Press Releases

On anniversary of Trump’s Muslim ban, Coons, Chu, faith and civil rights leaders call for passage of NO BAN Act

Washington, January 27, 2020

Three years after President Trump’s Muslim ban first separated thousands of families, U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) and U.S. Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-Calif.) today brought together Members of Congress, faith and civil rights leaders, and individuals directly impacted by the ban to call for passage of the NO BAN Act, legislation that would end the President’s Muslim ban and prevent another baseless, discriminatory ban from happening again. Coons and Chu were joined by U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and U.S. Representatives Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), André Carson (D-Ind.), and Don Beyer (D-Va.).

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“Today we mark the somber anniversary of a policy that does not make us safer and does not align with our values as a nation,” said Senator Coons. “Thousands of American families continue to be separated today because of President Trump’s Muslim ban, and it is up to us to right this wrong. Congress must pass the NO BAN Act to reverse the President’s shameful policy and send a message that in this country, we will not tolerate discrimination based on religion and nationality. Speaker Pelosi’s announcement today that the House will advance this bill is a critical step forward.”

“The Muslim Ban has been a disaster from the very start. It has nothing to do with security and everything to do with Stephen Miller and Donald Trump’s white nationalist agenda,” said Congresswoman Chu. “The United States has a demonstrated ability to safely vet family members of US citizens, which is why the Supreme Court required the administration to issue visa waivers. However, just about 10% of those requested waivers have been granted, evidence that this policy is not about security, but about keeping families apart. That is why we must pass our bill – the NO BAN Act – to end this cruel policy. And I am thrilled that, after building support of 214 cosponsors, this bill is scheduled for markup and a floor vote in the House soon!”

“Three years ago today, within a week of becoming President, President Trump put his ugly campaign rhetoric into action and issued the first version of the Muslim travel ban,” said Senator Durbin. “Congress must step in to address this injustice and uphold our foundational principles of religious freedom and tolerance. It’s time to pass the NO BAN Act to repeal the Muslim travel ban and prevent the President from implementing similarly broad, discriminatory travel restrictions and suspensions in the future.”

"My dad came here in 1935 from Germany to escape persecution. He knew virtually no one and he had not much more than the shirt on his back. America opened its arms to him, as we must do to asylum-seekers and refugees in the great tradition of this country,” Senator Blumenthal said. “The NO BAN Act gives us the opportunity to say to this administration ‘You must stop this unwise, unconstitutional, un-American policy of racial discrimination.’ Any kind of immigration policy must be based on fact – not prejudice and bigotry."

“The Muslim ban is sadly only one part of the Trump Administration’s virulent and cruel anti-immigrant agenda. In addition to the Muslim ban, there was the separation of children at the border, the detention of families with no end in sight, and many more harmful policies. Every day, Stephen Miller and others in the Trump Administration find new ways to hurt immigrants in our country. We must stand together in opposing these discriminatory policies,” Senator Hirono said.

“Exactly three years ago, Trump achieved his stated campaign goal of banning a group of people. Since the ban first went into effect, it has deferred dreams, separated families, and deprived people of lifesaving health care and blocked access to education,” said Congresswoman Omar. “Trump doesn’t just want a border wall. He’s creating an invisible wall keeping out people around the world based solely on their religion. That is why we will keep fighting until we finally are able to repeal this Muslim ban and put this hateful policy in the dustbin of history where it belongs.”

"Three years after President Trump instituted the Muslim Ban, the harmful effects of this policy are clearer than ever. Yet, our country isn’t any safer, and he continues to dig his heels into his exercise in bigotry. That's why Congress must take action against it by passing the NO BAN Act. We won't let this Administration needlessly shut America's door to people in need,” said Congressman Carson.

“We cannot continue to let ignorance and hatred dictate our immigration policies, and expanding Trump’s Muslim Ban would make it worse,” said Congressman Beyer. “This ban has enormous effects on families and businesses, and many people have been badly hurt by them. That is what happens when you have white nationalists writing your immigration policies. I stand here today as I stood at Dulles airport three years ago to oppose Trump’s bigoted Muslim Ban and to push for the NO BAN Act consideration in the House.”

“Three years after the Trump Administration issued its first Muslim Ban, families remain separated from loved ones, American businesses and research institutions are still denied workers and students, and our nation’s doors continue to be closed to vulnerable people seeking safety from violence-ravaged countries. Each iteration of the Muslim Ban sends a terrible message to Muslims that our foundational value of freedom of religious does not apply to them,” said Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.). “I am thrilled that we will be marking up the NO BAN Act in the House Judiciary Committee. Passing the NO BAN Act will send an important message to Muslims here and abroad: America believes in religious liberty and our doors are open to immigrants and vulnerable refugees regardless of faith.”

The Members were joined by Farhana Khera, executive director of Muslim Advocates; Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center; Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block, director of Bend the Arc Jewish Action; Sheila Katz, CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women; Hilary Shelton, director of the NAACP Washington Bureau and senior vice president for policy and advocacy; as well as three individuals directly impacted by the ban: Mana Kharrazi, an Iranian American who has been separated from her family because of the Muslim ban; Eric Naing, a Burmese American who stands to be separated from his family under an expanded ban; and Danah Harbi, an American citizen whose Syrian fiancé is banned from entering the United States.

The National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants (NO BAN) Act repeals the three versions of President Trump’s Muslim ban, strengthens the Immigration and Nationality Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion, and restores the separation of powers by limiting overly broad executive authority to issue future travel bans. The legislation is supported by nearly 250 members of Congress; more than 400 civil rights, faith, national security, and community organizations; more than 50 immigration law professors; 19 state attorneys general; and several private companies.

A summary is available here.