Trump urges stricter ‘extreme vetting’ in wake of New York terror attack

Islamic Extremism

U.S. President Donald Trump has ordered the Department of Homeland Security to step up the country’s ‘extreme vetting program.’ The President’s push for tightening of U.S. immigration policy came in response Tuesday’s truck attack in New York City.

CGTN’s Jim Spellman explains the politically charged response Trump launched using social media.

President Trump has used the term “Extreme Vetting” in reference to measures outlined in his controversial travel bans. U.S. courts have repeatedly blocked the executive orders – ruling the proposed bans unfairly target Muslims.

The White House insists the travel bans are ‘common sense’ – but there is little indication the bans would have stopped the alleged attacker – 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov. He’s accused of driving a rented truck down a bike path – striking several pedestrians and bicyclists. Saipov entered the U.S under the Diversity Visa Lottery Program, which gives people from countries with low rates of immigration an opportunity to come to the U.S.

Trump denounced the 29-year-old suspect in the truck attack, which killed eight and injured many more, as an “animal,” and said he was open to sending the man to the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, instead of to trial in New York.

Trump seemed to partially blame U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer for the attacks. The New York lawmaker supported the program when it was approved in 1990 and signed by then-President George H.W. Bush.

Schumer fired back against Trump’s implication, quipping: “Look, the president ought to stop tweeting and start leading. The American people long for leadership – not divisiveness, not finger-pointing, not name calling.”

Critics of President Trump claim his reaction to acts of violence depends on the suspect. If the suspect is Muslim, critics contend he reacts more strongly. But the White House argues Trump is simply being tough on terrorism– doing exactly what the American people elected him to do.