‘Trump team mulling Mus­lim reg­istry’

> Pres­i­dent-elect’s aides also pre­par­ing plans for wall: Im­mi­gra­tion hard­liner

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

WASH­ING­TON: An ar­chi­tect of an­ti­im­mi­gra­tion ef­forts who says he is ad­vis­ing Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump said the new ad­min­is­tra­tion could push ahead rapidly on con­struc­tion of a USMex­ico bor­der wall with­out seek­ing im­me­di­ate con­gres­sional ap­proval.

Kansas sec­re­tary of state Kris Kobach ( pix), who helped write tough im­mi­gra­tion laws in Ari­zona and else­where, said in an in­ter­view that Trump’s pol­icy ad­vis­ers had also dis­cussed draft­ing a pro­posal for his con­sid­er­a­tion to re­in­state a reg­istry for im­mi­grants from Mus­lim coun­tries.

Kobach, who me­dia re­ports say is a key mem­ber of Trump’s tran­si­tion team, said he had par­tic­i­pated in reg­u­lar con­fer­ence calls with about a dozen Trump im­mi­gra­tion ad­vis­ers for the past two to three months.

Trump’s tran­si­tion team did not re­spond to re­quests for con­fir­ma­tion of Kobach’s role.

The pres­i­dent-elect has not com­mit­ted to fol­low­ing any spe­cific rec­om­men­da­tions from ad­vi­sory groups.

Trump, who scored an upset vic­tory last week over Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton, made build­ing a wall on the US-Mex­ico bor­der a cen­tral is­sue of his cam­paign and has pledged to step up im­mi­gra­tion en­force­ment against the coun­try’s 11 mil­lion un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants.

He has also said he sup­ports “ex­treme vet­ting” of Mus­lims en­ter­ing the US as a na­tional se­cu­rity mea­sure.

Kobach told Reuters last Friday that the im­mi­gra­tion group had dis­cussed draft­ing ex­ec­u­tive or­ders for the pres­i­dent-elect’s re­view “so that Trump and the De­part­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity hit the ground run­ning”.

To im­ple­ment Trump’s call for “ex­treme vet­ting” of some Mus­lim im­mi­grants, Kobach said the im­mi­gra­tion pol­icy group could rec­om­mend the re­in­state­ment of a na­tional reg­istry of im­mi­grants and vis­i­tors who en­ter the US on visas from coun­tries where ex­trem­ist or­gan­i­sa­tions are ac­tive.

Kobach helped de­sign the pro­gramme, known as the Na­tional Se­cu­rity En­try-Exit Reg­is­tra­tion Sys­tem, while serv­ing in Repub­li­can pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush’s De­part­ment of Jus­tice af­ter the 9/11 at­tacks.

Un­der the pro­gramme, peo­ple from coun­tries deemed “higher risk” were re­quired to un­dergo in­ter­ro­ga­tions and fin­ger­print­ing on en­ter­ing the US.

Some non-cit­i­zen male US res­i­dents over the age of 16 from coun­tries with ac­tive mil­i­tant threats were re­quired to reg­is­ter in per­son at gov­ern­ment of­fices and pe­ri­od­i­cally check in.

The pro­gramme was aban­doned in 2011 af­ter it was deemed re­dun­dant by the De­part­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity and crit­i­cised by civil rights groups for un­fairly tar­get­ing im­mi­grants from Mus­lim­ma­jor­ity na­tions.

Kobach said the im­mi­gra­tion ad­vis­ers were also look­ing at how the Home­land Se­cu­rity De­part­ment could move rapidly on bor­der wall con­struc­tion with­out ap­proval from Congress by reap­pro­pri­at­ing ex­ist­ing funds in the cur­rent bud­get.

He ac­knowl­edged “that fu­ture fis­cal years will re­quire ad­di­tional ap­pro­pri­a­tions”. – Reuters

... A pro­tester, tak­ing part in a “clean­ing the road around the pres­i­den­tial Blue House” demon­stra­tion against Pres­i­dent Park Geun-Hye, runs to avoid po­lice­men in Seoul yes­ter­day. Prose­cu­tors are in­ves­ti­gat­ing al­le­ga­tions that Park’s con­fi­dant Choir Soon-sil used her ties with Park to med­dle in state af­fairs.

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