Japanese American internment is ‘precedent’ for national Muslim registry, prominent Trump backer says – The Washington Post

Sigh … not learning or mislearning the lessons of history:

A spokesman for a major super PAC backing Donald Trump said Wednesday that the mass internment of Japanese Americans during World War II was a “precedent” for the president-elect’s plans to create a registry for immigrants from Muslim countries.

During an appearance on Megyn Kelly’s Fox News show, Carl Higbie said a registry proposal being discussed by Trump’s immigration advisers would be legal and would “hold constitutional muster.”

“We’ve done it with Iran back awhile ago. We did it during World War II with the Japanese,” said Higbie, a former Navy SEAL and a spokesman for the pro-Trump Great America PAC.

Kelly seemed taken aback by the idea.

“Come on, you’re not proposing we go back to the days of internment camps, I hope,” she said.

“I’m not proposing that at all,” Higbie told her. “But I’m just saying there is precedent for it.”

Higbie’s remarks came a day after a key member of Trump’s transition team, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, said Trump’s policy advisers were weighing whether to send him a formal proposal for a national registry of immigrants and visitors from Muslim countries. Kobach, a possible candidate for attorney general, told Reuters that the team was considering a reinstatement of a similar program he helped design after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks while serving in the Justice Department under President George W. Bush.

Known as the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS,) the program required people from “higher risk” countries to submit to fingerprinting, interrogations and, in some cases, parole-like check-ins with authorities. The program was suspended in 2011 after criticism from civil rights groups who said it targeted Muslims.

When an NBC News reporter asked Trump last year whether he would require Muslims to register in a database, he said he “would certainly implement that — absolutely.”

In his appearance on Kelly’s show, Higbie, a frequent political commentator, said noncitizens were not protected by the same constitutional rights as citizens. He said he believed most Muslims were “perfectly good people” but argued that a small percentage of them adhered to an “extreme ideology.”

Source: Japanese American internment is ‘precedent’ for national Muslim registry, prominent Trump backer says – The Washington Post

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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