Trump ally supports mandatory Muslim immigrant registry

Citing Japanese internment camps as "precedent," Carl Higbie says immigrants do not get constitutional protections.

November 17, 2016 07:45
1 minute read.
Trump protest

A demonstrator holds a sign during a protest in San Francisco, California, US following the election of Donald Trump as the president of the United States November 9, 2016.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

An influential advocate for President-elect Donald Trump, Carl Higbie, suggested on Fox News Wednesday that the incoming president may seek to force immigrants from Muslim countries to register with the federal government.

Using Japanese internment camps during World War II as a constitutional "precedent," Higbie, who heads the Trump-supporting PAC Great America, said that although he did not necessarily support internment for Muslim immigrants, non-citizens are not protected by the constitution, and "we need to protect America first."

Criticizing his invocation of the infamous camps, in which up to 120,000 ethnically Japanese people, both citizens and non-citizens, were incarcerated until a year after the end of World War II, host Megyn Kelly told Higbie "That's the kind of stuff that gets people scared."

President Ronald Raegan officially apologized to those who had been detained in 1988, and those who had been affected were compensated.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who like Higbie is in Trump's wider circle of influencers, also floated the idea of a Muslim registry last Friday, saying it could form part of Trump's "extreme vetting" process.

The fact that Kobach and Higbie only spoke about immigrants is itself a toning-down of Trump's previous rhetoric, which suggested all Muslim Americans, both immigrant applicants and natural born citizens, would be forced to register with the federal government for security measures.

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