In stories about Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA), who is Gov. Jerry Brown’s new nominee for California Attorney General, both the Los Angeles Times and the Sacramento Bee incorrectly claim that President-elect Donald Trump called for a “Muslim registry.”
Moreover, both newspapers misquote Rep. Becerra himself in describing his objections to Trump’s immigration policy, which refer specifically to a pre-existing system of tracking immigrants and visitors from terror-prone countries.
As Breitbart News noted at the time, the false accusation that Trump proposed a “Muslim registry” was entirely created by the mainstream media, then used to smear Trump as a would-be Nazi forcing members of a religious group to wear badges. What Trump has actually proposed is reviving the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), which was started by President George W. Bush and continued under President Barack Obama until he ended it, for ideological reasons, in 2011.
In his recent letter to the California State Assembly committee considering his nomination, Rep Becerra writes:
Disturbing statements uttered during the recent Presidential campaign have given rise to legitimate fears that the new federal administration might seek to adopt policies that would discriminate against people based on factors such as religious belief. Any such policies would be antithetical to the deepest constitutional values and traditions of this nation — a nation founded in part by men and women fleeing religious persecution. Moreover, because these policies are based on gross stereotypes rather than on rational criteria actually related to public safety, they would be not only wrong but ineffective — as shown by the experience with the post-9/ll National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, which was ultimately abandoned because it did not work.
The hyper-partisan Rep. Becerra is wrong about Trump’s statements; wrong about the constitutionality about using religion as a criterion in immigration; and wrong about the reasons for shelving NSEERS. But not even he claims Trump sought a “Muslim registry.”
Nevertheless, in “California attorney general nominee Xavier Becerra jabs Trump for proposing mass deportations, Muslim registry,” the Los Angeles Times‘ Patrick McGreevy claims that Becerra “assured legislators that he will be a strong force to counter the policies of President-elect Donald Trump, including opposing proposals for mass deportations and a registry of Muslim immigrants.” McGreevy quotes Becerra’s letter extensively on other points but never backs up those specific claims.
In “California attorney general nominee pledges to take on Trump over stop-and-frisk,” the Sacramento Bee‘s Alexei Koseff also claims that Becerra pledged to fight Trump on “a national registry of Muslims,” without proof. He claims that Becerra was referring to “Trump’s suggestions of establishing a registry of all Muslim Americans and temporarily banning Muslim immigrants to the United States” without actually referring to Trump’s immigration policies.
Trump has never suggested a registry of all Muslim Americans — an idea, again, wholly invented by journalists hostile to Trump — and long ago changed his proposed temporary ban on Muslim immigrants to focus instead on immigrants and visitors from terror-prone countries.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.