Talk of Muslim registry by Trump supporters reminds San Jose leader of Japanese internment camps

SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (KGO) -- Supporters of the president-elect sparked controversy today when they said there is precedent for creating a Muslim registry. That precedent, the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

RELATED: Racist graffiti found at prestigious Monte Vista High School in Danville

Congressman Mike Honda, who survived an internment camp, flew in from D.C. Thursday night. The idea of a registry is particularly upsetting to him because he and his family were forced into a Japanese internment camps during World War II.

"When Trump said make America great again, if he wants to do that, you can't go back," Honda said.

Outgoing Silicon Valley Congressman Honda says the racism and hysteria of the 1940s do not represent American values. He says the internment camps were disruptive to the Japanese-American community.

RELATED: Racial slur painted on city-owned building in Novato sparks outrage

"Especially the first generation were feeling, what did we do wrong? Because they encouraged their children to study hard, be an American," Honda said.

The notion of a Muslim registry comes from Kansas Secretary of State Chris Kobach who is reportedly helping Trump form immigration policy. He's credited with developing the National Security Entry Exit Registration System (NSEERS) after 9/11.

"Which took people from high risk countries and required that they check in after 30 days," Kobach said.

NSEERS ended in 2011.

A spokesperson for CAIR says the return of a registry would be deeply concerning.

"It would be burdensome, ineffective and would be basically a massive profiling of people who are Muslim, or are perceived to be Muslim," said Sameena Usman of CAIR.

The communications director for Trumps transition team has issued a statement that reads in part: "President-elect Trump has never advocated for any registry or system that tracks individuals based on their religion and to imply otherwise is completely false."
Copyright © 2022 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.