- REUTERS/Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool
President Donald Trump on Tuesday night before a join-session of Congress justified his controversial travel ban, saying in his address that “we cannot allow a beachhead of terrorism to form inside America.”
“We cannot allow our nation to become a sanctuary for extremists,” he said, according to prepared remarks. “That is why my administration has been working on improved vetting procedures, and we will shortly take new steps to keep our nation safe – and to keep out those who would do us harm.”
Courts froze Trump’s travel ban, which temporarily prohibited immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries, but Trump has said he will soon issue a new executive order to replace the one the courts blocked.
The goal, Trump said during his address Tuesday, is to “serve, protect, and defend the citizens of the United States” and take “strong measures to protect our nation from radical Islamic terrorism.”
“According to data provided by the Department of Justice, the vast majority of individuals convicted for terrorism-related offenses since 9/11 came here from outside of our country,” Trump said. “We have seen the attacks at home – from Boston to San Bernardino to the Pentagon and yes, even the World Trade Center.”
He also cited terror attacks in Europe.
“It is not compassionate, but reckless, to allow uncontrolled entry from places where proper vetting cannot occur,” Trump said. “Those given the high honor of admission to the United States should support this country and love its people and its values.”
Trump also briefly mentioned his coming plan to defeat the terrorist group ISIS.
“As promised, I directed the Department of Defense to develop a plan to demolish and destroy ISIS – a network of lawless savages that have slaughtered Muslims and Christians, and men, women, and children of all faiths and beliefs,” Trump said. “We will work with our allies, including our friends and allies in the Muslim world, to extinguish this vile enemy from our planet.”