A lawmaker in the Philippines is calling for Donald Trump to be banned from the country after the U.S. presidential candidate suggested that Philippine immigrants posed a threat to the United States.
"There is no feasible basis or reasonable justification to the wholesale labeling of Filipinos as coming from a 'terrorist state' or that they will be a Trojan horse,” Joey Salceda said in a bill filed in Manila's House of Representatives, according to the Philippine Star.
At a rally in Portland, Maine, on Thursday afternoon, Trump included the Philippines on a list of countries he said had sent immigrants who had plotted to kill Americans, sometimes successfully. "We're letting people come in from terrorist nations that shouldn't be allowed because you can't vet them," he said. "There's no way of vetting them. You have no idea who they are. This could be the great Trojan horse of all time."
In his proposed legislation to ban Trump, Salceda cited a 2001 memorandum issued by the Philippine immigration agency. It says foreign nationals who disrespect the authority of the Philippines can be blacklisted in the interest of public safety.
Salceda, citing data from the U.S. State Department, said that about 4 million people of Philippine descent live in the United States, making them the second-largest Asian American group in the country. The lawmaker, who represents a district in Albay province, said Trump's “remarks have had widespread dissemination, thus aggravating the shame it has already put [on] Filipinos and Filipino Muslims, including Filipino migrants and overseas Filipino workers who this House and our society have recognized as modern heroes of our country.”
Trump, whose provocative views on immigration have upset even members of his own Republican Party, last year proposed a ban on Muslims entering the United States, citing fears of terrorism. That proposal prompted Britain's Parliament to call a debate in January on whether to ban Trump. The debate was noteworthy for its colorful language — one lawmaker called Trump "the orange prince of American self-publicity" — but the move to ban him was unsuccessful. He visited Scotland for the opening of a golf course in June.
Trump has since revised his proposal on a Muslim ban several times. Despite some indications that he was backing down from the controversial proposal, however, he said last month that his position on banning Muslims has "gotten bigger."
Trump does not have major business interests in the Philippines, though he has licensed his name to the Trump Tower Manila, a large residential tower scheduled to open in the Philippine capital this year. In response to his comments in Maine, Philippine Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar released a statement saying that Trump had "professed his love for the Philippines" during the launch event for the Trump Tower Manila, calling it a "special place."
According to GMA News, Salceda said the “ugliness of utterances, largely unprompted and undeserved,” by Trump last week stood in contrast to the warm welcome he had received from the Philippines when launching the Trump Tower Manila.
Ironically, the Philippines' recently elected president, Rodrigo Duterte, has been called the "Trump of the East" for his controversial statements about drug dealers and rape. Trump adviser Paul Manafort also worked with Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the 1980s.
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