Such are the times we live in that a group of Democratic U.S. Senators, including Hawaii’s own Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz, are sponsoring a new bill that would “prohibit the creation of any immigration-related registry program that classifies people based on their religion, race, age, gender, ethnicity, national origin, nationality, or citizenship.” Other Senate introducers include Cory Booker, D-New Jersey; Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts; Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts; Patty Murray, D-Washington; Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont; Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont; and Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon.
Known as the “Protect American Families Act,” the bill stands a legislative bulwark against the worst racist impulses of incoming President Donald Trump and his toadies, who have long advocated radical discrimination against Muslims (even to the point of advocating that the loathsome and unconstitutional Japanese internment camps represent useful “precedent” for dealing with Muslims.
“This bill reinforces the core American value that no person should be discriminated against based on their religion, origin, race, ethnicity, or nationality,” said Schatz in a Jan. 5 news release from his office. “In Hawai‘i, one of the most diverse states in our country, we hold this belief as being central to our strength, resilience, and prosperity.”
Needless to say, Hirono agrees with Schatz. “The protection of our Constitution is not conditional; it applies to all of us,” said Hirono in the same news release. “We must take all steps possible to keep the incoming administration from using fear and prejudice to target the Muslim community, or any other faith or nationality. We will continue to fight for an inclusive and vibrant America.”
Given that Republicans currently control the U.S. Senate, it’s doubtful the Protect American Families Act will stop the Trump Administration. At the same time, every bit of resistance against Trump and his Republican allies is valuable and necessary.
Photo of Senator Hirono courtesy U.S. Senate