The United States House of Representatives passed a bill that would limit the ability of any President of the United States to impose a travel ban on the basis of religion, a measure that has been hailed by advocates. civics as “a major step forward”.
The legislation, known informally as the NO BAN Act, comes in response to former President Donald Trump controversial “Muslim ban” which prohibited travel to the United States from several Muslim-majority countries.
The bill, which must also pass the US Senate to become law, was approved by a 218-208 vote in the House on Wednesday.
“The Muslim ban has torn families apart, put lives on hold for years, and branded Muslims, Africans and other targeted people as external threats,” said Madihha Ahussain, lawyer for Muslim Advocates, an American group. defense of civil rights.
“We need to make sure that no president can ever pass discriminatory bans like this again and with the passage of the ban ban act in the House, we are taking a big step forward to ensure they won’t, ”Ahussain said in a statement. the bill was passed.
President Joe Biden rescinded Trump’s travel ban by decree on January 20, the first day of his mandate.
Trump issued the ban shortly after taking office in 2017, sparking widespread protests and condemnation.
It was overturned twice by US courts before being recast as a national security measure and ultimately confirmed in 2018 by the Supreme Court of the United States.
The ban initially applied to most people attempting to travel to the United States from Syria, Iran, Yemen, Somalia and Libya, as well as from North Korea and Venezuela. In 2020, Trump widened it to include Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania.
Criticized as discriminatory and punitive, it had immediate and far-reaching consequences for American Muslims and their families, refugees and others left behind in third countries.
He divided families, denied people access to health care, and prevented friends and relatives from attending weddings, funerals and graduation ceremonies.
“Muslim and African bans have abused executive power to discriminate against and harm countless people solely on the basis of their national origin or religion,” said Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Center for Law of Justice on Wednesday. immigration.
“The NO BAN law will ensure that no president can again arm this dangerously excessive power,” Hincapié said.
– Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) April 21, 2021
The NO BAN Act would revise U.S. immigration law to prohibit discrimination based on religion and limit the ability of presidents to issue executive orders imposing such travel restrictions in the future.
Even though Trump was defeated in the 2020 presidential election and Biden overturned the travel ban, U.S. lawmakers have said it is important to take legislative action.
“Donald Trump’s Muslim ban is a dark stain on our country’s history, and it must never happen again,” said Democratic Representative Don Beyer, sponsor of the bill.
“It is very important to make the American people and the world understand that this betrayal of our national values, which hurts so many people, is not what we stand for and will not be repeated,” Beyer said when filing the law Project. .
It’s unclear what the prospects for the Democrat-backed House bill will be in the US Senate, where Democrats hold only a slim majority.
Chris Coons, a close political ally of Biden, is leading efforts to advance legislation in the chamber.
NEW: the #NOBANAct past the house ✅
Since the Muslim ban came into effect, @RepJudyChu & I have worked to ensure that no president can ever pass such a discriminatory ban based on fear and prejudice again. I look forward to moving this bill forward in the Senate.
– Senator Chris Coons (@ChrisCoons) April 21, 2021