House Judiciary Democrats advance bill to bar future ‘Muslim ban’
Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday advanced a bill that would bar the White House from blocking immigrants from entering the U.S. based on their religion.
The bill is a direct response to former President Trump’s so-called Muslim ban, an executive order signed during his first week in office in 2017, which limited visas for those from 13 countries, many with majority-Muslim populations.
President Biden rescinded the ban on his first day in office, but the bill seeks to bar future presidents from taking similar action.
Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) said the bill would prevent executive overreach and accused Trump of using “flimsy national security concerns as a pretext for imposing a sweeping ban based on religious elements.”
During a markup of the bill, the Republican committee members introduced multiple amendments that would have recommitted the U.S. to a number of Trump-era policies, including efforts to make it more difficult to apply for asylum at the southern border.
House leadership had briefly considered taking up the No Ban Act during “immigration week” before the spring recess but instead forwarded legislation that would grant citizenship to “Dreamers” and some migrant farmworkers.
But House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) announced last week that lawmakers would take up the No Ban Act the week of April 19, along with a series of bills “relating to justice and civil rights.”
“The House will consider the No BAN Act, which prevents origin-based discrimination against those seeking to visit our country to do business, see family, or engage in tourism, rejecting the previous administration’s policy of banning arrivals from predominantly Muslim countries,” he wrote in a letter to colleagues.
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