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Congresswoman DelBene pushes back against possible Muslim registry

Washington Democratic Congresswoman Suzan DelBene
Flickr Photo/Ronald Woan (CC by NC 2.0) /
Washington Democratic Congresswoman Suzan DelBene

U.S. Representative Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.) is proposing legislation that would prohibit the federal government from creating a registry of Muslim Americans.

President-elect Donald Trump voiced support for the idea during the campaign, saying it could help guard against domestic terrorism. And the notion has picked up steam recently after a supporter for Trump suggested that such a registry would be legal.

DelBene sees it differently, and tells KUOW that the idea is disturbing.

“Frankly, these are Americans, these are their beliefs. This is singling people out based on that alone. And that's against their Constitutional rights,” she said.

DelBene's bill would apply to American citizens, citizens overseas, visa applicants and immigrants who are in the U.S. legally. But it's not clear if there are enough votes to pass it. No Republican member of the House has agreed to co-sponsor the bill.

Meantime, Trump has not announced any specific plans to create a registry. But incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus made the rounds on the Sunday news shows and said nothing has been ruled out.

Trump's pick for National Security Advisor, Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, has said that he believes Islam is a political ideology that hides behind religion. Flynn also once tweeted that it was rational to fear Muslims.

Year started with KUOW: 1998.