Candidate dismisses criticism of his plan to keep Muslims out of U.S.
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. — Donald Trump is a Republican candidate running for president. On Tuesday he defended his idea to block all Muslims from entering the United States. Other Republican candidates for president and political leaders do not agree with Trump's idea.
Next year, states will vote in presidential primary elections. The primaries will determine the Republican candidate for president. The Republican candidate will then run against the Democratic candidate to determine who will be president.
Trump said, "I don't care about them," when the TV news network CNN asked about the strong disapproval by Republican leaders. "I'm doing what's right."
Trump defended his plan for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States." He compared it to President Franklin Roosevelt's actions during World War II. In 1942, Roosevelt gave an order that imprisoned Japanese-Americans in special centers called internment camps. He did so saying he was protecting the nation. Now the cruel treatment of Japanese citizens is remembered as a terrible time in American history.
Compared To Roosevelt And Hitler
"This is a president who was highly respected by all," Trump said Tuesday. "If you look at what he was doing, it was far worse."
Trump's idea, announced Monday evening, drew swift disapproval. British Prime Minister David Cameron slammed it as "divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong." Muslims in the United States and around the world said the idea was insulting.
A picture on the front page of the Philadelphia Daily News compared Trump to Hitler. The newspaper pictured Trump holding his right hand out as if in a Nazi salute. TV networks ABC and CNN asked Trump about being compared with Hitler.
Trump did not back down. He wants to stop all Muslims until lawmakers "can figure out" what "is going on." Trump said this is fair because of recent attacks by Muslim terrorists. The attacks killed 130 people in Paris, France, and 14 people in San Bernardino, California.
"We are now at war," Trump said. "We have a president who doesn't want to say that."
Policy Would Apply To Visitors, Immigrants
Trump's plan would block Muslim visitors and immigrants who want to move to the United States. There are more than 1 billion Muslims worldwide.
Trump announced his plan to cheers at a rally in South Carolina.
Trump says we must first "determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses." Until then we "cannot be the victims" of attacks. The attackers "have no sense of reason or respect for human life."
Rod Weader attended the rally. He said he completely agreed with Trump's plan.
Since the attacks in Paris, some Republican presidential candidates have proposed restrictions on Syrian refugees. The refugees are seeking safety in the United States because of the war in Syria. Many Syrians are also Muslim.
Republican Rivals Blast Proposal
However, Trump's idea goes much further. Other Republican candidates were quick to reject his ideas. Republican candidate Jeb Bush said Trump's "proposals are not serious."
John Kasich, another Republican candidate, slammed Trump's "outrageous divisiveness." Another candidate, Ted Cruz, said, "That is not my policy."
On Fox News, Trump said Muslim members of the U.S. armed forces would "come home." His plan would "not apply to people living in the country."
In the late 1800s, Congress passed a law aimed at halting Chinese immigrants. However, Leti Volpp explained that the United States has never stopped people from a particular religion. Volpp is a professor of immigration law.
Volpp said that such an action would be against the law. "Excluding almost a quarter of the world's population from setting foot in the United States based solely upon their religious identity would never pass constitutional" law.