WASHINGTON, DC — On Monday, House Democratic leadership announced that the U.S. House of Representatives will hold a vote on the NO BAN Act (HR 2486, formerly HR 2214) on Wednesday, July 22. The NO BAN Act is a historic Muslim civil rights bill that would end the Trump administration’s Muslim and African Ban and close loopholes in immigration law to prevent future presidents from enacting similar discriminatory bans ever again. Muslim Advocates worked with members of Congress to shape the bill and helped lead the effort to get it passed. The following is a statement from Muslim Advocates Executive Director Farhana Khera:
“This vote will be a significant moment in American history. Since our nation’s founding, no chamber of Congress has passed a bill of this scale that protects the rights of American Muslims. This is a vote on whether Congress believes America is a place where people of all religions and races can live free and equal lives.
And, as COVID-19 rages across the nation, we must remember that the Muslim Ban is also a Doctor Ban. The Trump administration is banning thousands of medical professionals, like doctors, nurses and researchers, when our country needs them the most, especially in rural communities. More than 100,000 medical professionals in the United States are from just two of the banned countries and the ban has led to a 15 percent drop in new physicians from Muslim-majority countries. This Muslim Ban is not about public health, national security or safety—it is about hate.
The House vote will bring us one step closer to ending a cruel status quo since early 2017 where families are torn apart and forced to miss weddings, graduations, births, the chance to say goodbye to dying relatives and other priceless moments of life. Next Wednesday will be our best chance yet to turn back the tides of hate and give a lifeline to separated, desperate families hurt by the Muslim Ban. We call on all House members to stand up for our nation’s founding ideals and for the rights and dignity of all Muslims by voting to pass the NO BAN Act.”
The National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants Act was introduced on April 2019 by Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA). A companion bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE). Muslim Advocates worked with both offices to help shape the legislation and led the NO BAN Act Coalition, an alliance of nearly 400 faith, national security and civil rights organizations working to support it. Muslim Advocates also worked with Postmates and Airbnb as they led a coalition of more than a dozen leading corporations in support of the bill, helped lead efforts to get House Democrats to sign on as co-sponsors of the bill and collected the stories of people impacted by the ban.
In September 2019, Muslim Advocates Executive Director Farhana Khera testified at the first ever congressional hearing on the Muslim Ban. Additionally, Muslim Advocates met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and led a coalition of civil rights leaders to urge the Speaker to ensure that the bill would receive a vote in the House.
Muslim Advocates is a national civil rights organization working in the courts, in the halls of power and in communities to halt bigotry in its tracks. We ensure that American Muslims have a seat at the table with expert representation so that all Americans may live free from hate and discrimination.