NEW DELHI: Even as he condemned last week’s shooting of an Indian in Kansas, US President Donald Trump said today that enforcing immigration rules is the only way to keep the country safe.
“We condemn hate in all its ugly forms, the threats targeting Jewish centres and the Kansas shooting,” said Trump in his first address to the US Congress since he took office in January.
Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, was killed and Alok Madasani, another Indian of the same age, was injured in the shooting by navy veteran Adam Purinton, who yelled “terrorist” and “get out of my country” before opening fire on them. A 24-year-old American named Ian Grillot who tried to defend the Indians also received injuries in the firing that took place last Wednesday. Purinton, 51, apparently mistook the Indians for immigrants from the Middle East.
The US President reiterated his “America First” slogan from his Presidential campaign and said that “America must put its own citizens first, because only then can we truly make America great again.”
The US President also said he will continue to tighten immigration rules.
“We are going to move away from lower-skilled immigration and adopt a merit-based system. By finally enforcing immigration laws, we will raise wages, help the unemployed, save billions of dollars and make our communities safer,” Trump said.
Trump also vowed to destroy ISIS but struck a minor conciliatory note when he said the US will seek the help of its Muslim allies in doing so.
“We are also taking strong measures to protect our nation from radical Islamic terrorism. ISIS kills Muslims,Christians, people from all faiths.We vow to destroy it with help of our allies including in Muslim world,” he said.
The US President again vowed to build his contentious wall on the US-Mexican border. He called it a “great, great wall.”
“We will soon begin the construction of a great, great wall along our southern border,”he said.
Domestic issues were focus of Trump’s speech
The majority of Trump ‘s address centered on the domestic, economic-focused issues that were at the center of his presidential campaign, AP reported. His national security message centered largely on a call for significantly boosting military spending and taking strong but unspecified measures to protect the nation from “radical Islamic terrorism,” AP said.
Trump supports Nato but says ‘Must Pay’
President Trump insisted on his support for the NATO alliance but again insisted that members must pay their way and warned it is not his job to “represent the world,” Reuters reported
“My job is not to represent the world. My job is to represent the United States of America,” he told US lawmakers in his maiden address to both houses of Congress, 40 days after taking office, Reuters added.
“We strongly support NATO,” he said. “But our partners must meet their financial obligations.
“We expect our partners, whether in NATO, in the Middle East or the Pacific to take a direct and meaningful role in both strategic and military operations, and pay their fair share of the cost.”
“And now, based on our very strong and frank discussions, they are beginning to do just that.”