Despite vast criticism over GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s latest comments calling for Muslims to be prevented from entering the U.S., it would not be the first time limitations were issued on allowing a specific group of foreigners into the country, Front Page Mag reports.
In 1980, when dealing with the Iranian hostage crisis, President Jimmy Carter issued a number of orders putting pressure on Iran. One included banning Iranians from entering the U.S. “unless they oppose the Shiite Islamist regime or had a medical emergency.”
In a 1980 speech, Carter stated:
“The Secretary of Treasury [State] and the Attorney General will invalidate all visas issued to Iranian citizens for future entry into the United States, effective today. We will not reissue visas, nor will we issue new visas, except for compelling and proven humanitarian reasons or where the national interest of our own country requires. This directive will be interpreted very strictly.”
In 1979, the attorney general issued all Iranian students to report to their local immigration offices. While 7,000 were in violation of their visas, 15,000 Iranians were forced to leave the U.S.
Front Page Mag notes that while Carter targeted people by nationality, Trump’s proposal targets individuals by ideology.
“Classifying Iranians as a group is closer to racism than classifying people by a racist supremacist ideology that calls for the mass murder and enslavement of non-Muslims, as ISIS is doing today,” Front Page Mag reports.