STATEMENT: NO BAN Act Reaffirms Core American Values of Nondiscrimination and Freedom of Religion, says CAP President Neera Tanden

Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants Act—H.R. 2486, formerly H.R. 2214—also known as the NO BAN Act. If it were to become law, the bill would overturn the Trump administration’s many efforts to use a single provision of law—section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act—to unilaterally redesign immigration policies that reflect bigotry.

In addition to adding important substantive and procedural checks to this authority, which would prevent future presidents from carrying out similar abuses, the bill would introduce a prohibition against 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 would also expand that nondiscrimination provision to apply to the issuance of nonimmigrant visas and the consideration of other immigration benefits, with limited exceptions.

Neera Tanden, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement after the vote:

Like no president before him, President Donald Trump has repeatedly turned to section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to ban entire categories of people from being allowed to enter the country. Bans have reflected the president’s clear anti-Muslim animus, his bias against people from African countries, his disdain for asylum seekers and refugees, and generally his anti-immigrant impulses. The NO BAN Act rolls back all of those arbitrary and discriminatory bans and establishes meaningful checks to ensure that future administrative actions genuinely serve important national interests.

House passage of the bill additionally helps restore freedom of religion as a core American value. The bill is a strong rebuke of the administration’s pervasive anti-Muslim bigotry, and by fixing a glaring hole in our immigration laws by including a ban on religious discrimination within a general nondiscrimination provision, the bill erects protections against future discriminatory conduct.

Related resources:

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

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