On Dec. 16, the city council of St. Paul, Minnesota, reportedly voted to officially condemn Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump for calling to ban all Muslims from entering the United States.
Only one person on the seven-member council opposed the measure, which "condemns anti-Muslim, anti-refugee, and anti-immigrant speech from presidential candidate Donald Trump and others,” The Huffington Post reports. The opposing voter cited free speech concerns as the basis for the vote.
The Muslim population has surged in the St. Paul area over the last 20 years due, in part, to an influx of immigrants and refugees from East Africa following the Somali Civil War, according to Harvard University. Minnesota has an average of 317 Muslim adherents for every 100,000 people, The Huffington Post reported in a separate article.
The first version of the bill banned Trump from the city, but that language was later omitted, according to the Pioneer Press.
"Hate speech incites harm, fear ... and cuts into the core fabric of our nation,” Council Member Dai Thao, who sponsored the resolution, said to the council on Dec. 16, according to the Press.
"I've gotten so many threats, racist letters, telling me to 'go back to my country and eat rice,'" Thao added. "People like Donald Trump, who preach hate, are very American ... and I'm somehow un-American?”
Mayor Chris Coleman told the Press that he was happy with the changes made to the resolution.
"We can disagree with people," he said. "We don't ban people from the city of St. Paul."