Lists can be great things. To-do lists, Why I love you lists, Pros and cons lists, the list of good lists goes on and on.
Then Donald Trump.
Leave it to this man to have “create a discriminatory list,” on his to-do list. If you haven’t been able to pick it out among the buffet of bungles the nascent Trump administration has made this week or you are just completely done interacting with people, rumbles of a Muslim registry list are seeping out of the transition team. In fact it was Trumpite Carl Higbie who highlighted Japanese internment camps as precedent for a Muslim registry. The early prototype for this registry was created by Kris Kobach, Kansas’ secretary of state who created it during his tenure at the John Ashcroft’s Justice Department.
Aside from the incredibly discriminatory notion of a registry list, the realities of it are all too complex and expensive, like many of Trump’s plans. The infrastructure and coordination to not only screen initial immigrants from certain countries is enough, but then one would need to track their movements inside and potentially back out of the country. This is to say nothing of visitors and Muslims who originate from no-no countries, but are coming through another country after an extended visit (say, a Somali who lived in the U.K. for many years). Since it is often quoted that Muslims in the U.K. can be more radicalized than Muslims in Pakistan this also begs the question of what would be deemed a country prone to terrorism. This is to say nothing of potential home-grown radicals who may be radicalized by seeing people being forced onto a registry.
These issues lead one to think this registry would become either or all of the below:
- Become open to all Muslims, foreign and not.
- Become open to all Muslims worldwide.
- Would likely seep into the above through a slow and under-the-radar expansion of power.
Whatever happens with this it is clear this is only the beginning of what Trump is planning to do. Even if this doesn’t work (here’s hoping), it is telling about the mindset of Trump and his team, and as the saying goes, if at first you don’t succeed. Unfortunately for Trump, every time he tries we will too.