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Khizr Khan: U.S. Needs ‘Stricter’ Immigration Policies

WASHINGTON – Khizr Khan, who delivered an anti-Trump speech at the Democratic National Convention, said the U.S. needs “stricter” immigration policies in place.

“I have always preached and I always insist on that we need to make our immigration policies stronger. We need to have even better and stricter entering policies and all, but simply saying ‘all Muslims are banned’ is contrary to the fundamental values of this country,” Khan said on the Diane Rehm Show on NPR.

“I am for, and all patriots are for, very strong immigration policies in processing folks that come into this country – that needs to be enhanced and made even stronger. But these statements of such that an entire group of a religion is banned is just totally against the values of this country,” he added.

Khan, a Muslim, criticized Trump during his speech at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia for proposing a temporary pause on immigration from countries in the Middle East “compromised” by radical Islamic terrorism.

Trump recently proposed a stronger screening process for immigrants entering the U.S. Under the plan, individuals would have to answer questions related to their views on gay rights, religious freedom and gender equality.

Trump has also said he opposes allowing additional Syrian refugees in the country because of fears of terrorists attempting to use the refugee process to enter the United States. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has proposed accepting 65,000 Syrian refugees, which is roughly a 550 percent increase over current levels.

Khan’s son, Army Captain Humayun Khan, was killed during the Iraq War 12 years ago.

Rehm asked Khan how he responds to individuals who believe he is politicizing his son’s death.

“We as a family decided that the care of others, those children, those people that needed to be heartened and needed to be shown there are institutions – that there is Constitution protections in place – took priority for us instead of worrying about these allegations, instead of working about the mudslinging – the allegation that will come to us that we using this,” Khan told Rehm.

“We have mourned. We have grieved in privacy for 12 years but this was more for us than our privacy – than being blamed for something. This time will pass. Our conscience will be clear that we stood and we left our privacy behind and we stood for something, caring for those young men and women that were so concerned in their hearts because of these threats and statements that were so carelessly made,” he added.

Rehm asked his wife, Ghazala Khan, if she would like to see her husband run for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates.

“I don’t think we have anything that we can run for office, but my husband, whatever his decision is, I am with him,” she said.

Khan said he is “honored” some have expressed support for him running.

“If I could sit at the footstep of these institutions and I could talk to people, that would be the highest honor I would have. I don’t deserve to be inside those halls,” he said.

When pressed on running, Khan said, “No, I will not run. My more important work is ahead of us and uniting ourselves moving forward and building a civilized discourse – that is the next mission that I want to take to convince the patriots of the United States. World is watching – every step we take, the world watches and emulates us – so we need to work on the political discourse.”

In response, Rehm said, “You and I are on the same side in that regard.”