Human Rights First Praises Passage of the NO BAN Act

WASHINGTON — Today the House of Representatives took the historic and courageous step to pass the NO BAN Act, which rescinds religiously and racially motivated travel bans for immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers and prevents future presidents from enacting discriminatory measures which ban specific groups of people from traveling to the United States. Human Rights First praises this vote and has worked to support this passage of this bill since the Trump administration enacted its first travel ban in 2017.

“While this bill is still far from becoming law, it is heartening to see that the U.S. House of Representatives supports rule of law and is committed to ensuring that discrimination against Muslims, Africans, asylum seekers and refugees is illegal,” said Jennifer Quigley, director of refugee advocacy at Human Rights First. “This legislation would prohibit these types of bans on immigration from being championed by another administration while respecting compelling national security interests. We hope that the Senate will give this bill the serious consideration it deserves.”

The NO BAN Act ensures that restrictions on entry into the United States are tailored to meet a compelling national security interest, preserving the authority of presidents to deny entry in a manner consistent with past practice. The law also prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion when determining eligibility for entry under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

In March, Human Right First joined with more than 50 former members of Congress, retired flag officers, former ambassadors, and national security officials and to call on Congress to overturn the Trump administration’s bans on entry from Muslim-majority countries, African countries, refugees and asylum seekers. The letter laid out the humanitarian consequences of the discriminatory bans, including the separation of American citizens from their family members abroad, and exposed how President Trump’s orders have been unnecessary and counterproductive to U.S. national interests.

“The United States has the most rigorous vetting procedures in the world, which it applies to every applicant for entry to the country,” the letter reads. “Our national security and intelligence agencies have the capacity to screen all people seeking entry without resorting to discriminatory bans that inflict harm on innocents. Indeed, they have done just that for decades.”


Published on July 22, 2020


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