ACLU Statement on House Passage of the NO BAN Act

July 22, 2020 4:00 pm

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WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives today passed the NO BAN Act, legislation that would repeal the Muslim ban, asylum ban, and refugee ban as well as Trump’s most recent Muslim ban expansion, which primarily targets Africans. The bill also makes necessary reforms to immigration law to set a higher standard for such use of authority and prevent future discriminatory bans. However, it also includes unnecessary and discriminatory language that weakened the legislation.

The American Civil Liberties Union endorsed this legislation and organized a coalition letter in support — alongside approximately 200 civil rights and liberties, immigration, human rights, and community-based organizations — urging Congress to pass the NO BAN Act without any changes. The ACLU urged members of Congress to vote “YES” on HR 2214, the NO BAN Act, and “NO” on any amendments or other changes proposed to the bill. The ACLU will be scoring this vote in the organization’s congressional scorecard, available online here.

The following is a statement from Manar Waheed, senior legislative and advocacy counsel for the ACLU:

“The passage of the NO BAN Act is a victory for Muslims, Africans, immigrants, and everyone who wants to ensure that future presidents cannot use rank prejudice to enact discriminatory bans. Unfortunately, the final version included language regarding COVID-19 that further stigmatizes immigrant communities in the midst of a pandemic in which many are already being attacked and, perversely, echoes President Trump’s talking points as he has issued ban after ban for the last several months. As we celebrate today’s success, we must also demand better. We need elected officials that rescind the bans without caveats or exceptions and support the standards and protections in this bill without the stigmatizing and harmful language. We demand it, because our communities deserve it.

“Today’s passage is, nevertheless, a big step forward, but with that comes an intense reminder of the work that still needs to be done on both sides of the aisle. We can celebrate this victory and simultaneously demand more from both Congress and the White House. We can enact laws and policies that do right by communities of color — in fact, we must.”

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