NEW YORK – New York Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed on Monday, November 21, to sue President-elect Donald Trump’s incoming administration if it implements a national registry for Muslims.
“We will sue to block it,” he said at New York City’s Cooper Union Monday, according to the New York Daily News.
“We will use all the tools at our disposal to stand up for our people,” added de Blasio, who backed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. “[We must] always be proud of our values.”
De Blasio called on listeners to organize “issue by issue” with other Americans and halt Trump’s policies they disagree with.
“We will make sure women receive the healthcare they need,” he said as an example, referencing possible Planned Parenthood funding cuts.
He added that New York City would never escalate stop-and-frisk tactics for its police.
De Blasio also reiterated he would not allow the New York Police Department to be used for deporting undocumented immigrants.
During his campaign, President-elect Trump variously called for banning all Muslim visitors to the United States, subjecting those in the country to loyalty tests and even for some to be deported.
Asked on MSNBC in November last year whether the White House should institute a database system to track Muslims in the country, Trump replied, “Oh, I would certainly implement that, absolutely.”
Trump campaign attempted to walk back his pledge on Thursday, saying in a statement that the president-elect “never advocated” a registry.
After Trump’s election, at least two prominent Trump supporters raised the prospect again this week, including one who cited World War II-era Japanese-American internment camps as a precedent.
“We’ve done it based on race, we’ve done it based on religion, we’ve done it based on region,” Carl Higbie, who during the campaign was spokesman for a pro-Trump “super PAC” fundraising group, said on Fox News.
Thousands of Americans have also pledged online to stand in solidarity with Muslims in the United States.
On Friday, more than 13,000 people had signed a pledge on website Register US, promising to register as Muslims in the event of a national Muslim database being rolled out, so as “to stand together with Muslims across the country.”
Many among those who took the pledge on Register US’s website posted on Twitter a message, prepared by the group, detailing their intentions.
“If Trump requires Muslims to register with the government, I pledge to register as Muslim too,” the message said.
Facing escalating anger, Trump’s transition team denied that the registry would be based on religion.
Reince Priebus, Trump’s future chief of staff, on Sunday pledged the administration would not register people based on their faith.
“Look, I’m not going to rule anything out,” Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, said on NBC News. “But … we’re not going to have a registry based on religion.”