There will be no “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the United States under President Donald Trump. His advisers say that the presumptive Republican nominee is walking back on that December policy proposal to suspend all Muslim immigration into the United States “until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on." Instead, he’ll be focusing of preventing terrorists from entering the country (via The Hill):
In recent days, conflicting reports have emerged over whether Trump intends to stand by his controversial proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country. That “suggestion,” as Trump has described it, has been condemned as bigoted by liberals and dismissed by critics as impossible to implement.
In an email exchange with The Hill, Trump’s national security adviser, Walid Phares, sought to clarify Trump’s position.
He argued that Trump’s original proposal to temporarily ban Muslims was necessary in the chaotic moments following the San Bernardino, Calif., shootings in order to “raise the issue and open a debate about it.”
Now, Phares says Trump’s concerns that terrorists are seeking to infiltrate the U.S. by posing as refugees have been confirmed by government agencies, and so Trump can be expected to take a more nuanced approach on Muslim immigration going forward.
Well, that’s certainly not controversial. In fact, this is the sort of behavior you’d expect from any candidate in the sense of shifting more towards pragmatism while gearing up for the general election. I’m not saying proposing ludicrous proposals, like banning Muslims from entering the U.S., is a good thing. Trump says what he wants, but it was obviously a way to make him stand out in a crowded GOP field with this remark, which is a giant lurch to the right on immigration policy. Now, Trump has a more sensible approach, supporting measures that would prevent terrorists from feigning as refugees from entering the U.S. to launch attacks. I think almost everyone agrees with that. What those measures are going to be is unknown? But it’s certainly not the out-of-step policy some thought he might actually try to impose should he become the next president of the United States. That being said, it wasn’t the most responsible way to engage in a discussion about the refugee crisis and terrorism.