Donald Trump ignited a firestorm this week when he proposed a "total shutdown" on Muslims entering the U.S. "until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on" with the war against ISIS.
While many politicos and commentators both Democrat and Republican sharply rebuked Trump, others pointed out the possible legal means of carrying out such a plan, and some stood up in full agreement with the billionaire.
Gathered below are 11 people who have expressed support for Trump's actions (Rush Limbaugh), outright agreed with his proposal (Ann Coulter), or presumably would based on their past actions (Jimmy Carter).
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1. President Jimmy Carter
— In 1980, during the Iran hostage crisis, The Washington Post reported
that Carter announced "he was canceling all visas issued to Iranians for entry into the United States and warned that they would be revalidated only for 'compelling and proven humanitarian reasons or where the national interest requires.'" That meant that religion was considered in the processing of visas, and preference was given to persecuted religious minorities in the Muslim-dominated region. Last month, President Barack Obama slammed those who he accused of proposing a "religious test" for Syrian refugee resettlement in the U.S., but it appears Carter had such a religious test for Iranians who sought to enter into America.
2. The Supreme Court
— The court's ruling in the 1972 case Kleindienst v. Mandel "strongly suggests the Trump proposal would pass muster," wrote The Wall Street Journal
this week. While many argue that the freedom of religion clause of the First Amendment would be violated by any barring of Muslims from entering the U.S., "the government’s authority to set immigration policy, at least as applied to nonresident aliens, outweighs any free-speech claim an alien may wish to assert," The Journal wrote.
— The Wall Street Journal reported
that Congress long ago enacted legislation that gives the president at least some of the powers Trump would need to enact his plan. Title 8, Section 1182 of the U.S. Code says in part, "Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate."
4. Ann Coulter
— According to The Atlantic
, Coulter suggested in January, after the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, that "maybe you take a little pause in Muslim immigration for a while." After Trump announced his own Muslim immigration proposal, Coulter cheered on Twitter, calling it, "my best birthday gift."
5. Rush Limbaugh
— According to NBC News
, "Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh defended Donald Trump's remarks on banning Muslims from entering the U.S. on Tuesday, arguing that the GOP presidential front-runner is simply driving a hard bargain." Limbaugh explained to his listeners that Trump's proposal may not have been his true position, but was used to set the terms for a larger negotiation about what the U.S. should do about ISIS and radical Islam. "It's all part of a negotiation. Trump supporters know — they're in on the gag, they're in on the deal," Limbaugh said. "The opener is the outrageous, the most outrageous demand you can make."
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6. Boston Herald columnist
— Adriana Cohen wrote Tuesday
that Trump "should take his immigration stance one step further . . . In an age of terror, we simply cannot continue on the current course — when ISIS is vowing to level the White House and Iran is violating U.N.
security council resolutions by launching ballistic missiles capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. Trump sees the big picture, President Obama does not."
7. National Review's Andrew C. McCarthy
— In remarks not dissimilar to Limbaugh's, the pundit wrote
Tuesday that "Donald Trump’s rhetorical excesses aside, he has a way of pushing us into important debates, particularly on immigration. He has done it again with his bracing proposal." He continues, "Some Muslims come to the United States to practice their religion peacefully, and assimilate into the Western tradition of tolerance of other people’s liberties, including religious liberty — a tradition alien to the theocratic societies in which they grew up. Others come here to champion sharia, Islam’s authoritarian societal framework and legal code, resisting assimilation into our pluralistic society. Since we want to both honor religious liberty and preserve the Constitution that enshrines and protects it, we have a dilemma." Trump "has stumbled on" this dilemma, one which "Washington refuses to examine," he wrote.
8. President Franklin D. Roosevelt
— ABC News reported
that Trump compared his Muslim immigration proposal to the actions of FDR, who limited the rights of Japanese, German, and Italian nationals in the U.S. following the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack. "It's short term," Trump said of the proposed ban. "Let our country get its act together."
9. A majority of Americans
— According to Zack Beauchamp of Vox.com
, "Fifty-six percent of all Americans in [The American Values Survey, an annual poll from the Public Religion Research Institute released in November] agreed Islamic values are incompatible with American values — as a did [sic] substantial minority of Democrats (43 percent)."
10. New Hampshire State Rep. Al Baldasaro
— After New Hampshire state party chairman Jennifer Horn called Trump's remarks "un-Republican" and "un-American," Baldasaro called for her resignation. Establishment Republicans "don’t like Trump because he tells it like it is. I’m not prejudiced against Muslims, but until we can straighten them out and know who’s who and who is coming into our country, we have to stop the immigration," he said, according to The Wall Street Journal
11. London police
— The Daily Mail reported
that "several serving officers" have come forward to say that Donald Trump was right when he stated, "We have places in London and other places that are so radicalized that police are afraid for their own lives." On Wednesday, one officer said, "Trump's not wrong. He pointed out something that is plainly obvious, something which I think we aren't as a nation willing to own up to." Another officer said his bosses gave him and others a "dire warning" not to wear a police uniform "even in my own car" on his way to work. "Islamification has and is occurring," said one officer.
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