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The travel bans implemented by the Trump administration separated families and unfairly targeted refugees and Muslim and African immigrants.

The NO BAN Act (H.R. 1333), which passed the House today, would prevent future presidents from committing similar abuses of power in the future. It’s passage sends a message to the country that this type of discriminatory action is unacceptable.

The travel bans raised two main concerns for advocates: how to end such policies, and how to ensure that they are never enacted again.

The harsh travel bans enacted by the Trump administration raised two main concerns for advocates: how to end such policies, and how to ensure that they are never enacted again. In response, the Biden administration issued an executive order on day one to rescind the Muslim and African travel bans (Proclamation 9983) in their entirety.

This was a welcome step, but a permanent, legislative solution—as reflected in the NO BAN Act introduced by Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27)—is necessary. This bill requires the executive branch to meet a stricter and more reasonable standard to impose travel bans.

The travel bans revealed that presidential powers are almost unbounded when it comes to the creation of racist, xenophobic, and discriminatory immigration policies. This bill represents a significant step towards preventing future harm.

More specifically, any future travel ban suspending or restricting entry to the United States must be based upon “specific and credible facts” and be connected to “specific acts” that have already occurred. These acts must meet a compelling government interest, and the executive branch must use the least restrictive means in addressing them. Any use of this authority should comply with all other provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

We are calling on the Senate to pass the NO BAN Act while keeping its provisions intact.

The NO BAN Act also establishes a system of checks and balances whereby Congress would be routinely notified and briefed on the status, implementation, and constitutional and legislative authority of any future bans. The legislation also prohibits discrimination based upon religion.

With the bill’s passage in the House, the NO BAN Act is one step closer to becoming law. We are calling on the Senate to pass the NO BAN Act while keeping its provisions intact and refraining from adding any harmful amendments to the legislation.

Maria Isabel (Marisa) Leon-Gomez

Marisa León-Gómez Sonet

Legislative Associate, Immigration & Refugee Program
Marisa León-Gómez Sonet is the Legislative Associate for the immigration and refugee program. She works towards a more humane and dignified immigration and refugee system.

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