Senate Dems introduce bill to block Trump Muslim registry

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Senate Democrats are introducing legislation to prevent the establishment of a federal religion-based registry for immigrants ahead of the incoming Donald Trump administration.

Nine Democratic senators said Thursday that they have filed a bill blocking the executive branch from registering people based on religion, race, gender, age, national origin or nationality.

“Contrary to the President-elect’s beliefs, America’s diversity is not a threat — it is, in fact, our greatest strength,” Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) said in a statement.

He added that “if our incoming President ever attempts to create a discriminatory database of Americans, let this be our warning shot: we will fight him every step of the way and in every way we can.”

{mosads}Trump floated a database to track Muslims in the U.S. during the campaign, telling NBC in November 2015, “I would certainly implement that.”

Asked last month if he was rethinking his proposals to require Muslims to register or to ban them from entering the U.S., Trump told reporters, “You know my plans all along, and I’ve been proven to be right.”

The Department of Homeland Security moved last month to formally get rid of the National Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), which was suspended in 2011 and largely used to track foreign nationals from Muslim-majority countries.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) said Thursday that the legislation from Democrats would stop Trump or other administrations “from infringing on religious liberty by creating an immigration-related religious registry.”

In addition to Booker and Merkley, Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Brian Schatz (Hawaii), Ed Markey (Mass.), Patty Murray (Wash.), Patrick Leahy (Vt.) and Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), as well as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who caucuses with Senate Democrats, are backing the legislation.

Democrats could face an uphill battle to clear the legislation through the Senate. They’ll need 60 votes to pass the legislation, including at least 12 Republicans.

Tags Bernie Sanders Donald Trump Ed Markey Elizabeth Warren Jeff Merkley Mazie Hirono Patrick Leahy Patty Murray

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