Nikki Haley, the nominee for US ambassador to the United Nations, has said there is no need for a registry for Muslims as has been proposed by some on the right and not ruled out entirely by president-elect Donald Trump.
The South Carolina governor, who will make history as the first Indian American to hold a cabinet-rank position if she is confirmed, said during her confirmation hearing at the US Senate in very clear terms that there was no need for a registry.
“This administration and I don’t think there should be any registry on religion,” she said. She did however echo Trump on vetting people coming into the US from areas impacted by terrorism.
The registry, which was suggested by some supporters of Trump, was never really ruled out completely by him. He has since doubled down on his call for extreme vetting of people coming from certain areas of the world.
Haley seemed to differ from Trump on other critical issues as well, including the lifting of sanctions in place against Russia.
Haley’s parents Ajit Singh Randhawa and Raj Kaur Randhawa, who immigrated from Punjab, India, sat behind her at the hearing, as did her brothers and her husband Michael Haley and their son Nalin Haley.
Haley is the second Indian American appointed by Trump to his team at a senior level — the second is Seema Verma, who was named head of medicaid and medicare services in the department of health and human services.
“My story is an American story,” Haley said, opening her testimony at the hearing. “I was born in Bamberg, South Carolina, the daughter of immigrants from Punjab, India. My parents had comfortable lives in India, but they chose to give up those comforts and move to America with just eight dollars because of the freedoms and opportunities this country offers.”
“Our family’s experience is unique, but it is also familiar, because it is one that has been repeated many times, by many people, in American history.”