Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said Tuesday that rival Donald Trump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the country was a “mistake,” even though it was similar to a plan Paul already proposed to halt immigration from the Middle East.
Trump had said Monday that he wanted to implement a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the U.S. Paul was asked to respond to Trump’s statement during an interview with New Hampshire radio station WGIR.
“I think it’s a mistake to base immigration or moratoriums based on religion,” Paul said. “But you know, I’ve called for something similar, which is a moratorium based on high risk.”
Paul’s legislation, which he introduced last month, is intended to prevent immigration to the United States from certain countries in the Middle East. It would have required the Department of Homeland Security to “suspend issuance of visas to nationals of countries with a high risk of terrorism” until additional security screenings could be implemented.
“And so we have examined where the high risk of terrorism comes from and it’s about 34 countries,” he continued in the radio interview. “And I would put a pause on all immigration from those 34 countries.”
h/t: BuzzFeed News