Possible Plans for Immigrant Registry Under Trump

November 17, 2016

One of President-elect Donald J. Trump’s reported advisers on immigration policy told Reuters that the group of advisers of which he is a part could recommend the reinstatement of a national registry for immigrants and visitors entering the U.S. from countries where extremist organizations are active. (Note: The headline for this article has been updated to clarify that the comments about the registry did not refer specifically to any religious group.)

The adviser, Kris Kobach, helped design the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, introduced after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, under which visitors and immigrants from designated “higher risk” countries were interrogated and fingerprinted at ports of entry. The system, which also required some noncitizen male residents over the age of 16 to register at government offices, was scrapped in 2011 after the Department of Homeland Security deemed it redundant and amid criticisms from civil rights groups that it unfairly targeted immigrants from Muslim-majority countries.

Kobach, currently the Kansas secretary of state, also told Reuters the immigration advisory team has been discussing ways to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, under which more than 700,000 immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children -- many of them college students -- have registered with the federal government in exchange for temporary relief from deportation and the right to work in the U.S. legally. Trump has vowed to end DACA, which President Obama authorized through executive action.

The Trump transition team did not respond to Reuters’ request to confirm Kobach’s role, but he has been mentioned in media reports as a member of the transition team. Politico has reported that Kobach is rumored to be a possible pick for Trump's attorney general.

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