CAIR-SFBA Joins Community Groups in Applauding Passage of San Francisco Anti-Registry Ordinance

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SFBA) today joined Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, Arab Resource & Organizing Center (AROC), the National Lawyers Guild -Francisco Bay Area (NLG SF), the ACLU of Northern California, and the Alliance of South Asians Taking Action (ASATA) in applauding the San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ decision to pass an ordinance against any potential Muslim registry based on religion or country of origin. Last night, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to pass the San Francisco Anti-Registry (“Non-Cooperation with Identity Based Registry”) law, the first ordinance of its kind in the country.

The law will stop San Francisco from “using resources to create, implement, provide investigation or information for, enforce, or otherwise assist or support any government program requiring the registration of individuals on the basis of religion, national origin, or ethnicity, or creating a database of individuals on the basis of religion, national origin, or ethnicity.” A critical, additional component of the legislation is that it includes a limited cause of action permitting individuals and community organizations to sue San Francisco should it violate the law and participate in the registry which serves as both a deterrent and accountability mechanism.

“We stand ready to oppose any policies that target or profile our communities, which the new Administration may push forth” said Elica Vafaie, National Security & Civil Rights staff attorney at Advancing Justice- Asian Law Caucus, “Regardless of how such policies are packaged, their discriminatory anti-Muslim intent has been well-established by President Trump’s rhetoric and recent travel ban Executive Order.”

“We hope that this sets a precedent throughout the country. Our community, our neighbors and our allies should feel proud that it was their steadfast demands, and hard work that made the passage of this ordinance possible. We know that we have a long path ahead of us. But we also know that it is our bold actions that will keep us on the path of further resistance and victory,” Lara Kiswani the Executive Director of AROC.

“The Trump administration’s rhetoric and actions have caused unprecedented fear in the communities we serve,” says CAIR-SFBA Executive Director Zahra Billoo. “This law goes beyond symbolic gestures and makes a tangible commitment to protecting San Franciscans from any policies which would go against our constitutionally protected rights.”

The law will now proceed to a second reading at the Board of Supervisors next week, and then to Mayor Lee’s desk for his signature. The community looks forward to its passage next week and urges Mayor Lee to swiftly sign this law.