President Donald Trump on a Religious Registry

The Muslim Registry is an idea developed through of a series of questions from reporters and President Trump’s responses surrounding immigration and surveillance. The interactions lead many to believe that Trump may be interested in implementing a system which requires Muslims living and immigrating to the U.S. to be registered by the government for the purposes of U.S. surveillance. The first time the registry was discussed was November 19, 2018 when a reporter asked: 

“France declared this state of emergency where they closed the borders and they established some degree of warrantless searches. I know how you feel about the borders, but do you think there is some kind of state of emergency here, and do we need warrantless searches of Muslims?”

Trump responded, “We’re going to have to do certain things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago.” He continued, “We’re going to have to look at a lot of things very closely. We’re going to have to look at the mosques. We’re going to have to look very, very carefully.”

The next day the interaction continued with another reporter, creating more confusion on Trump’s official positions. 

He clarified his position that day, tweeting:“I didn’t suggest a database-a reporter did. We must defeat Islamic terrorism & have surveillance, including a watch list, to protect America.”

He further clarified on November 22, 2018 on This Week with George Stephanopoulos saying: 

“[I’m not ruling out a database for all Muslims]. I want a database for the refugees that — if they come into the country. We have no idea who these people are. When the Syrian refugees are going to start pouring into this country, we don’t know if they’re ISIS, we don’t know if it’s a Trojan horse. And I definitely want a database and other checks and balances. We want to go with watchlists. We want to go with databases. And we have no choice.”

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