President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpGOP grapples with chaotic Senate primary in Pennsylvania Trump social media startup receives commitment of billion from unidentified 'diverse group' of investors Iran thinks it has the upper hand in Vienna — here's why it doesn't MORE’s immigration advisers could recommend a registry for immigrants from Muslim countries and countries with significant problems with terrorism, according to a top ally.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, an immigration hard-liner who has been advising Trump, told Reuters that transition policy advisers are weighing the merits of such a registry.
He added that the policy could be recommended as part of initial executive orders “so that Trump and the Department of Homeland Security hit the ground running.”
Trump has long embraced the policies of immigration hard-liners like Kobach meant to curb illegal immigration from Mexico and cut off potential immigration by would-be terrorists.
Last November, Trump told an NBC reporter that he would “certainly implement” a database to keep tabs on Muslims in America, adding that Muslims would be required to sign up.
A month later, he called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on.”
But his campaign has also updated its policy, which calls for a ban on immigration from countries that have a history of terrorism, not a ban on travel to the United States by all Muslims.
Trump has no obligation to follow these recommendations.
The existence of such a registry would call into question whether Trump is softening on his promise for an all-out ban on people from such countries.
If Trump creates a registry, it would presumably be used for Muslim immigrants who are already in the United States.
The Trump campaign did not respond to a request to comment about his immigration plan.
The Democratic National Committee seized on Kobach's comment to bash Trump for a “Muslim registry.”
“Donald Trump’s proposed ‘Muslim registry’ is nothing less than institutionalized discrimination and a brazen assault on freedom of religion,” Democratic National Committee spokesman Mark Paustenbach said in a statement.
“The Trump team has clearly forgotten history and they’re already dooming their own chances of success by repeating the worst mistakes of the past. This is a shameful and dangerous start, and they will be held accountable.”