Exactly one year ago, President-elect Donald Trump announced his proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the United States. The comment was an unequivocal and alarming pledge that threatened to impact the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims, but today, it’s unclear what the fate of Muslim Americans will be in a Trump administration.
Trump initially called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” following terrorist attacks in San Bernardino, California, and Paris. Many Republicans, including several who eventually came around to support Trump, condemned the idea.
Months later, Trump appeared to shift his position, saying he wanted to block all immigrants from countries that had a history of terrorism against the United States. In June, Trump said he only wanted to focus on “people coming from the terror states,” until there was a better vetting system, though it’s unclear which countries would fall under the policy. He has also called for “extreme vetting” for immigrants, a kind of ideological test to determine whether they should be admitted into the United States.
Reince Priebus, who will be Trump’s chief of staff, refused to rule out a Muslim ban during an interview last month, but again suggested that it would be more targeted toward countries with terrorist ties.
“I think what we’re trying to do is say that there are some people, certainly not all people ... there are some people that are radicalized,” he said, “and there are some people that have to be prevented from coming into this country.”
While Trump may have changed his position on a Muslim ban, he has been meeting with Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R), for whom creating a Muslim registry is a top priority.