RELEASE: Gottheimer, Murphy, Correa, Schrier Lead Call for Vote on NO BAN Act

With the Travel Ban Repealed, Democrats Call for Passage of Legislation to Help Halt Future Unjust Immigration Restrictions & Religious Discrimination

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressmembers Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Stephanie Murpy (FL-7), Lou Correa (CA-46), and Kim Schrier (WA-8) led a group of ten Members of Congress urging swift action to pass H.R.1333, the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants (NO BAN) Act to place limitations on the President’s authority to impose unjust temporary immigration restrictions and to prohibit religious discrimination in immigration-related decisions, following the previous Administration’s Travel Ban which primarily targeted Muslim-majority countries. 

The current Administration reversed this harmful policy on President Biden’s first day in office.

“The United States has long stood as a beacon of hope to people of all backgrounds, especially persecuted religious minorities,” the Members wrote in a letter to Congressional leadership. “However, beginning in 2017 and through several iterations required to meet judicial scrutiny, individuals from countries with substantial Muslim populations were wrongfully targeted by a wide-ranging travel ban implemented to fulfill a campaign promise to bar Muslims from entering the United States.”

The letter continues, “We support proven efforts to counter the threat of terrorism, keep our country safe, and strengthen the vetting process for all pathways into the United States. However, a blanket ban on any group of people undermines our national character and makes us less safe by turning people around the world against us. The travel ban has also had a profound impact on many Muslim Americans, making it harder for them to reunite with family members and loved ones from targeted countries.”

The NO BAN Act, introduced by Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), would prohibit religious discrimination in immigration decisions and help reclaim some of Congress’ authority over immigration. The legislation is supported by more than 150 members of Congress.

A bipartisan majority in the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass the NO BAN Act last Congress.

Joining Gottheimer, Murphy, Correa and Schrier on the letter are U.S. Representatives Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-2), Haley M. Stevens (MI-11), Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-07), Jared Golden (ME-02), Colin Allred (TX-32), and Charlie Crist (FL-13). 

The full text of the letter can be found here and below.

April 7, 2021

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi                      The Honorable Steny Hoyer
Speaker                                                       Majority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives                   U.S. House of Representatives
H-232, U.S. Capitol                                    H-107, U.S. Capitol
Washington, DC 20515                              Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable James E. Clyburn               The Honorable Jerrold Nadler
Majority Whip                                            Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary
U.S. House of Representatives                   U.S. House of Representatives
H-329, U.S. Capitol                                    2138 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515                              Washington, DC 20515

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader Hoyer, Whip Clyburn, and Chairman Nadler:

We write in strong support of swift passage of H.R.1333, the NO BAN Act. We believe that the House should consider this important legislation to protect our country, uphold our values, and ensure that the United States does not discriminate against people because of their religion.

The United States has long stood as a beacon of hope to people of all backgrounds, especially persecuted religious minorities. However, beginning in 2017 and through several iterations required to meet judicial scrutiny, individuals from countries with substantial Muslim populations were wrongfully targeted by a wide-ranging travel ban implemented to fulfill a campaign promise to bar Muslims from entering the United States.

We support proven efforts to counter the threat of terrorism, keep our country safe, and strengthen the vetting process for all pathways into the United States. However, a blanket ban on any group of people undermines our national character and makes us less safe by turning people around the world against us. The travel ban has also had a profound impact on many Muslim Americans, making it harder for them to reunite with family members and loved ones from targeted countries.

Numerous national security officials have testified before Congress that ban does not make our country any safer. Foreign nationals already undergo rigorous vetting through visa procedures that include biographic, biometric, and other stringent screenings. Furthermore, those seeking to enter the United States who are citizens of designated State Sponsor of Terrorism countries are already rightfully subject to the highest level of security and background checks including a required interview by a consular officer. 

While we are glad that President Biden reversed this hurtful policy upon taking office, it is vital that Congress also address the underlying problem. That is why we believe we must pass the NO BAN Act, which would put limitations on any President’s authority to impose unjust temporary immigration restrictions and prohibits religious discrimination in immigration-related decisions. As you know, a bipartisan majority in the U.S. House of Representatives already voted to pass this legislation last July.

As Congress considers immigration-related legislation at the outset of the 117th Congress, we urge you to bring this important legislation to the House floor.

Thank you for your leadership. We look forward to working with you to help protect the United States and stand up for our fundamental values.

Sincerely,

MEMBERS OF CONGRESS

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