HomeSouth Asian AmericanMembers of Congress reintroduce bill to prevent future Muslim travel bans

Members of Congress reintroduce bill to prevent future Muslim travel bans

Protesters at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport hold signs opposing President Donald Trump’s executive order banning entry of foreign nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries. (Source: Greg Varnum via Wikipedia Commons)

House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler (NY-10) and Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) reintroduced a bill Friday to block any future Muslim travel bans. 

The NO BAN, or National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants Act, would add to the Immigration and Nationality Act a ban on discrimination based on religion. One hundred and thirty-seven House members cosponsored the bill.

In January 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning entry of foreign nationals from the seven Muslim-majority countries of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Sudan and Somalia. The executive order also included a temporary ban on all refugees, and an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees. 

Critics referred to the executive order as a “Muslim ban.” Trump said it was not a ban on Muslims but a measure to keep the country safe from terrorism, CNN reported.

The executive order led to widespread confusion at airports and questions such as whether the travel ban affected green card holders or dual citizens. Protests and legal challenges in court followed. 

Trump later signed additional executive orders updating the travel restrictions and including more countries such as Myanmar, North Korea and Kyrgyzstan. 

President Joe Biden rescinded those travel restrictions on his first day in office. 

“The Muslim Ban was a hateful stain on our nation. Inspired only by bigotry and not any genuine national security concerns, the ban served only to separate families while stoking bigotry, xenophobia, and Islamophobia. That is why I was so grateful when President Joe Biden took action on his first day in office to rescind all versions of this ban,” said Rep. Chu. 

“However, we cannot risk letting prejudice become policy again. That is why I am once again introducing the NO BAN Act to update our laws. By requiring actual evidence of a threat before there can be any such broad based bans like this, the NO BAN Act ensures that future presidents will not be able to ban people solely because of their religion. I’m proud that this bill was passed by the House last Congress and, with the help and leadership of Senator Chris Coons, I hope to see it passed again and brought to the President’s desk soon.”

The NO BAN Act is endorsed by Asian Americans Advancing Justice., Asian Counseling and Referral Service, Muslim Advocates, National Iranian American Council Action, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), National Immigration Law Center, Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans and more.

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