Trump Calls For Banning Refugees From Gaza

Says he would expand his "wildly successful" travel ban for "terror-plagued countries, territories, and places"
Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks to guests during a campaign event at the Dallas County Fairgrounds on October 16, 2023 in Adel, Iowa.
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Former President Donald Trump announced on Monday his support for a ban on refugees from the Gaza Strip.

During a speech in Iowa, Trump said he would expand his “wildly successful” travel ban for “terror-plagued countries, territories, and places” if re-elected to the White House. He later added, “We aren’t bringing in anyone from Gaza, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, or Libya, or anywhere else that threatens our security.”

Trump also vowed that his administration in a second term would “cut off every penny of money we send to the Palestinians and the terrorists on day one” and stand with Israel in its fight to crush Hamas. He also promised to “revoke the student visas of radical anti-American and antisemitic foreigners at our colleges and universities” and “proactively send ICE to pro-Jihadist demonstrations to enforce our immigration laws and remove the violators from our country.”

Trump is not the only Republican presidential candidate calling for a ban on refugees from Gaza. Over the weekend, roughly a week after Hamas launched a deadly terrorist attack on Israel from Gaza that killed at least 30 Americans and many others, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said the United States should not accept refugees from the territory.

“We cannot accept people from Gaza into this country as refugees,” DeSantis said at an event in Iowa. “I am not going to do that. If you look at how they behave, not all of them are Hamas, but they are all anti-Semitic. None of them believe in Israel’s right to exist.” DeSantis also called on neighboring Arab countries to take in the refugees.

After Trump explicitly declared Monday that Gaza would be part of an expanded travel ban, Team DeSantis took aim at the GOP frontrunner. “Trump literally needs a teleprompter in order to finally catch up with a position DeSantis’ took 3 days ago on Gaza refugees,” DeSantis campaign spokesman Andrew Romeo said in a post to X. The “DeSantis War Room” account also swiped at Trump, saying DeSantis “called for this three days ago, but we welcome Donald Trump following DeSantis’ strong leadership.”

Some have pushed back by emphasizing that Trump previously called for reinstating and strengthening his travel ban that President Joe Biden overturned upon getting into office.

Stephen Miller, a top aide in Trump’s White House, recently posted to X, “did you know that President Trump stopped refugee resettlement from Syria and Somalia, and stopped jihadist refugee resettlement altogether? He also created the National Vetting center and added … new layers of screening to keep threats out of the country.”

Trump has a wide polling lead nationally over his GOP rivals in the 2024 presidential race, including DeSantis. Meanwhile the Florida governor is placing much of his resources toward securing a victory in Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses in an attempt to turn the tide in his direction.

This article has been revised for emphasis and clarity.

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