After winning the presidency, Donald Trump has cut down the rhetoric, but his team is giving a hint as to where his priorities may lie.
In an interview with Reuters, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, reportedly a member of the president-elect’s transition team, said that the advisers of the billionaire have proposed the possibility of reinstating the Muslim registry for immigrants.
According to him, there were numerous conference calls involving immigration advisers “for the past two or three months.”
The news wire agency tried to contract the transition team to verify Kobach’s credibility in divulging this information but did not get any response.
Immigration hardliner Kris Kobach says Trump team preparing plans for wall, mulling Muslim registry https://t.co/IFWYegnxBb
— SPLC (@splcenter) November 16, 2016
Trump has not made secret his views toward immigrants from Muslim countries, as well as doing intensive background checks on Muslims visiting the U.S.
Meanwhile, Robert McCaw, government affairs director at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said that the plan to install a Muslim registry will be met with protests and legal actions.
“Such registries are ineffective and burdensome and perceived to be a massive profiling campaign targeting individuals based on their religion and ethnicity,” he said.
The Muslim registry plan is not new, of course. Back in 2002, the Bush administration was slammed for the plan to register foreign visitors in selected countries under the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System.
Attorney General John Ashcroft described the process as the Special Registration program and was launched a month after it was announced in November 2002. But then its intentions were made clear when the “designated countries,” where men 16 and above are required to register with immigration, were all identified as Muslim countries (apart from North Korea).
The CAIR and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee sued the federal government for that move.
— POLITICO (@politico) November 17, 2016
“When the US government finally shut down NSEERS, it justified doing so because it was redundant and no longer provid[ed] any increase in security,” McCaw said.
He added, “CAIR and the broader American civil rights community is strongly opposed to reintroducing any kind of failed immigrant registration programs that would turn back the clock in our nation’s history and not make us any more safe or secure.”
Now, the American Civil Liberties Union is vowing to file legal action against Trump if he does decide to pursue the Muslim registry plan or any other policies that may infringe on the rights of people.
Should President-elect Donald Trump attempt to implement his unconstitutional campaign promises, we’ll see him in court.
— ACLU National (@ACLU) November 9, 2016
“Should President-elect Donald Trump attempt to implement his unconstitutional campaign promises, we’ll see him in court,” the tweet from ACLU on Nov. 9 read.
What people may forget, however, is that Kobach was instrumental in the Special Registration program of the Bush administration back in 2002.
An article from VOX pointed out this new plan from Trump is much more sinister and more possible. Unlike the Special Registration under the Bush administration, this new proposal is reportedly “subtler.”
Instead of a Muslim registry, the new plan wants to install a “database of particular people in the U.S. from particular countries, which happen to be majority Muslim.” There’s no difference except for the passive tones.
President Barack Obama defanged the Special Registration but did not totally abolish it. What he did in 2011 was to remove the 25 countries included in the list. The program, by all intents and purposes, was suspended.
In order for Trump to present his plan for a more palatable immigration policy on Muslims visiting the country, it’s all about the wording. It means the procedure can’t be called a “Muslim registry.”
Another way for the public to accept this, according to VOX, is for Trump to also not make his immigration policy about religion, targeting only Islam, but rather a proactive national security measure against countries harboring terrorists.
[Featured Image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]