STATEMENT: The NO BAN Act Will Promote Religious Freedom and Prevent Future Discrimination in Immigration

Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary voted to advance the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants Act, also known as the NO BAN Act, for full consideration by the U.S. House of Representatives. Sponsored by Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) and cosponsored by 215 additional members of the House, the bill overrides President Donald Trump’s discriminatory and illegal bans and provides much-needed standards to guide future presidents’ decisions to unilaterally suspend or restrict the entry of foreign nationals into the United States.

After the vote, Tom Jawetz, vice president of Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

From his first week in office, President Trump has taken steps to arbitrarily and illegally reshape immigration into the country to reflect his own bigotry. Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act—which previous administrations have used for decades in well-tailored and limited ways—has been one of his favorite tools. The NO BAN Act is a smart and long-overdue reform to our immigration laws that will prevent arbitrary and discriminatory bans from being imposed while still preserving future administrations’ ability to take actions that serve important national interests and are based on sound evidence and appropriate checks.

The NO BAN Act additionally inserts a prohibition of religious discrimination in immigration-related decisions into an existing provision that bars discrimination on the basis of race, sex, nationality, and several other criteria. It also expands the nondiscrimination provision to apply to the issuance of nonimmigrant visas and the consideration of other immigration benefits, with limited exceptions.

Maggie Siddiqi, director of the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at CAP, released the following statement:

Freedom of religion is a cornerstone of who we are as Americans. President Trump claims to be a champion of religious freedom while simultaneously discriminating against Muslims. The NO BAN Act helps our nation live up to its values. If passed, this bill will make sure the damage caused to communities and families by the president’s anti-Muslim bigotry doesn’t happen again. The absence of “religion” in the existing nondiscrimination protections is a glaring omission. The sponsors of this bill in Congress are taking an important step to ensure that our immigration laws explicitly include religious freedom protections as guaranteed by the First Amendment.

Related resources:

Restoring the Rule of Law Through a Fair, Humane, and Workable Immigration System” by Tom Jawetz

On Third Anniversary of Muslim Ban, Trump Administration Appears Poised To Expand Upon Bigoted Policies” by Tom Jawetz and Sofia Carratala

Reclaiming Religious Freedom” by Emily London and Maggie Siddiqi

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Claudia Montecinos at or 202.481.8145.