Congressmembers Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Max Rose (NY-11), and Stephanie Murphy (FL-07) led a group of 32 Members of Congress to House leadership urging swift action to pass the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants (NO BAN) Act to repeal the Administration’s Travel Ban which primarily targets Muslim-majority countries. January 27th marks the third anniversary of Executive Order 13769, the first iteration of the President’s Ban.
“As Americans, we must stand against the persecution of religious minorities,” wrote the Members in a letter to Congressional leadership. “To pass the NO BAN Act is to stand up for the bedrock American value of religious liberty. That is why a broad coalition of interfaith leaders support the bill, along with more than 200 Members of Congress, ourselves included. Muslim-American families remain separated for the simple reason that they hail from countries selected by President Trump to enact a campaign promise for a ‘total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.’ Since the first iteration of the Ban was implemented on January 27th, 2017 as Executive Order 13769, the Administration has been forced to issue successive revised versions of the Ban to overcome judicial scrutiny. Just last week, reports surfaced that the Administration may soon further expand the Ban.”
Congresswoman Judy Chu’s (CA-27) NO BAN Act, of which all signers of the letter are co-sponsors, would repeal the President’s existing executive order blocking travel from majority Muslim countries and prevent another baseless, discriminatory travel ban from happening again. The 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 more than 200 members of Congress, nearly 400 diverse civil rights, faith, national security and community organizations, as well as private companies and more than 50 immigration law professors.
Last year, in a response to Congressional inquiries seeking information and data on the effects of the Travel Ban, the Department of State provided a response which included the following data from the period of December 8, 2017 – October 31, 2018:
- 48,656 immigrant visa and non-immigrant visa applications were subject to restrictions under the travel ban
- 36,309 were denied visas with waiver consideration
- 8,149 of those applications were denied for reasons unrelated to the travel ban
- 1,546 applicants met the criteria for waiver and received a visa
- 670 met the criteria for a waiver but have not yet received a visa
- 0.1 percent of visa application waivers denied were due to national security concerns
The letter concludes, “In light of the above, we respectfully urge you to swiftly bring the NO BAN Act to a committee markup and floor vote this year. It is our duty to relay an unequivocal message that the United States House of Representatives welcomes the Muslim-American community, as we do other communities, that their hardships have not been forgotten, and that the American people refuse to stand for discrimination of any kind. By passing NO BAN, we can both protect our national security and stay true to our nation’s core values.”
Joining Gottheimer, Rose, and Murphy on the letter are U.S. Representatives Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), Andy Kim (NJ-03), Angie Craig (MN-02), Anthony Brindisi (NY-22), Antonio Delgado (NY-19), Charlie Crist (FL-13), Chris Pappas (NH-01), Colin Allred (TX-32), Elaine Luria (VA-02), Elissa Slotkin (MI-08), Gil Cisneros (CA-39), Haley Stevens (MI-11), J. Luis Correa (CA-46), Jared Golden (ME-02), Jason Crow (CO-06), Jim Cooper (TN-05), Josh Harder (CA-10), Katie Porter (CA-45), Kim Schrier (WA-08), Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07), Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), Sanford Bishop (GA-02), Sean Casten (IL-06), Steven Horsford (NV-04), Susan Wild (PA-07), Susie Lee (NV-03), TJ Cox (CA-21), Tom Malinowski (NJ-07), and Vicente Gonzales (TX-15).
Full text of letter HERE.