A supporter of President-elect Donald Trump said the U.S. government should create a registry for Muslims entering the country (video below).
“[W]e have in the past,” said Carl Higbie, a former U.S. Navy SEAL and founder of a pro-Trump SuperPAC, according to Fox News. “We've done it based on race, we've done it based on religion, we've done it based on region. And the fact is he also brings it back as like, a constitutionality issue, the problem is [that] people outside this country are not protected under the same constitutional rights as we are in America.”
Higbie pointed to Japanese internment camps during World War II as “precedent” for creating a Muslim registry.
“Look, the president needs to protect America first, and if that means having people that are not protected under our Constitution have some sort of registry so we can understand, until we can identify the true threat and where it's coming from, I support it,” Higbie said.
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Talk of creating a Muslim registry began when Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a potential Attorney General nominee, said in an interview that Trump is considering the idea, reported Reuters.
The U.S. government already created a registry-like system after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and Kobach helped design it.
The National Security Entry-Exit Registration System required people from “higher risk” countries to undergo interrogations and finger-printing. In addition, NSEERS required non-citizen male U.S. residents over the age of 16 from countries with high terrorist activity had to register with the U.S. government and periodically check in, according to Reuters.
But NSEERS was suspended in 2011 after complaints of civil rights violations and advances in data that deemed much of the program unnecessary.
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Chris Rickerd of the ACLU believes the program was unsuccessful, anyhow:
Although NSEERS was conceived as a program to prevent terrorist attacks, among the tens of thousands of people forced to register, the government did not achieve a single terrorism-related conviction. NSEERS proved completely ineffective as a counterterrorism tool while failing to give proper notice to many of its targets and often violating their right to counsel. This led to the deportations of thousands of men and boys from Arab- and Muslim-majority countries for civil immigration violations that were frequently based simply on a failure to understand NSEERS' arcane rules.