We have recently been bombarded by news articles and commentary against Donald Trump’s comment to halt Muslim immigration until we get a handle on the situation. The issue appears to be the use of the word “Muslim,” which denotes a religion rather than a “nationality” as was done by President Jimmy Carter in 1979 in response to the Iranian hostage crisis.

At that time Carter broke diplomatic relations with Iran, imposed economic sanctions, seized assets and invalidated all visas of Iranian citizens except on humanitarian grounds.

In addition, all Iranian students were ordered to report for visa examination to detect visa violations. Between 5,000 and 15,000 Iranian students left the country through deportation or voluntarily. This process was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals in 1979.

Therefore, I assume that if Trump listed the countries that were Muslim there would be no problem with his comment as it would have designated a “nationality” rather than a “religion” and be legal, with a previous case having been upheld by the courts.

Tom Brady

Locust Fence Road

St. Helena Island