May 2019 Church & State Magazine | People & Events

Americans United joined hundreds of other organizations last month in endorsing the NO BAN Act, federal legislation designed to overturn President Donald Trump’s discriminatory Muslim ban.

The bill, formally titled the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants Act, was introduced in both chambers of Con­­gress April 10. The lead sponsor in the Senate is U.S. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.). In the U.S. House of Representatives, the measure was sponsored by U.S. Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.)

In a joint April 8 letter to members of Congress, the nearly 400 national, state and local organizations that have endorsed the NO BAN Act outlined their concerns over the Trump Muslim ban.

“Regrettably, the Muslim Ban validates the worst stereotypes about Muslims; that they are inherently foreign and violent and pose such a threat to the United States they should be banned,” the letter reads. “The ban on Muslims comes after generations of politicians hostile to religious minorities have attempted to ban Jews, Catholics, and Latter-day Saints. Congress now has an opportunity to take action against the Muslim Ban and this troubling history by sending a strong message that our nation rejects religious bigotry.”

The bill would change portions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by outlawing discrimination in the entry of immigrants based on religion, in addition to the protections against discrimination based on race, sex, nationality, place of birth and place of residence already in place. In addition, it would repeal the asylum ban and enhanced restrictions preventing refugees from entering the country.

The measure would also roll back some of the power presidents have to unilaterally suspend or restrict the entry of non-citizens by putting in place congressional notification and reporting requirements.