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CAIR Welcomes House Committee’s Approval of NO BAN Act, Urges Congress to Amend Act to Help Diversity Visa Winners Blocked by Muslim and African Bans

CAIR submits written statement for House Judiciary Committee’s NO BAN Act markup hearing record, requests act be amended to empower the State Department to do more for Diversity Visa application winners who were not issued visas due to the Muslim and African Bans. 

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/14/21) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary’s affirmative vote to refer H.R. 1333, the “National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants Act” or the “NO BAN Act” to the U.S. House of Representatives for a future vote. The NO BAN Act is expected to be voted on soon, possibly next week.

WATCH HEARING: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3o512fH0oLM

The NO BAN Act would ensure no future president has the same authority to create another discriminatory travel ban like the prior administration’s Muslim and African bans.

CAIR and the American Muslim community celebrated last year when the House passed the NO BAN Act in the prior 116th session of Congress, advancing the act with a bipartisan vote of 233-183. CAIR expects the NO BAN Act to once again be adopted in the House and is calling on the U.S. Senate’s new Democratic leadership to advance the bill without delay. The NO BAN Act stalled in the Senate last year under Republican leadership.
 

“CAIR welcomes the House Judiciary Committee’s approval of the NO BAN Act and encourages the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate to adopt the act without delay,” said CAIR Director of Government Affairs Department Robert S. McCaw. “CAIR believes Congress must now find alternative immigration pathways for those would-be immigrants – including Diversity Visa winners – who were prevented by the previous administration’s Muslim and African bans from traveling to the United States and denied their chance at the American dream.” 

In advance of today’s House Judiciary Committee markup of the NO BAN Act, CAIR sent a formal statement for the committee’s hearing record. 

READ: CAIR’s Written Statement for Judiciary Committee Markup Hearing Record of H.R. 1333, the NO BAN Act 

https://www.cair.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/CAIRNoBanAct.pdf

In addition to supporting the advancement of the NO BAN Act, CAIR’s written statement requested that the House Judiciary Committee and Congress: 

  1. Amend the NO BAN Act to empower the State Department to do more for Diversity Visa application winners who were not issued visas due to the Muslim and African Bans. 
  2. Ensure any immigrants whose visa applications were unjustly denied because of the Muslim Ban or African bans should receive both fast-tracked reconsideration and a waiver of the application fees they have already paid. 
  3. Address the existing discriminatory framework of anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim immigration laws and other anti-Muslim extreme vetting programs and policies that also need to be overturned. 
  4. Dismantle the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ application of the Controlled Application Review and Resolution Program (CAARP), which has been used to routinely target Muslims, Arabs, Middle-Easterners and South Asians. 
  5. Repeal the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, re-evaluate all countries currently designated by the federal government under the VWP, and end all other discriminatory anti-Muslim extreme vetting programs.
     

BACKGROUNDER:   

READ: CAIR Community Advisory: What You Need to Know About the Muslim Ban Repeal   

CAIR Community Advisory: What You Need to Know About the Muslim Ban Repeal 

READ: CAIR Multi-Language ‘Muslim Ban Repeal Advisory’ Materials Online in Arabic, Somali, Tigrinya   

CAIR Publishes Multi-Language ‘Muslim Ban Repeal Advisory’ Materials Online in Arabic, Somali, Tigrinya 

First authorized on January 27, 2017, the Muslim ban was amended several times to place varying levels of discriminatory travel restrictions on mostly Muslim and African citizens and government officials from Burma, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Nigeria, Iran, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Tanzania, Venezuela, and Yemen. 

Because of the ban, families have been ripped apart, students have been deprived of educational opportunities, the sick have been blocked from receiving treatment, talented workers have lost out on jobs, and refugees have been trapped in dangerous conditions. 

On January 20, CAIR welcomed President Joe Biden’s termination — on his first day in office — of the previous administration’s discriminatory Muslim and African Bans. However, CAIR believes that it is now the responsibility of the Biden-Harris administration and Congress for determining how to holistically address the damage already done by the Muslim ban and how to help those who were denied entry into the United States. 

CAIR, however, believes that the U.S. State Department’s 45-day review of immigration processes, mandated by an executive order President Biden signed repealing the Muslim Ban, could still do more to undo the damage caused by the Muslim Ban (see above requests to Congress). 

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.       

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos. 

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CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448, rmccaw@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com   

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