Following reports of the Administration expanding the anti-Muslim Travel Ban to additional countries, Congressman leads coalition of moderate Democrats call for passage of legislation that would repeal existing ban, and prevent expansion or future discriminatory bans
WASHINGTON, DC – January 18, 2020 — Congressman Max Rose joined yesterday together with Congressmembers Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey and Stephanie Murphy of Florida to lead a group of 32 Members of Congress calling on House leadership to take swift action to pass the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants (NO BAN) Act to repeal the Administration’s Travel Ban which primarily targets Muslim-majority countries. January 27th marks the third anniversary of Executive Order 13769, the first iteration of the President’s Ban.
“While officially called a Travel Ban, the fact is it’s a racist, xenophobic Muslim Ban,” said Rose, Chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism. “We’ve seen time and time again there is no rhyme or reason to this policy and no basis in our national security—proven by the fact that less than one percent of waivers denied are on national security grounds. We must send the clear and unmistakable message that the Muslim Ban goes against our American values, and that we as Democrats stand strongly in support of the Muslim-American community and their families.”
“As Americans, we must stand against the persecution of religious minorities,” wrote Rose and the Members in a letter to Congressional leadership. “To pass the NO BAN Act is to stand up for the bedrock American value of religious liberty. That is why a broad coalition of interfaith leaders support the bill, along with more than 200 Members of Congress, ourselves included. Muslim-American families remain separated for the simple reason that they hail from countries selected by President Trump to enact a campaign promise for a ‘total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.’ Since the first iteration of the Ban was implemented on January 27th, 2017 as Executive Order 13769, the Administration has been forced to issue successive revised versions of the Ban to overcome judicial scrutiny. Just last week, reports surfaced that the Administration may soon further expand the Ban.”
The NO BAN Act would repeal the President’s existing executive order blocking travel from majority Muslim countries and prevent another baseless, discriminatory travel ban from happening again. The 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 more than 200 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.
Last year, in a response to Rose’s request seeking information and data on the effects of the Travel Ban, the Department of State provided a response which included the following data from the period of December 8, 2017 – October 31, 2018:
- 48,656 immigrant visa and non-immigrant visa applications were subject to restrictions under the travel ban
- 36,309 were denied visas with waiver consideration
- 8,149 of those applications were denied for reasons unrelated to the travel ban
- 1,546 applicants met the criteria for waiver and received a visa
- 670 met the criteria for a waiver but have not yet received a visa
- 0.1 percent of visa application waivers denied were due to national security concerns
“Congressman Rose and these 30 Democrats are showing true leadership by defending religious freedom and standing up for Americans nationwide,” said Farhana Khera, Executive Director of Muslim Advocates. “The need for a vote on the NO BAN Act has never been more urgent. Tens of thousands of families have been cruelly separated by the Ban and the president is now threatening to double down on this hate. Thanks to these courageous congressional leaders, we will pass this critical bill and put an end to religious and nationality bans for good.”
“We want to thank Congressman Max Rose and his Congressional colleagues for their advocacy on behalf the of individuals from the Muslim banned countries,” said Abdul Mubarez, Board President of the Yemeni American Merchants Association. “The Yemeni American community has been hit hard by this ban in the face of war and a humanitarian crisis many Yemeni family members are fleeing for refuge with their Yemeni American family members. We have faith in our democracy and our Congregational leaders to overturn a racist and bigoted immigration policy.”
“President Trump’s ‘Muslim Bans’ have been staggeringly harmful to the American Muslim community,” said Marwa Janini, Interim Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York. “They have broken up families, undermined trust in government, and have been dog-whistles to bigots which have contributed to a nationwide rise in anti-Islamic hate crimes. Most harmfully though, they have sent a message to a generation of young Muslims that they are less American than their friends and neighbors simply because of their faith. Healing this damage will take years, but the NO BAN Act is an excellent first step in showing our community that the ‘Muslim Ban’ reflects the will of one man, not that of a nation built on religious tolerance and pluralism.
The letter concludes, “In light of the above, we respectfully urge you to swiftly bring the NO BAN Act to a committee markup and floor vote this year. It is our duty to relay an unequivocal message that the United States House of Representatives welcomes the Muslim-American community, as we do other communities, that their hardships have not been forgotten, and that the American people refuse to stand for discrimination of any kind. By passing NO BAN, we can both protect our national security and stay true to our nation’s core values.”
Rose has been a strong advocate in supporting Yemeni-American citizens in his district who have faced roadblocks from the Muslim Ban as they navigate visa applications in efforts to bring family members home and out of harm’s way. Rose has called on the Secretary of State to approve visa applications for several of his constituents and has been successful in securing waivers from the Travel Ban to reunite family members. Additionally, Rose called on Congress to overturn the President’s veto of the historic, bipartisan action Congress took to end American support for the War in Yemen. Rose also chaired a hearing in which he pushed the Administration to demonstrate with facts and data how the Travel Ban has, if at all, prevented terrorist travel into the United States.
Full text of letter HERE.
SOURCE: Jonas Edwards-Jenks | Communications Director | Congressman Max Rose