House Passes NO BAN Act to Prevent Future Muslim Bans
Washington, April 21, 2021
Tags: Equality , Immigration , Oversight
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants (NO BAN) Act, legislation introduced by Congressmember Judy Chu (CA-27) and U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) to strengthen the Immigration and Nationality Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion.
The NO BAN Act’s sponsors and supporters issued the following statements:
“Just about 100 days after President Biden issued an executive order to rescind the cruel Muslim ban in all its forms, the House has voted to ensure similar discriminatory bans don’t happen in the future,” said Rep. Chu. “During the ban, thousands of families were intentionally and needlessly separated, forced to miss weddings, funerals, births, and graduations. This past year has shown us all what the impact of missing such milestones feels like, and to do it deliberately is inexcusable. While the President’s action to end this ban provided much needed relief for these families, another President could easily put the religious ban back in place. The NO BAN Act will provide confidence that nobody will be barred from this country because of their faith by changing the law to require that policies be based on evidence, not broad-based fear and bigotry. I am so grateful to Senator Coons, House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, and my colleagues who were instrumental in making this happen. It is now time for the Senate to do the same and make it clear that America has no room for religious bans.”
“Since the Muslim ban went into effect, senselessly upending lives and separating thousands of Americans from their loved ones, Congresswoman Chu and I have been working to ensure that no president can ever again enact such a discriminatory ban based on religion or nationality,” said Senator Coons, lead sponsor of the NO BAN Act in the Senate. “Today, with House passage of the NO BAN Act, we take an important step toward reasserting the role of Congress and the proud American legacy of welcoming immigrants and refugees. I look forward to advancing this important legislation through the Senate.”
“When former President Trump issued his xenophobic Muslim Ban, it was immediately clear that he was attempting to follow through on his campaign promise to ban Muslims from this country,” said Rep. Jerry Nadler (NY-10), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. “Although President Biden repealed this egregious order, we cannot allow future presidents to take such discriminatory, overreaching action. By passing the NO BAN Act today, the House of Representatives has upheld our nation’s founding ideals and reaffirmed our commitment to the Rule of Law. I thank my friend and colleague, Representative Judy Chu, for her steadfast commitment to this issue, and I urge the Senate to take swift action on this legislation.”
“While President Biden rightfully rescinded the former President’s attempt to recklessly rewrite our immigration laws on Day One of his presidency, Congress should still take action to prevent a similar violation from ever happening again,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Chair of the Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship. “Today, the House of Representatives affirmed that no President—Democratic or Republican—should be able to utilize Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to usurp congressional authority.”
"Today, the House took a clear stand against Islamophobia, xenophobia and injustice by passing the NO BAN Act," said Rep. Andre Carson (IN-07). "As a co-author of this legislation, I want to thank all of my colleagues who voted for our historic bill and all the Americans who worked tirelessly to advance it. Though President Biden has ended Trump's discriminatory Muslim Bans, the intolerance that led to their implementation is still extremely prevalent. By passing the NO BAN Act, we can ensure no future President ever harms people in this way again. I urge the Senate to swiftly pass our legislation, so President Biden can sign it into law."
“The Muslim ban will forever be a moral stain on our country’s history,” said Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN-05). “Since the ban first went into effect, it deferred dreams, separated families, deprived people of lifesaving health care, and blocked access to education. I’m glad President Biden took immediate action to reverse the hateful executive order enacted by the Trump Administration. Now, it’s time to put this ban in the dustbin of history where it belongs with the No Ban Act—legislation that will ensure no future president has the power to ban people based on their religious affiliation ever again. As the only member of Congress to come from one of the previously banned countries, I am thankful for the opportunity to help lead this effort and safeguard the United States as a land of hope and opportunity.”
“Today, the United States House of Representatives took action on our values. With the passage of the No BAN Act, we are declaring that racist and harmful bans like the Muslim and African ban will not happen again in this country,” said Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-13). “As I raise two Muslim boys in the United States, I am constantly reminded of a painful memory of my young son seeing hateful rhetoric and telling me not to worry about him, because if anyone asked he would tell them he wasn’t Muslim. No person in this country should feel like they have to hide who they are to avoid hate. I am so proud of the leadership of Congresswoman Judy Chu on this important bill and issue. Thanks to her, that same son got to see his mother preside over the House floor as the No BAN Act passed. We must continue to root out all policies and practices that fuel discrimination and bigotry.”
The Muslim ban, which was implemented in three versions since Jan. 2017, restricted travel from Muslim-majority countries, excluding people from emigrating or traveling to the United States based solely on their nationality and resulting in thousands of family separations. Coons and Chu authored the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants (NO BAN) Act, which first passed the House in July 2020.
The legislation is supported by nearly 250 members of Congress, more than 400 civil rights, faith-based, national security, and community organizations, 300 religious groups and leaders, more than 50 national security professionals, 50 immigration law professors, 19 state attorneys general, and several companies.
“Just days ago, Donald Trump re-emerged to spew false smears about Muslim terrorists to argue that we should reinstitute the Muslim Ban,” said Madihha Ahussain, Muslim Advocates Special Counsel for Anti-Muslim Bigotry. “That is why today’s passage of the NO BAN Act is so important -- to ensure that no president can enact discriminatory bans like this in the future. We want to thank Reps. Chu, Jayapal, Tlaib, Omar, Carson and all the other members of Congress who worked to pass this bill. Now we move on to the Senate, where we will ask every senator to defend our nation’s founding principles of religious freedom and equality by supporting this historic Muslim civil rights bill.”
“PAAIA praises members of the U.S House of Representatives for passing the NO BAN Act in this Congress. We applaud Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) for introducing and leading the NO BAN Act through the House and we thank House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for quickly bringing this legislation to the floor for a vote,” said Leila Austin, Director of the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA). “For Iranian Americans and other vulnerable communities, the passage of the NO BAN Act in the House signals that no president can ever again abuse their power to enact such an unjust policy as the Travel Ban. We call on the U.S. Senate to follow the House’s lead and expedite a vote to pass this bill.”