HomeBad Ass AsiansDemocrats introduce bill to end Muslim Ban
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Democrats introduce bill to end Muslim Ban

Protest against Muslim ban in San Jose
Photo from New American Media

Views from the Edge

Efforts to kill Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban will likely have to wait until he’s out of office before it passes both houses.

Although the NO BAN (National Origin-based Anti-discrimination for Non-immigrants) Act has considerable support in the Democrat-led House, the chances of any substantive criticism of Trump coming out of the GOP controlled Senate are practically nil.

Two congressional Democrats, Representative Judy Chu of California and Senator Chris Coons of Delaware, introduced a new bill Wednesday (April 10) to block Trump’s Muslim Ban to the U.S. from several Muslim-majority countries.

“President Trump’s Muslim Ban is a hateful policy, born from bigotry, that denies both our country and millions of aspiring Americans a better future,” Chu said in the statement.

Although passage is unlikely, at the very least, it sends a powerful message and keeps the Muslim Ban at top of mind as the 2020 primary season near. All of the Democratic senators running for president back the NO BAN Act, according to The Washington Post.

“The fact that we still have this so-called Muslim travel ban on the books and being enforced is a stain on our reputation around the world,” Coons said at a press conference outside the Capitol. “And it’s hurting real people.”

“We are encouraged by today’s introduction of the No Ban Act,” said Elica Vafaie, Staff Attorney at Asian Americans Advancing Justice. “We’ve seen the devastating impact on countless families of U.S. citizens, green card holders, students, and those with urgent medical needs since the Muslim Ban, the Refugee Ban, and the Asylum Bans have been in effect. While today is just a first step, we must all come together to restore dignity for everyone.”

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), an immigrant from Somalia and a co-sponsor of the bill, first referenced the legislation Tuesday on Twitter.

“I ran on a promise to end the President’s hateful Muslim ban,” said Omar, one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress. “No one should be denied basic rights because of their religion, race or national origin. #NoBanAct.”

Representatives Rashida Tlaib (D-Minn), the freshman Congresswoman and a Palestinian Muslim, tweeted, “When we don’t stand up against racist and un-American policies like the #MuslimBan, then we are saying a whole community doesn’t belong.”

“This type of ‘othering’ is wrong and hurts our communities. Haven’t we learned this already?”

About 400 civil rights and religious organizations endorsing the legislation wrote a letter to Congress. They included leading civil rights groups like Asian Americans Advancing Justice, the NAACP, Unidos, US and Human Rights Campaign; faith denominations like the United Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church, and the Union for Reform Judaism; and impacted American Muslim communities.

“We urge you to support this important legislation because your leadership on this issue is critical to ensuring that Congress sends a strong message to the American people that how someone prays should not dictate whether the government can ban them from coming to the United States,” wrote the groups. 

“Families should not be separated simply based on their faith. These are our shared values. It is time for Congress to act to overturn the Muslim Ban and stand against religious discrimination.”

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