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September 24, 2019


Raoul, 18 AGs Urge to Expand Anti-Discrimination Protections by Passing NO BAN Act

Chicago — Attorney General Kwame Raoul joined a coalition of 19 attorneys general in urging Congress to support legislation that would expand the anti-discrimination protections in the Immigration and Naturalization Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion in immigration decisions.

The National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants Act, or NO BAN Act (H.R. 2214/S. 1123), would eliminate the federal government’s travel ban and require the administration to follow anti-discrimination laws when making immigration decisions. The legislation is a response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling in Trump v. Hawaii that allowed the federal government’s third iteration of an immigration travel ban, which prohibited travel to the U.S. from several majority-Muslim nations, to take effect. The House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship and the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations considered the bill today in a special joint hearing related to the travel ban.

“From the moment this administration came into office, it has unlawfully sought to stop Muslims from coming to the United States, through the travel ban and other discriminatory immigration policies,” Raoul said. “I urge members of Congress to pass the NO BAN Act, a law that recognizes the importance of diversity and how immigration makes our country stronger.”

In the letter to Congressional leaders submitted for today’s hearing, Attorney General Raoul and the coalition assert that the Muslim Ban “resurfaces the discriminatory practices and anti-immigrant sentiments of immigration laws from the early 1900s,” contrary to congressional intent. The coalition urges Congress to “right this wrong by restoring the balance of powers, limiting overly broad executive authority to issue future discriminatory travel bans, and reasserting the rule of law and decency.” The NO BAN Act requires future presidents and secretaries of state to provide specific evidence in support of any proposed suspension of a class of immigrants, consult with Congress before doing so, and use the least restrictive means necessary. It also allows private citizens the right to file legal claims and class actions to seek relief from discriminatory immigration policies.

In the comments, Raoul and the coalition highlight some of the damage that the travel ban has caused around the country. They argue that the NO BAN Act is a “rational and pragmatic solution to the grave harms caused by the President’s Muslim Ban” and would benefit all Americans by bolstering the economy, strengthening local communities, and improving safety for everyone.

Joining Attorney General Raoul in submitting the letter are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.


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