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If President Trump Wants To Register Muslim Immigrants, He Can Do It The 1938 German Way. Part 1. Roger Algase

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POLITICO reports on November 16 that, according to Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the author of numerous state anti-immigration and minority voter suppression laws which have been rejected in whole or in part by a number of federal courts, Donald Trump's advisers are considering bringing back a program for registering Muslim immigrants modeled on the NSEERS. or "Special Registration" program that was adopted under the G.W. Bush administration in the wake of the 9/11/2001 attacks.

This program was subsequently withdrawn and has been widely criticized as ineffective. See:

See also:

If Trump wants to have an effective Muslim registration program, one which will really work, reviving the NSEERS program, which reportedly led to some 10,000 Muslim immigrants being forced to leave the country for various visa violations, including minor ones, but did not turn up a single terrorist supporter, may not be the most effective way to do this.

There could be a better, more thorough and effective, way for Donald Trump to show the world that Muslim immigrants are unerwuenscht - pardon my German, I mean not wanted - in America. This would be to follow the example of the German government, which required the Jews to register under a law enacted on July 23, 1938. This law was only one part of an extensive and complex Jewish registration system which was, by all accounts, quite successful in making sure that no "undesirable" person escaped the notice of the German authorities.

This system is described in full detail in a 1994 article entitled:

Locating the Victim: An Overview of Census-Taking, Tabulation Technology and Persecution in Nazi Germany

The authors are David Martin Luebke and Sybil Milton. The article appears in IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Vol. 16, No. 3, 1994.

(I am sorry that I cannot find a direct link. It may take up to 5 or 10 seconds to find in on Google, and I apologize to any interested readers for the inconvenience.)

In the hope that the following will provide some helpful suggestions for our new president and his top officials in carrying out a revived Muslim immigrant registration program, if this is in fact Donald Trump's vision for the kind of country he and his advisers would like to America to become, I will proceed to look at the background and methodology of the 1938 Jewish registration program in some detail below.

I will start with an important disclaimer: The Nazi registration program for the Jews was only one of the first steps in a system which ultimately led to the genocide of six million Jews in an attempt to exterminate the entire Jewish people.

Donald Trump, obviously, does not have the remotest intention of doing this to Muslims or any other group of people anywhere on earth, and nothing in these comments should be taken as implying that he does have any such intention.

These comments are directed only to reports that Trump may be considering proposals to keep Muslim immigrants out of the United States and to harass or discriminate against those who are already in this country solely on the basis of their religious beliefs or affiliations, in keeping with some of his well-known campaign statements.

President Trump might wish to consider beginning with the following procedure for Muslim immigrants, as described in the above article:

"In February, 1936...the political police of Wuerttemberg, noting the 'recent influx of German...and foreign Jews,' ordered that each and every newly arrived Jew was to be interrogated and registered with the Stuttgart central office."

The article also states:

"The Reich registration law enabled the regime to require, in a decree of July 23, 1938, that all Jews require special identification papers imprinted with a large, black letter "J" for

Why should Donald Trump stop at reviving a program of questionable effectiveness such as NSEERS if he really wants to keep track of Muslim immigrants? Why not do something that will really accomplish the goal of discouraging Muslim immigrants from coming to America and encouraging those already here to leave?

For example, how about issuing special green cards, I-94's, entry stamps, EAD's, petition approval notices and other similar immigration documents to Muslim visitors and immigrants marked with a crescent and a large "M"? (Or maybe with an "A" for Arab, if the new administration prefers to persecute by race, rather than religion.)

Of course, if the incoming administration is really serious about this, it could also, possibly by an executive decree even without legislation, require every state to put this image on drivers licences and other ID's for Muslim immigrants.

On the other hand, if state legislation for this purpose is needed, who could provide the necessary drafting services better than Kris Kobach himself, either in an official capacity with the Trump administration as is rumored to be under consideration, or as an informal adviser?

And why stop at just documents? Just as Jews were ultimately forced to wear the yellow Star of David with the letter "J" on their clothing, why not do the same to Muslim immigrants with the "M" and crescent - and why just immigrants - why not Muslim US citizens too, so the entire nation will get the point?

Without in any way detracting from Donald Trump's record of having developed many brilliant, original and creative solutions in his business career, his proposal for "extreme vetting" of Muslim immigrants has also been done before - again by the same German governmental authorities who were in charge during the 1933-1945 period. Luebke amd Milton write:

"Comparative machine analysis of census data enabled Reich statisticians to determine the exact geographic, demographic and professional composition of Germany's largest victim group [the Jews]."

Admittedly, special registration of Muslim immigrants alone may not be enough to make Muslims who are living in America want to go somewhere else. Special registration may also be needed for Muslim U.S. citizens, or even non-Muslim Americans, just as the German authorities did not stop at keeping tabs on unerwuenscht groups such the Jews (and Roma), but did so on non-Jewish Germans as well.

To be continued in Part 2.
Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 35 years, he has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants from diverse parts of the world and ethnic/religious backgrounds obtain work visas and green cards.

Roger believes that maintaining a world-wide immigration system based on merit and ties to America, such as we have had in principle for the past half century, and avoiding singling out particular groups of immigrants for exclusion or persecution based on ethnicity or religion, is essential in order to protect the freedoms and democracy that all Americans enjoy today. His email address is

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Updated 11-17-2016 at 02:25 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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  1. Unregistered222's Avatar
    And the reward for being wrong goes to Roger, again. NSEERS was, actually, a highly successful program, which definitely needs to be reinstated. Remember all the terrorist activities committed by mozlem "immigrants" after NSEERS was cancelled (Boston marathon bombing, San Bernardino shooting and Pulse club mass murder). It all happened due to the NSEERS being cancelled.

    By the way, I have great hopes that after being praised by Benjamin Netanyahu our president elect will make sure our policies against fake mozlem "refugees" will mirror those of a great country of Israel. Namely - 0 fake mozlem "refugees" are allowed. I'm sure that the great persons Chris and Jeff will see to it.

    I still remember how angry over fake mozlem "refugees" people were in the state of Michigan before the elections. As the result, Trump won the traditionally blue state. Now it is time for him to keep the promises. Follow the lead of Israel on telling these fake mozlem "refugees" to go elsewhere
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