WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement regarding recent comments by Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump calling for an end to immigration to the United States by Muslims:

“I’m deeply troubled when I hear political bombast from Donald Trump—the clear frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination—that could make our challenges around the world even more difficult.  The idea that the United States would prohibit Muslims from visiting or immigrating to our country is quite simply un-American.  Just as important, it’s precisely the kind of hateful rhetoric that violent extremists point to when they want to paint the United States as their enemy and recruit new terrorists into their ranks.  I want to be clear: talk like this helps America’s enemies and makes the United States less safe.  Mr. Trump’s recklessness and disregard for America’s constitutional heritage and national security disqualify him from holding office.

“As Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, I’ve traveled to dozens of countries and met countless individuals—including many Muslims from the Middle East, the Balkans, Southeast Asia, and elsewhere.  Wherever I go, I hear admiration for the United States.  The last thing the United States needs for our affairs on the global stage is a leader spewing bigotry, hatred, and divisiveness.”