Donald Trump Surrogate Cites Internment Camps as Precedent for Muslim Registry

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A supporter of Donald Trump invoked World War II-era Japanese internment camps as a precedent for creating a federal registry for immigrants from Muslim countries. Carl Higbie, a retired Navy SEAL, drew the terrifying parallel during an interview with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly.

To her credit, Kelly seems genuinely horrified by the argument, and explains to Higbie that this is exactly why people are scared of the president-elect’s policies. Higbie elaborates, saying, “The president needs to protect America first, and if that means having people that are not protected under our Constitution have some sort of registry so we can understand—until we can identify the true threat and where it’s coming from—I support it.”

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a member of Trump’s transition team, claimed earlier this week that the president-elect was considering instating the Muslim registry. This is a continuation of a policy Trump began during his campaign for the presidency, when he called for a ban on all Muslims entering the country.

When asked about whether he would have supported the use of internment camps during World War II, Trump gave a disturbingly wishy-washy response. “I would have had to be there at the time to tell you, to give you a proper answer,” Trump told Time in December. “I certainly hate the concept of it. But I would have had to be there at the time to give you a proper answer.”

The internment of Japanese Americans during World War II is considered to be a prominent low point in American history. Higbie’s citing of these camps as precedent is certainly shocking, though it’s far from the first time a Trump surrogate has said something truly alarming.

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