The U.S. House on Tuesday passed the NO BAN Act to stop President Donald Trump's xenophobic travel restrictions, delivering what the Center for Constitutional Rights called "a significant rebuke to a hallmark of this administration's broader war on immigrants."
The legislation—formally known as H.R. 2214, the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants Act—passed largely along party lines in a 233-183 vote and takes direct aim at Trump's Muslim ban.
"The Muslim Ban is fundamentally discriminatory and should be repealed in its entirety. It was designed to target Muslims and amended to single out African countries," said the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR).
Amnesty International USA also put the Muslim ban in the broader context of the administration's anti-immigrant policies and statements.
"From his very first week in office, President Trump delivered on the bigoted rhetoric of his campaign," said Ryan Mace, senior policy advisor with the human rights group. "The president and his advisors' dogged efforts to enshrine the Muslim ban into policy reveals a pattern of discrimination toward Muslims in particular, and people from other countries, especially people of color."
"Every single iteration of this administration's bans are a violation of the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and an affront to human dignity. They must be overturned once and for all and today's passage of the NO BAN Act is a vital step towards that goal," said Mace.
The legislation, as the bill's summary explains, in part,
imposes limitations on the president's authority to suspend or restrict aliens from entering the United States and terminates certain presidential actions implementing such restrictions. It also prohibits religious discrimination in various immigration-related decisions, such as whether to issue an immigrant or non-immigrant visa, unless there is a statutory basis for such discrimination.
Still, the language of the final version is far from perect, said CCR, lamenting the "'clarification' that a president may bar entry to groups based on public safety in order to contain a 'communicable disease.' Such language plays into harmful tropes that have long been used to stoke anti-immigrant sentiment."
"Still, passing the NO BAN Act is one step toward ending discriminatory and racist immigration policies once and for all," said CCR. "It is past time to end Trump's war on immigrants and people of color."
Rights groups and Democrats took to social media to celebrate the measure's passge and note its groundbreaking nature. They also called on the Senate to follow suit and pass its version of the bill, though its prospects there are dim.
This is historic! The No BAN Act just became the first bill to pass the House of Representatives that directly addresses Muslim civil rights. pic.twitter.com/FOe4FStDEc— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) July 22, 2020
The House just passed the #NOBANAct, to repeal Trump's hateful Muslim Ban.— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) July 22, 2020
Today we made it clear that in the United States of America, all are welcome.
BREAKING: With @RashidaTlaib presiding, the House just passed the #NOBANAct.— Vanita Gupta (@vanitaguptaCR) July 22, 2020
This is an important rejection of Trump & Stephen Miller’s xenophobia and white nationalism. The Senate needs to take up this legislation immediately and stop this administration’s anti-Muslim bigotry. pic.twitter.com/mDUCU2474M
BREAKING: The House just passed the #NOBANAct to end the Muslim & African bans and to prohibit future presidents from enacting similar discriminatory bans. It is the FIRST time that a chamber of Congress has passed a Muslim civil rights bill. We call on the Senate to act quickly. pic.twitter.com/mx2wUbI8RI— The Leadership Conference (@civilrightsorg) July 22, 2020