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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 25, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 48
DelBene introduces bill to prohibit Muslim registry
Section One
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DelBene introduces bill to prohibit Muslim registry

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Washington Rep. Suzan DelBene has introduced a bill to bar federal officials from setting up a registry that would classify Americans on the basis of their religion.

DelBene, who represents the 1st Congressional District, introduced the measure November 21, after Reince Priebus, soon to be White House Chief of Staff under Donald Trump, refused to rule out a registry of Muslims.

The bill would cover both US citizens and lawful immigrants, and restricts actions by the US Attorney General and other federal officials.

'President-elect Donald Trump is breaking his promise to be a president for all Americans by supporting the creation of a Muslim registry,' DelBene said in a statement. 'This kind of xenophobic and hateful rhetoric has no place in our government.

'My bill would prohibit the (incoming) administration from violating the constitutional rights of Americans because everybody should be treated equally under our laws.'

According to DelBene's statement, co-sponsor Rep. Doris Matsui of California was born in 1944 in a Japanese-American internment camp in Arizona.

The legislation faces an uncertain future in a Congress controlled by Republicans.

On November 20, Priebus told NBC's 'Meet the Press' that Trump is not actively planning a Muslim registry but refused to rule one out.

'Look, I am not going to rule out anything,' Priebus said.

'We're not going to have a registry based on religion. But what I think I am trying to do is say, there are some people, certainly not all people . . . there are some people that are radicalized. And there are some people who have to be prevented from coming into this country.'

Meanwhile, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the architect of the George W. Bush administration's Muslim registry, met with Trump November 21.

Kobach built what was called the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) while an official in the Bush Justice Department. NSEERS required men aged 16 and over from specified countries - almost all of them predominantly Muslim - to register in person, be fingerprinted, and be questioned by federal officers.

The NSEERS program registered nearly 100,000 people and deported about 14,000, mainly for overstaying visas, the Huffington Post reported.

According to the Topeka Capital Journal, Kobach took an updated NSEERS plan with him to meet with Trump.

Among other items, the plan called for the new Trump administration to 'update and reintroduce the NSEERS screening and tracking system that was in place 2002-2005. All aliens from high-risk areas are tracked.

'Add extreme vetting questions for high-risk aliens, question them regarding support for sharia law, jihad, equality of men and women, the United States Constitution.'

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