Former President Bill Clinton used a college commencement address Sunday to attack President Trump’s immigration and diversity policies.
While his address did not mention Trump directly, Clinton was highly critical of the president’s approach to immigration reform and his policies aimed toward Muslims.
“Tough talking realism is all about this group’s a threat, that group’s a threat, and another group’s a threat,” Clinton said to graduating students from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York.
He went on to talk about gun violence statistics in the United States and how America has unfairly isolated groups like Muslims.
“Does it mean we shouldn't be tough on terrorism committed by Islamic radicals?” Clinton asked. “Of course not, but it means we shouldn't go around in blind stupor mixing apples and oranges, and terrifying some of the most talented and devoted people in this country who want to make their contribution and who help make us better.”
Trump has made two unsuccessful attempts to ban travelers coming into the U.S. from mostly Muslim nations. In addition, he also intends to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border to crack down on illegal immigrants and deport those with felony charges.
Clinton also used his platform to criticize the president’s immigration reform policies and advised against divisive tactics.
“You have to decide and your generation will decide if diversity is strength or problem.” Clinton said in a roughly 40-minute speech.
The former president referenced the story of decorated war veteran Miguel Perez Jr.
“A guy does two combat duties, risks his life for rest of us … . He did things that most Americans don’t do and he got taken of the street and sent home the other day. Two combat tours. Kind of embarrassing that we let people risk life for us and then we kick him out.” Clinton said without mentioning the veteran’s crime record.
Perez is a Mexican-born legal permanent resident of the U.S. He served two terms in Afghanistan and now faces deportation over a felony drug conviction.