Spokane City Council falls for fake news, passes ordinance against alleged ‘religious registry’

Spokane registry
Screengrab — YouTube

There’s been a lot of hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing over a so-called “religious registry” the Trump administration is allegedly seeking to put together.  There’s only one problem — there is no such thing and it’s not even in the works.  Nevertheless, the Spokane, Washington, City Council, acting largely out of ignorance, unanimously passed a city ordinance that would keep city employees from putting together such a registry.

According to the Spokesman-Review:

An impassioned crowd that spilled out of the City Council chambers Monday night mostly implored lawmakers to pass a law that would prohibit Spokane employees from assisting in the creation of a registry based on religious preference.

And the Spokane City Council did just that – unanimously. To the sound of cheers and applause, the council voted 7-0 to approve an ordinance that outlaws any city employee from participating in the development of “a program that requires, or has the effect of requiring, persons to register on the basis of religious affiliation, belief, or conduct.”

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“We have many refugees, and people of different faiths, who live in our community, and they are scared,” City Council President Ben Stuckart said.

Opponents accused Stuckart of grandstanding for political purposes and making a boogeyman out of President Donald Trump.

The report later added:

Though Trump proposed the creation of a registry for Muslims during his campaign, a specific proposal has not been included in a flurry of executive actions the president has taken since assuming office earlier this month. Opponents of the ordinance accused the City Council, and Stuckart personally, of demonizing the new president.

But there’s only one problem, as the Daily Caller reported last November:

Donald Trump has never called for a “Muslim registry,” and any story claiming otherwise should be relegated to the pile of “fake news” the media is so concerned about right now.

The hysterical headlines claiming Trump and his surrogates are preparing to force all Muslims in the country to register perhaps reached their climax in this Washington Post headline Friday: “They interned my family. Don’t let them do it to Muslims.”

All of these headlines are based on two things — a brief interaction Trump had with a reporter on the campaign trail, and comments from a key member of his transition team working on immigration policy. Neither one of them calls for a “Muslim registry” verbatim — which is a term the media came up with on its own — although Trump is considering reinstating a Bush-era registry of all immigrants from certain countries.

The Daily Caller further said:

The president-elect is, however, undoubtedly considering a registry to track some immigrants, which leads back to the second basis for the “Muslim registry” stories. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach — a key member of Trump’s transition team who is helping to craft his immigration policy — told Reuters in a November interview the administration is considering a registry.

Contrary to the Reuters headline, however, and the other headlines his comments generated, the proposal Kobach outlined is not a verbatim “Muslim registry.” What Kobach actually discussed in the interview is a proposal to reinstate a registry for all immigrants who enter the United States from certain countries where terrorist groups are active, such as Syria or Iraq.

President George W. Bush implemented the program after 9/11 to combat terrorists. Kobach helped design the program, called the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), which required immigrants from a designated list of suspect countries to register in the database. The Department of Homeland Security suspended the program in 2011.

Here’s the kicker.

“President-elect Trump has never advocated for any registry or system that tracks individuals based on their religion, and to imply otherwise is completely false,” said Jason Miller, the communications director for Trump’s transition team. “The national registry of foreign visitors from countries with high terrorism activity that was in place during the Bush and Obama administrations gave intelligence and law enforcement communities additional tools to keep our country safe, but the president-elect plans on releasing his own vetting policies after he is sworn in.”

Got that?  There is no religious (read, Muslim) registry as the left claims, and there are absolutely no plans to implement a system to track people based on their religious faith.  But the left — which controls much of the media — has managed to push its propaganda to the point that elected officials are now passing laws based on outright lies.

Here’s video from Spokane’s KHQ, which also pushed the false notion of a religious registry:

“We’ve heard of fake news, this is fake council business,” Stephanie Cates, Spokane County Republican Party chairwoman, said, according to the Spokesman-Review.  She’s absolutely correct.

Moreover, if members of Spokane’s City Council can’t take 30 seconds to research an issue like this, they have no business being in a position to pass laws.


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Joe Newby

A 10-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Joe ran for a city council position in Riverside, Calif., in 1991 and managed successful campaigns for the Idaho state legislature. Co-author of "Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad," Joe wrote for Examiner.com from 2010 until it closed in 2016 and his work has been published at Newsbusters, Spokane Faith and Values and other sites. He now runs the Conservative Firing Line.

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