One day after an adviser to President-elect Donald Trump said the administration is considering a registry for immigrants from Muslim countries, a former Navy SEAL and Trump supporter cited Japanese interment camps as precedent for the action.
Carl Higbie, the author of “Enemies, Foreign & Domestic: A SEAL’s Story,” told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly that the United States has taken similar actions in the past when discussing a possible Muslim registry.
“It is legal. They say it will hold constitutional muster. I know the ACLU is going to challenge it, but I think it will pass. We’ve done it with Iran back a while ago. We did it during World War II with Japanese. Call it what you will, maybe wrong,” Higbie said.
Kelly fired back. “You’re not proposing we go back to the days of internment camps, I hope.”
“I’m not proposing that at all, but what I am saying is we need to protect America first,” Higbie said. “There is precedent for it and I’m not saying I agree with it.”
“You can’t be citing Japanese interment camps as precedent for anything the President-elect is going to do,” Kelly said.
“Look, 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 ... until we can identify the true threat and where it’s coming from, I support it,” Higbie said.
“You get the protections once you come here,” Kelly said before wrapping up the segment.
Kris Kobach, who has been mentioned a possible attorney general in the Trump administration, said Tuesday that the registry could be part of the “extreme vetting” Trump proposed during the campaign.
Trump has said he wants to stop immigration from certain parts of the world. According to his campaign website, he wants to “suspend the issuance of visas to any place where adequate screening cannot occur.” His immigration proposals, as listed on his website, do not include a registry, though they do call for “a biometric entry-exit visa tracking system.”
In 1942, just months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japan, about 120,000 Japanese-Americans were forced to leave their West Coast homes and move to one of 10 internment camps set up throughout the country. Most remained in the camps throughout most of World War II. In 1988, Congress gave each survivor $20,000 as restitution.