The Southern Poverty Law Center’s president and CEO, Margaret Huang, sent a letter to all members of Congress, urging representatives to support the “National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants Act” — or the “NO BAN Act” — which is scheduled for a vote in the U.S. House on Wednesday.
“The unnecessary, cruel entry bans have dramatically affected millions of Americans, restricting their rights to travel, denying access for those who need lifesaving medical treatment, and unfairly separating them from their families,” Huang wrote in the letter. “Spouses, infants, children and elderly parents have all been separated and trapped overseas. The NO BAN Act will help reunite these families. Further, the Muslim Ban has significantly fueled anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiments and hate violence in the United States. The Muslim and African Bans are bans on people of color and certainly have had the effect of increasing racial and religious bigotry and hate.”
The NO BAN Act would end entry bans imposed by President Donald Trump’s administration.
The SPLC claims that the bans are racist and discriminatory — and disproportionately impact Muslims and people from African countries.
It would repeal Trump’s first asylum ban and strip all future presidents from exercising similar actions.
The Trump Administration, which was fighting a war against ISIS in Syria and Iraq at the time, maintains that the ban was necessary to make it harder for terrorists to get into the country.
The authors of the proposed law insist it would have exceptions to ensure protection of national security and public safety.
“Throughout American history, prejudice and fear have led to unjust and discriminatory immigration, asylum and refugee restrictions — often with disastrous consequences for whom entry was barred,” Huang added in the letter. “Enactment of the NO BAN Act will ensure that no president will be able to ban people for discriminatory purposes without accountability.”
The NO BAN Act is sponsored by Rep. Judy Chu, D-California.