Perhaps you have seen the memes and posts about how Trump and his team are planning on setting up a Muslim registry based on internment camps. Maybe you have been chided by your friends to stand up to Trump and not let this happen. I’m happy to report, the “Muslim Registry” as described by the Left is largely a myth.
While Trump and his team have certainly earned the award for the worst communicators, Carl Higbie is clearly not calling for internment camps for Muslims. He’s not even calling for a ban on Muslims or registry for all Muslims. If you cut though the shock and hype, they are talking about re-activating NSEER (National Security Entry-Exit Registration).
This was a program that started in 2002 and lasted until 2011. It was a program for visitors on visas from specific countries and required fingerprinting, questioning, and in some cases for individuals to keep in touch during their visit. This “registry” was not for citizens. The countries covered by NSEER were mostly Muslim countries, but also included North Korea. Aspects of the registration program were ended in 2003, the rest of the program faced and easily overcame legal challenges.
The program is still law on the books. It was effectively disabled by President Obama in the third year of his Presidency when he removed all of the countries from the watch list. Both Higlie and Kris Kobach (who helped design NSEER in the first place) have proposed to Trump that he reactivate NSEER. That, folks, is your “Muslim registry” based on “internment camps”.
The US is not the only country that has a registration system for certain visitors.
Canada, for example, requires registration including fingerprints and photograph for visa holders from 29 countries. 90% of those countries are Muslim. Canada is not alone. At least 16 countries use a biometric registry for certain visa holders. They include Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Netherlands, Germany and Italy.
Keep this in mind when your friends tell you that a “Muslim registry” is the equivalent of internment camps.