San Francisco passes ‘landmark’ ordinance preventing Trump’s Muslim registry

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MAMOSA Report — San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors passed a “landmark” ordinance Tuesday that would act against any attempt made by President Donald Trump to create a registry keeping track of Muslims in the U.S.

The ordinance aimed at protecting San Francisco’s roughly 250,000 Muslim residents, particularly those who are undocumented, prevents the city from allocating any of its financial resources toward government programs mandating the registration of individuals based on their religion, country of origin or ethnicity.

The northern California’s hilly city has roughly 240,000 undocumented immigrants, according to 2014 estimate by Pew Research Center – majority here are not “very religious”, according to Religiosity Index by PEW.

The ordinance, which was passed by an overwhelming majority of the votes, additionally said the city wouldn’t participate in conducting investigations to create a digitized database with the personal information of Muslims or any other religious groups living in San Francisco. It mandates that any individual or non-profit organization can sue the city up to $5,000 if their private information appeared in a federal registry.

During the hearing, supervisor Malia Cohen, who co-sponsored the ordinance with San Francisco Mayor El Lee, said the idea of a Muslim registry was “lazy and shortsighted” and greatly diminished centuries of social justice work toward cultural acceptance in the country.

Trump has routinely threatened to cut federal funds from cities, commonly referred to as “sanctuary cities,” that won’t comply with his presidential initiatives to provide personal information about immigrants that could eventually lead to their deportations.

Sabiha Basrai, a representative of the Alliance of South Asians Taking Action, told local reporters the ordinance preventing Muslim registries was “a really important articulation of what sanctuary means.”

Though the ordinance still needs to be signed by Lee before becoming law, San Francisco’s Council on American-Islamic Relations executive director Sameena Usman told Middle East Eye that the social justice group fully expects for it to be passed since Lee “authored it.”

Trump’s current advisor Kris Kobach helped design the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System while serving in the Justice Department under President George W. Bush.

Under that plan, which was implemented just after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, all non-citizen male U.S. residents over the age of 16 to personally register at government offices if they were from “higher risk” countries. The program was terminated in 2011 after civil rights groups protested that it targeted Muslims.

(Based on reporting in Al Bilad)

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