The Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives is today holding a markup on an important piece of legislation called the No Ban Act.

The legislation is designed to respond to President Donald Trump’s cruel and capricious Muslim Ban. It will ensure that no one can be banned from our country based on religion ever again and puts in place vital protections against future discriminatory bans.

Sponsored in the House by U.S. Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) and in the Senate by U.S. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), the legislation gets the nation back to important founding principles: We don't punish an entire class of people based on their religion.

This legislation is especially important now because Trump recently announced an expansion of the Muslim Ban, adding several more countries to the “banned” list.

When Trump took that action, AU President and CEO Rachel Laser was quick to respond.

“It was un-American when President Trump proposed a Muslim Ban from the campaign trail, it was un-American when he first implemented a Muslim Ban three years ago, and it’s un-American today to expand the Muslim Ban to more countries and cruelly separate even more families,” Laser said. “Engaging in religious discrimination to ban people because of their faith fundamentally violates our country’s constitutional principle of religious freedom. We will continue to challenge Trump’s Muslim Ban in court as we have since it was first enacted, and we urge Congress to pass the No Ban Act immediately.”

AU opposes the Muslim Ban because it violates our fundamental values of religious freedom for all. It’s clear this ban is driven by hostility toward Muslims and their faith, and for evidence of that, you need not look beyond Trump’s statements on the campaign trail in 2016 and afterward. America was founded on the principle of religious freedom. We dishonor that principle when we oppress others and spread intolerance.

The Muslim Ban also harms families by tearing them apart. In the years since the ban went into effect, countless families have been needlessly separated, people have been denied access to lifesaving medical treatments, children have been denied their parents and grandparents and people have missed the births, deaths, weddings, and funerals of loved ones – for no other reason than their faith. (To learn more, read AU’s statement to the committee about the No Ban Act.)

The Muslim Ban is a short-sighted policy and an affront to our national values. This markup is important because it’s the first step toward passing this legislation. The next stop is a vote on the House floor. Help Americans United protect religious freedom by urging your members of Congress to support the No Ban Act.

Photo: Protestors rally against the Muslim Ban