Donald Trump said that as president, he would "absolutely" support efforts to track Muslims in the U.S. via a mandatory database system because, "It would stop people from coming in illegally."
"I would certainly implement that. Absolutely," Trump told NBC News between campaign events Thursday in Newton, Iowa, according to The New York Times
and a video (below) posted on MSNBC.com.
"There should be a lot of systems, beyond databases. I mean, we should have a lot of systems, and today you can do it. But right now we have to have a border, we have to have strength, we have to have a wall," he said in response to a question from an NB C reporter
Trump seemed to frame his answer in terms of immigration and border security.
It was unclear, however, if he thought the database should apply to refugees, illegal immigrants, legal immigrants, Muslim-Americans born in the U.S., all of the above, or some combination thereof.
The NBC reporter had a follow up question: "What do you think the effect of that would be? How would that work?"
"It would stop people from coming in illegally. We have to stop people from coming into our country illegally," Trump responded. "The key is, people can come to the country, but they have to come in legally."
Ibrahim Hooper, national spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, criticized Trump's statements.
"What else can you compare this to except to prewar Nazi Germany?" Hooper asked. "There's no other comparison, and [Trump] seems to think that's perfectly OK."
Earlier in the day, Trump reiterated his call for the U.S. to pause its program for resettling Syrian refugees following Friday night's terror attacks in Paris.
Bringing them "into this country is suicide," he said, "I call it the Trojan horse."
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