South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley was pressed by Senators about President-elect Donald Trump’s plans to reinstate a Muslim registry during her Wednesday confirmation hearing. Haley is Trump’s pick for ambassador to the United Nations.
Trump has consistently commented on reinstating the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) that George W. Bush enacted after Sept. 11, 2001 for the purpose of tracking Muslims and Arabs. A source familiar with Trump’s transition told CNN in late December of last year that there will be a similar database under Trump.
When pressed on the matter during Wednesday’s hearing, Haley said the registry was mentioned early on in the campaign but is no longer being considered. “This administration and I don’t think there should be any registry based on religion,” she said.
She added, “What we do need to do is know which countries are a threat and those are the ones we need to watch and be careful and vet.” Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin asked Haley if there would ever be a reason to justify another registry similar to NSEERS, to which she responded, “No, there is not.”
Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Homeland Security, John Kelly, echoed Haley’s sentiments last Tuesday, telling the Senate Homeland Security Committee that “generalized surveillance” of Muslims or a registry would be unconstitutional. Instead, he said it was important to build trust with the Muslim community.
However, Trump’s pick for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson was not on the same page as Haley and Kelly during his confirmation hearing last week. Tillerson said he would not support a blanket ban of Muslims entering the country. He added that he would not rule out a Muslim registry and would first need “a lot more information around how such an approach would even be constructed.”
See below for her comments on the Muslim registry, as well as America’s relationship with Russia.