TOLEDO — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Thursday said his proposed ban on Syrian refugees is not just about terrorism, but also “a matter of quality of life.”
Trump blasted his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, for supporting the admission of refugees fleeing the bloody civil war in Syria during a campaign event here. He has strongly advocated for ceasing all immigration from “dangerous countries,” and in particular countries with “radical Islamic terrorism.”
“Think of that. Not only the danger of it all, this isn’t only a matter of terrorism, but also a matter of quality of life. We want to make sure we’re only admitting those into our country who support our values and love — and I mean love — our people,” Trump said.
The GOP nominee spent much of Wednesday in Ohio speaking about his outreach to minority communities, promising to devote himself to rebuilding American inner cities and saying that his economic stewardship would elevate black communities economically. Several high-profile Trump surrogates, including famed boxing promoter Don King, sought to combat the impression many minority voters have — that Trump is racist — during a campaign event at the New Spirit Revival Center in Cleveland Heights on Wednesday afternoon.
Ben Carson and Omarosa Manigault — members of Trump’s diversity outreach network — were in attendance as well.
But Trump remains deeply unpopular with minority voters. He has been accused by advocacy groups of scapegoating immigrants and Muslims to appeal to white working-class voters. Last year, he proposed a temporary ban that would prevent all Muslims from entering the country; he now describes that ban in geographic terms, calling for a restriction on those from “dangerous regions.”
Trump sounded similar nationalist themes during his speech in Toledo on Wednesday.
“American hands will rebuild our nation. Not the hands of people from other nations,” he said.