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Coons, Chu, faith and civil rights leaders call for passage of NO BAN Act

Delaware News Desk
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

Three years after President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban first separated thousands of families, Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, and Rep. Judy Chu, D-California, brought together on Jan. 27 members of Congress, faith and civil rights leaders, and individuals directly impacted by the ban to call for passage of the NO BAN Act, legislation that would end the president’s Muslim ban and prevent another such ban from happening again.

Coons and Chu were joined by Sens. Dick Durbin, Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, and Mazie Hirno, D-Hawaii, and Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minnesota, André Carson, D-Indiana, and Don Beyer, D-Virginia.

“Today we mark the somber anniversary of a policy that does not make us safer and does not align with our values as a nation,” said Coons. “Thousands of American families continue to be separated today because of President Trump’s Muslim ban, and it is up to us to right this wrong. Congress must pass the NO BAN Act to reverse the president’s shameful policy and send a message that in this country, we will not tolerate discrimination based on religion and nationality. Speaker Pelosi’s announcement today that the House will advance this bill is a critical step forward.”

Legislators were joined by Farhana Khera, executive director of Muslim Advocates; Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center; Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block, director of Bend the Arc Jewish Action; Sheila Katz, CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women; Hilary Shelton, director of the NAACP Washington Bureau and senior vice president for policy and advocacy; as well as three individuals directly impacted by the ban: Mana Kharrazi, an Iranian American who has been separated from her family because of the Muslim ban; Eric Naing, a Burmese American who stands to be separated from his family under an expanded ban; and Danah Harbi, an American citizen whose Syrian fiancé is banned from entering the U.S.

The National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants Act repeals the three versions of 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 nearly 250 members of Congress; more than 400 civil rights, faith, national security and community organizations; more than 50 immigration law professors; 19 state attorneys general; and several private companies.

A summary of the NO BAN Act is available at bit.ly/2mpFq0W.

For video of the gathering, visit bit.ly/30XjcDy.