Trump ally: Registry of immigrants from ‘extremist’ countries may return – USA TODAY
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says he’s been participating in calls with advisers toÂ Donald Trump on immigration policy, and one policy the groupÂ may recommendÂ is to reinstate a national registry of immigrants from countries with extremist activity.
The registry was canceled in 2011 because the Department of Homeland Security said it was redundant and critics said it unfairly targeted immigrants from majority-Muslim nations.
According to Reuters, Kobach said he supports âextreme vettingâ of some Muslim immigrants and he is part of an immigration policy group advising the president-elect. Kobach said one of the recommendations could be to revive the registry.
The registry, known as the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, was put in place in the wake of 9/11 before being ditched a decade later.
Kobach worked on the original program following the attack when he worked for former president George W. Bushâs Department of Justice.
An aide to TrumpÂ said that Kobach was not an adviser to the president-elect.Â But the aide, who requested anonymity to speak freely,Â defended theÂ registry and said the “program was for high-risk countries in place for years, not Muslim registries.”
“I think what gets lost is that it was a program that was also in place under Obama. I mean, everyone who crosses our borders is logged in the system. Thereâs just a higher focus on individuals who comeÂ from areas of greater concern,” the aide continued.
But in 2015, Trump said he would âcertainly implementâ a database that tracked United States Muslims.
And Trump has called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.â The policy proposal is still on his campaign website. While his aides insist that doesnât mean âallâ Muslims, they have not said what exactly it does mean.
The Democratic National Committee issued a statement in response to Kobachâs comment Wednesday.
âDonald Trumpâs proposed âMuslim registryâ is nothing less than institutionalized discrimination and a brazen assault on freedom of religion. The Trump team has clearly forgotten history and theyâre already dooming their own chances of success by repeating the worst mistakes of the past,â Democratic National Committee National Press Secretary Mark Paustenbach said. âThis is a shameful and dangerous start, and they will be held accountable.â
The president-elect appeared on CBS’ “60 Minutes” to talk about promises made throughout the campaign season.