The US presidential campaign has taken another personal turn.
What did Trump say?
Speaking at a rally in the swing state of Ohio, Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump likened his Democrat rival to the Chancellor of Germany.
He then drew parallel’s with Europe’s migrant crisis.
“In short, Hillary Clinton wants to be America’s Angela Merkel and you know what a disaster this massive immigration has been to Germany and the people of Germany.”
“Crime has risen to levels that no one thought they would ever, ever see. It is a catastrophe.”
What did the Democrats say?
Speaking at a campaign rally with Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden dismissed Trump’s comments as anti-constitutional and populist.
“Look, Trump’s ideas are not only profoundly wrong, they are very dangerous and they are very un-American.”
“They reveal a profound ignorance of our constitution. It is a recipe for playing into the hands of terrorists and their propaganda.”
Crime in Germany – Fact Check
Responding to similar claims by Trump in May, the website Politifact.com says the following:
“There are more criminal acts in Germany these days because there are more people, thanks to the influx of 1.1 million refugees in 2015 alone.”
But the data suggest the refugees tend to be better-behaved than the typical German. Even if you presume that refugee-related crime is underreported for political reasons, we could find no evidence in German media reports that the country warrants Trump’s ‘riddled-with-crime’ characterization.”
“Because his statement contains some element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression, we rate it Meist Falsch – Mostly False.”
Some facts: Germany’s crime rate, particularly for violent crime, is far lower than the US.
The US murder rate is nearly six times higher than that of Germany, according to the most recent report the UN.
The number of refugees in Germany has risen fivefold – by 440%.
The Federal Criminal Police (BKA) say crimes by immigrants rose by 79% in 2015.
In numbers, this means 92,000 more crimes committed by migrants than in previous years
The BKA says the increase tailed off in the latter half of the year, according to Deutsche Welle The majority are “petty offences” eg theft
Less than 1,000 (1%) are sex crimes, according to Die Welt Concern over sex crimes peaked after New Year’s Eve after reports of mass assaults in the centre of Cologne.
A 2014 study found that 40% of refugees from North Africa got into legal trouble within 12 months of their arrival, compared to 0.5 % of Syrians.
Read the Politifact report for more in-depth analysis.
“We need extreme vetting of immigrants” – Trump
Earlier in his speech, Trump called for “extreme vetting” of immigrants seeking admission to the United States.
Trump vowed to block those who sympathise with extremist groups or who don’t embrace American values.
Trump has made the destruction of the extremist group the centrepiece of his foreign policy.
He has said he would partner with any countries that share the goal, specifically singling out Russia as a nation the US could have a better relationship with.
He also said his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton lacks the “mental and physical stamina” to take on ISIL.
Trump’s campaign aides say the new ideological test for admission to the US would vet applicants for their stance on issues like religious freedom, gender equality and gay rights.
The government would use questionnaires, social media, interviews with friends and family or other means to determine if applicants support American values like tolerance and pluralism.
Under Trump’s plan, the US would stop issuing visas in any case where it cannot perform adequate screenings.
What do his critics say?
While Trump has been harshly critical of President Barack Obama’s handling of the threat posed by ISIL, critics say his own policies for defeating the group remain vague.
His most specific prescriptions centre on changing US immigration policy to keep potential attackers from entering the country.