews with the family and friends of applicants to determine their stance on issues such as religious freedom, gender equality, and gay rights. In cases where thorough screenings are not possible, visas will not be issued. 

"I call it extreme, extreme vetting. Our country has enough problems, and we don't need more," he said. "Those who do not believe in our Constitution, or who support bigotry and hatred will not be admitted for immigration into our country."

It's the latest version of Mr. Trump's controversial immigration policy, which began in December as a call to temporarily ban foreign Muslims from entering into the country. But after his proposal for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States" was denounced by both Republicans and Democrats as a violation of religious freedom, Trump has since made alterations. 

In June, following the mass shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, the Republican candidate appeared to soften the ban, calling only for the barring of Muslims from "the terror countries." The new standard would "suspend immigration from areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against these US, Europe or our allies, until we fully understand how to end these threats."

His campaign has promised to release a list of "terror countries," but recently said it needs access to unreleased Department of Homeland Security data in order to make the most accurate assessment. 

Last month, Trump refined the policy again, saying in a "60 Minutes" interview that there should be "extreme vetting" of all persons from "terror" states. 

In his newest proposal, set to be announced Monday, it's not yet clear how officials would assess the responses to the questionnaires and interviews. 

The Republican candidate called for "foreign policy realism" in his speech at Youngstown State, positing that the US should take on as an ally any country that also wants to defeat "radical Islamic terrorism," regardless of other disagreements. 

"Mr. Trump's speech will explain that while we can't choose our friends, we must always recognize our enemies," Trump senior policy adviser Stephen Miller told the Associated Press ahead of the speech. 

In the speech, Trump outlined his vision for defeating radical Islamic terrorism and explained his controversial claims that the policies of Obama-Clinton are responsible for the rise of the Islamic State group.

Last week, the candidate made headlines for his divisive comments accusing President Barack Obama of being "absolutely the founder" of the Islamic State terror organization. 

His remarks came on the heels of a series of gaffes in the previous weeks, including an incident in which Trump insulted the family of a deceased American Muslim soldier after they spoke at the Democratic National Convention.

A Quinnipac University poll published last week showed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton with a 49-45 lead over Trump in Ohio. 

This report contains material from the Associated Press. 

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