Omar Mateen’s killing of 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, has fueled an angry national debate on homegrown Islamist radicals, gun control, and violence against the LGBT community, but it has also intensified debate over immigration.
“The only reason the killer was in America in the first place is because we allowed his family to come here,” Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, said Monday.
Trump hasn’t been shy about his policy prescription for preventing terrorism in the U.S. Soon after the attacks in San Bernardino, which were carried out by a Chicago-born man and his Pakistan-born wife, last December, he demanded a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” And in the month before that, when the Islamic State claimed the Paris attacks, he repeated a discredited claim that “thousands” of Muslims in the U.S. cheered the attacks of September 11, 2001, adding he would support some sort of registry of Muslims in the U.S.—a claim he and his supporters reiterated after Sunday’s attack.
Nor are Muslim immigrants to the U.S. the sole focus of Trump’s ire. He famously described Mexicans coming to the U.S. as “people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”