April 10, 2019

Van Hollen, Coons Push to Repeal Muslim Ban, Prevent Future Discriminatory Bans

Rep. Judy Chu introduced companion bill in the House

U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) and U.S. Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-Calif.) today introduced companion bills in the Senate and House to repeal the President’s existing executive order blocking travel from majority Muslim countries and prevent another baseless, discriminatory travel ban from happening again.

The National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants (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 over 90 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.

Read a summary of the bill here

The Supreme Court ultimately upheld the third version of President Trump’s Muslim ban on June 26, 2018, which indefinitely bans travel from certain countries, including five Muslim-majority countries – Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. In 2018, the first year the ban was in full effect, the State Department rejected approximately 37,000 visa applications from the banned countries. In 2017, fewer than 1,000 were rejected.

The NO BAN Act seeks to combat the President’s Muslim ban by:

  • Immediately rescinding each version of the Muslim ban, as well as abuses of power harming refugees and individuals seeking asylum;
  • Amending the Immigration and Nationality Act’s nondiscrimination provision to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on religion and to apply all nondiscrimination protections to immigrant and nonimmigrant visas alike;
  • Limiting the President’s overly broad authority to issue future bans by requiring suspensions and restrictions to be temporary, based on credible facts, narrowly tailored to a compelling interest, and circumscribed to the least restrictive means possible.
  • Requiring the President to consult with the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security before restricting or suspending the entry of individuals, and increasing mandatory reporting requirements to Congress.
  • Providing a presumption in favor of granting humanitarian and family-based waivers.

In the Senate, cosponsors include Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Bob Casey (D-Penn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.).

In the House, cosponsors include Representatives Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), André Carson (D-Ind.), Don Beyer (D-Va.), Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Max Rose (D-N.Y.), Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.), Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.), Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), Tony Cardenas (D-Calif), Donna Shalala (D-Fla.), Lou Correa (D-Calif.), Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Haley Stevens (D-Mich.), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.), Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.), Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.), Dan Kildee (D-Mich.), Mark DeSaulnier (D-Calif.), Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), Dwight Evans (D-Penn.), Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Andy Levin (D-Mich.), David Scott (D-Ga.), Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Anthony Brown (D-Md.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.), Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), Lori Trahan (D-Mass.), Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.), Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), Alma Adams (D-N.C.), Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), John Lewis (D-Ga.), Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.), Albio Sires (D-N.J.), Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), Al Green (D-Tex.), and Betty McCollum (D-Minn.). 

The nearly 400 organizations supporting the NO BAN Act include Muslim Advocates, the National Immigration Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, Church World Service, the International Refugee Assistance Project, Interfaith Alliance, National Council of Churches, National Iranian American Council, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the NAACP, the Anti-Defamation League, Amnesty International, the United Methodist Church, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, CREDO, and the Human Rights Campaign. The letter of support can be viewed here.