Rep. Josephson’s Bill Stipulates No State Cooperation With Efforts to Register Alaskans Based on Race and Religion
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 9, 2017
Juneau – Today, Representative Andy Josephson (D-Anchorage) pre-filed legislation to address the potential of a federal registry of alleged undocumented persons or those who practice the religion of Islam. Rep. Josephson opposes discrimination in all forms and House Bill 13 would prevent the state of Alaska from cooperating with any efforts by the federal government to register Alaskans based on their race or religion.
“The freedom of religion is one of the most important pillars of our democracy, so much so that it’s protected by the Constitution,” said Rep. Josephson. “Registering the followers of one religious faith is unquestionably discriminatory in nature and if I and my colleagues were to allow such a thing to happen in Alaska we would be breaking our oath of office.”
House Bill 13 adds language to existing Alaska statutes stipulating that no state resources can be used to assist the federal government in creating or maintaining an unconstitutional registry based on religion or race. The bill also prevents Alaska from cooperating with efforts to register undocumented persons for a database that could be used for mass deportations.
“I believe there may be a role for state and local law enforcement to help the federal government in the prosecution of crimes allegedly committed by undocumented persons based on probable cause,” said Rep. Josephson. “However, as a matter of state policy, the idea that Alaska would aide in a roundup of undocumented persons, charged with nothing, is hugely offensive to me. I won’t stand for it and am proud to draw a line there.”
H.B. 13 will be formally introduced and receive committee assignments when the 30th Alaska Legislature convenes on January 17th.
For more information, please contact House Majority Coalition Press Secretary Mike Mason at (907) 444-0889.