As a member of President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team, the Kansas secretary of state—and architect of some of the most draconian domestic immigration legislation in the country—tells Reuters he might advise bringing back the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, which he helped design in George W. Bush’s Justice Department after 9/11. Reuters reports:
Under NSEERS, people from countries deemed “higher risk” were required to undergo interrogations and fingerprinting on entering the United States. Some non-citizen male U.S. 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 immigration registry was indefinitely suspended under the Obama administration in 2011, when the Department of Homeland Security deemed it redundant.
Civil rights groups were harsh critics of the initiative. American Civil Liberties Union said it “singled out immigrant men and boys from designated countries for extraordinary registration requirements” and “mandated ethnic profiling on a scale not seen in the United States since Japanese-American internment during World War II and the ‘Operation Wetback’ deportations to Mexico of 1954.”
Trump’s proposed ban on all Muslim immigrants later morphed into “extreme vetting.” Kobach’s suggestion is just a taste of what that might look like.