Washington: US President Donald Trump said late Wednesday that his plan to limit the entry of people from several Muslim countries was necessary because the world is "a total mess".
Interviewed on ABC News, Trump denied that it was a ban on Muslims.
"No it's not the Muslim ban, but it's countries that have tremendous terror," Trump said.
"And it's countries that people are going to come in and cause us tremendous problems. Our country has enough problems without allowing people to come in, who in many cases or in some cases, are looking to do tremendous destruction."
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) said in a press release: "By signing a series of Executive Orders (EO), President Trump has confirmed he will blatantly violate the rights of Arabs, Muslims, immigrants and refugees. Further, he will continue to vilify immigrant communities. The set of policies laid out in the proposed EO are tantamount to an Arab and Muslim ban."
Trump refused to be pinned down on which countries he was talking about, but did say that he believed that Europe "made a tremendous mistake by allowing these millions of people to go into Germany and various other countries, and all you have to do is take a look, it's a disaster what's happening over there."
According to a draft executive order published in US media, refugees from war-torn Syria will be indefinitely banned, the broader US refugee admissions program will be suspended for 120 days, and all visa applications from countries deemed a terrorist threat — Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen — will be halted for 30 days.
The ADC added, "The Trump Administration’s demonstrates its clear agenda to criminalise all immigrants, asylum-seekers, refugees, and persons of Arab ancestry and/or Islamic faith. The Trump Administration is manipulating current immigration mechanisms to authorise mass blanket discrimination against entire populations based on national origin, religion and/or ethnicity. There is no empirical evidence to support that immigration and visa bans will actually secure our nation."
Trump was asked if he was concerned that this would anger Muslims around the world.
"Anger? There's plenty of anger right now. How can you have more?" he said.
"The world is a mess. The world is as angry as it gets. What, you think this is going to cause a little more anger? The world is an angry place. All of this has happened. We went into Iraq. We shouldn't have gone into Iraq. We shouldn't have gotten out the way we got out. The world is a total mess."
According to the draft decree, Trump intends to halve the number of refugees entering the United States during the 2017 fiscal year, which ends on 30 September.
While the administration of former president Barack Obama had set a target of accepting more than 100,000 refugees this year, the Trump administration aims to slash that to 50,000.
With inputs from AFP
Updated Date: Jan 26, 2017 12:26:22 IST