Trump Supporter Cites Japanese Internment ‘precedent’ in Backing Muslim Registry

A spokesman for the pro-Trump Great America PAC cited World War II Japanese internment camps as “precedent” for President-elect Donald Trump’s discussed plan for a Muslim registry system.

Carl Higbie, a former Navy SEAL, appeared on Fox News’ “The Kelly File” to argue in favor of the plan, which Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said in a Reuters interview is being modeled after the highly controversial National Security Entry-Exit Registration System implemented after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Confronted with questions about the constitutionality of such a plan, Higbie cited history, in particular the forced relocation and incarceration of Japanese Americans following the attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II.

“We’ve done it based on race, we’ve done it based on religion, we’ve done it based on region,” he said. “We’ve done it with Iran back — back a while ago. We did it during World War II with [the] Japanese.”

Pressed by host Megyn Kelly on whether he was suggesting re-implementing the internment camps, Higbie said no, before adding: “I’m just saying there is precedent for it.”

Kelly then swiftly rebuked his suggestion.

“You can’t be citing Japanese internment camps as precedent for anything the president-elect is gonna do,” she said.

The conversation around a proposed registry comes less than one year after Trump first proposed a “complete shutdown” on Muslims entering the United States. Since announcing it, Trump has reiterated his support for a ban, but also rebranded it as “extreme vetting” and proposed narrowing its scope to persons from “territories” with a history of terror.

Trump has himself said that he may have supported internment during WWII. “I certainly hate the concept of it. But I would have had to be there at the time to give you a proper answer,” Trump told TIME in December 2015. Then-candidate Trump also said during an appearance on MSNBC that he viewed internment and a ban on Muslims as “a whole different thing.”

(h/t Politico, NBC News)


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