Bennet Cosponsors Bill to Repeal Muslim Ban, Prevent Future Discriminatory Bans

Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, with a bicameral group of colleagues, this week introduced legislation 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.

Bill Background

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.

A summary of the bill is available HERE.

Statements of Support

“The Muslim Ban continues to inflict needless, irreversible harm on separated families—a cruel and reckless policy that was wrongly upheld by the Supreme Court and must now be overturned for good,” said Farhana Khera, president and executive director of Muslim Advocates. “The NO BAN Act would immediately stop this discrimination, reunite families, and ensure that no religious community can ever be banned again.”

“The NO BAN Act is a much-needed constitutional safeguard that will protect the spirit of our democracy’s revered system of checks and balances and ensure the executive branch is in compliance with our constitutional norms and the rights and liberties protected by our Constitution,” said Khizr Khan, Gold Star Parent and constitutional rights and national unity advocate from Charlottesville, Virginia. “This legislation also strengthens our democracy by placing congressional oversight on the executive branch.”

“Religious diversity is one of this nation’s greatest strengths,” said Rabbi Jonah Pesner, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and senior vice president of the Union for Reform Judaism. “The NO BAN Act makes clear that immigration decisions must never be based on religious identity. As Jews, we know all too well what it means to be turned away from America’s shores because of our faith. This history reinforces our commitment to standing in solidarity with our Muslim family, refugees, and asylum seekers who hope to find safety and freedom in the United States, as immigrants have for hundreds of years.”

"This ban has devastated our communities, tearing apart thousands of families and making our youth feel invisible and unwanted in the only home they have ever known,” said Mana Kharrazi, executive director of Iranian Alliances Across Borders. “This ban has become a legal justification that fuels the hatred threatening America. The NO BAN Act provides a way forward for us as a nation and, with its passing, will reunite our families and right the wrongs inflicted on our communities."

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.

Additional statements of support are available HERE.