Donald Trump wants a database of Syrian refugees fleeing to the United States. The Republican presidential candidate made that clear at a Saturday campaign rally where he also promised to enact heavy surveillance on Muslim-Americans already living in the U.S.
Trump said he "will absolutely take [a] database on the people coming in from Syria," the Washington Post reported. He added there would be no need for a database if he were elected president, though, because he'd eject Syrians who already have been resettled. “If I win, they're going back. They're going back. We can't have them.”
Trump's comments come amid an ongoing firestorm over whether the U.S. should continue admitting war refugees, most of them either more than 60 years old or children, from Syria, Iraq and other nations ravaged by war. The controversy stems from the terror attack that killed 130 people in Paris, though none of the attackers has been identified as a refugee. The U.S. Holocaust museum has condemned the notion of turning away refugees, comparing the situation to the U.S. turning away thousands of Jewish refugees during World War II, fearing they were Nazi collaborators.
Trump also said he would employ surveillance measures against existing mosques after claiming he watched “thousands and thousands” of people in Jersey City, New Jersey, cheering on Sept. 11, 2001, when the World Trade Center collapsed.
“I want surveillance of certain mosques, OK?” Trump said at the rally Saturday to loud cheers. “I want surveillance. And you know what? We've had it before, and we'll have it again.”
An African-American protester wearing a “Black Lives Matter” shirt was ejected from the same Birmingham, Alabama, rally Saturday. It's not clear what prompted his ejection though numerous videos of the incident show security staff escorting the man from the premises while Trump shouts, “Get the hell out!”
Update 11/21 6:48 EST: After news of the protester's ejection went viral, video emerged showing a number of Trump supporters attacking the man. He was punched by one man and kicked by another woman as he was lying on the ground.
— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) November 21, 2015