WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today voted to pass a bipartisan bill that would prevent the future abuse of presidential authority to issue discriminatory travel bans.
Upon taking office, President Joe Biden rescinded the anti-Muslim executive orders issued by former President Donald Trump. A 2019 Cato Institute analysis found that the Trump Administration’s Muslim travel ban prevented more than 9,000 family members of U.S. citizens from entering the country, including more than 5,500 children.
The Spanberger-cosponsored National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants (NO BAN) Act would block future executive overreach and prevent additional baseless travel bans — including those targeted at religious groups — from happening again. Specifically, the NO BAN Act would strengthen the Immigration and Nationality Act by prohibiting discrimination on the basis of religion, and it would restore the separation of powers by limiting overly broad executive authority to issue future travel bans.
“In 2017, we watched as an American presidential administration took action — in violation of our founding principles — that discriminated against the families of American citizens. These travel bans did nothing to strengthen our security, yet they senselessly targeted our Muslim neighbors and vilified the children of proud Americans,” said Spanberger. “In Central Virginia, we stand with our Muslim community, and this legislation would prevent such discrimination from being perpetrated against our Muslim neighbors again. Last year, I was proud to help introduce and pass the NO BAN Act in the House, and I was just as proud to see President Biden rescind the Trump Administration’s bans. This vote is in support of our American values, as well as our confidence in the strength and diversity of our Central Virginia community.”
Additionally, the Spanberger-supported NO BAN Act would require the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security to provide evidence to Congress supporting the need for the suspension or restriction of individuals and its proposed duration before the restriction or suspension enters into force.
The NO BAN Act is supported by nearly 400 religious, legal, and advocacy organizations, including: the ACLU, National Council of Churches, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Church World Service, Muslim Advocates, Interfaith Alliance, National Immigration Law Center, America’s Voice, Center for Constitutional Rights, Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, NAACP, UnidosUS, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, International Refugee Assistance Project, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, Anti-Defamation League, Amnesty International, United Methodist Church, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, National Council of Jewish Women, Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Human Rights Campaign, AFSCME, SEIU, American Federation of Teachers, League of Women Voters, National Women’s Law Center, National Organization for Women, and MomsRising.
Spanberger first voted to pass a version of the bipartisan legislation in the U.S. House in July 2020.