Donald Trump calls for "extreme vetting" of immigrants to US

The presidential hopeful said destroying Islamic State would be the centerpiece of his foreign policy

Donald Trump calls for "extreme vetting" of immigrants to US

Image: Gerald Herbert / AP/Press Association Images

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has called for "extreme vetting" of immigrants to the US.

During a foreign policy speech in the swing state of Ohio, Mr Trump said the proposal would require a temporary halt in immigration from dangerous regions of the world.

He said that under his presidency, the State Department and Homeland Security Department would create a list of blacklisted regions for travel to the US.

Mr Trump, who has previously pledged to ban Muslims from entering the US, vowed to block those who sympathise with extremist groups or who fail to embrace US values.

His campaign aides said a 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 check if applicants support US values, according to the aides.

The US would also stop issuing visas in any case where it cannot perform adequate screenings, the campaign said.

The campaign did not clarify how US officials would verify responses to the questionnaires or how much manpower would be needed to complete such vetting. 

It was not clear if the millions of tourists who visit the US each year would be subject to the additional screenings.

Mr Trump also said his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton lacks the "mental and physical stamina" to take on the so-called Islamic State.

He said destroying the terror group would be the centerpiece of his foreign policy.

The New York property developer, who has never held elected office, is under pressure to steady his stumbling White House bid ahead of November's election.

The Wall Street Journal, a leading conservative voice, said in an editorial on Monday that Mr Trump should fix his campaign in the next three weeks or step down.

Mr Trump has alienated his party and failed to establish a competent campaign operation, the paper said in an editorial.