United States President Donald Trump has defended his controversial plan to limit the entry of people from some Muslim countries to combat terrorism even as he was non-committal whether nations like Pakistan, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia would be figuring in the proposed visa ban list.
When asked about countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia figuring in the list, he said, “You’re going to see. You’re going to see. We’re going to have extreme vetting in all cases. And I mean extreme. And we’re not letting people in if we think there’s even a little chance of some problem.”
“We are excluding certain countries, but for other countries, we’re going to have extreme vetting. It’s going to be very hard to come in,” Trump told ABC News, refusing to be pinned down on which countries he was talking about.
Trump denied that it was a ban on Muslims. “No it’s not the Muslim ban, but it’s countries that have tremendous terror,” he said.
“Right now, it’s very easy to come in. It’s going to be very, very hard. I don’t want terror in this country. You look at what happened in San Bernardino. You look at what happened all over. You look at what happened in the World Trade Center, OK? I mean, take that as an example. People don’t even bring that up,” he said.
Asked if he was concerned this would anger Muslims around the world, he said, “Anger? There’s plenty of anger right now. How can you have more?”
“The world is a mess. The world is as angry as it gets. What, you think this is going to cause a little more anger? The world is an angry place. All of this has happened. We went into Iraq. We shouldn’t have gone into Iraq. We shouldn’t have gotten out the way we got out. The world is a total mess. The world is a mess,” the US president said.
According to a draft executive order published in US media, refugees from war-torn Syria will be indefinitely banned, the broader US refugee admissions programme will be suspended for 120 days, and all visa applications from countries deemed a terrorist threat -- Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen -- will be halted for 30 days.
Image: Demonstrators gather at Washington Square Park to protest against U.S. President Donald Trump in New York. Photograph: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters