New Delhi: In a resolution passed the San Francisco city council on Tuesday, the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) have been declared as laws “to render millions of people among minorities and caste oppressed stateless”.
With this, San Francisco has become the sixth US city to condemn CAA-NRC and the “exclusionary and bigoted worldview they represent”, after Seattle, Albany, St. Paul, Hamtramck and Cambridge.
Even international human rights bodies and the US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) have called out CAA-NRC, stating these laws were “poised to put citizenships of millions into question, but Muslims alone would bear the indignities and consequences of potential statelessness”.
Several human rights organisations worked on this resolution, including the Alliance for Justice and Accountability (AJA), the American Institute of Islamic History and Culture, San Francisco Interfaith Council, the San Francisco Human Rights Commission and the San Francisco Muslim Community Center.
“We are proud of the City and County of San Francisco for standing on the right side of history today. San Francisco is leading the moral consensus in the global outcry against the CAA,” said Hala Hijazi, commissioner of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission and a board member of the San Francisco Muslim Community Center as well as the San Francisco Interfaith Council. “When genocidal campaigns begin, one important intervention is the international condemnation, and the Bay Area community feels a deep sense of solidarity with their electeds, as the time to stand against the Indian government’s Islamophobic policies is now.”
AJA pointed out that citizenship is granted under the Act on the basis of religion, which is a “flagrant violation of all norms of secular democracies besides being inconsistent with India’s Constitution that guarantees equality before the law for people of all faiths”.
Thenmozhi Soundarajan of Equality Labs called these Acts “genocidal projects” and said the resolution signifies “standing up for South Asian minorities, Muslims, and caste oppressed communities”, according to Two Circles.
Noting that the Act is discriminatory to Muslims, caste oppressed, women, indigenous peoples and the LGBTQ community, the council highlighted that they are a part of Indian Hindu nationalist government’s agenda to “persecute minorities and marginalise entire sections of India’s population”.
The CAA was passed December 10, 2019, following which the Narendra Modi government notified it in January 2020. However, the government has failed to finalise rules for its application within the stipulated six months’ period.