Press Releases

CAIR Welcomes House Passage of NO BAN Act, Urges Congress to Help Diversity Visa Winners Blocked by Muslim and African Bans

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/21/21) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today applauded the U.S. House of Representatives for voting to pass the H.R. 1333, the “National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants Act” or the “NO BAN Act.”

CAIR urged U.S. Senate Democratic and Republican leadership to support the bill.

The NO BAN Act was adopted with a bipartisan vote of 218 to 208. Only Republicans voted against the bill. 

Introduced by Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA) and co-sponsored by 159 congressional Democrats, 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 thanks Congresswomen Judy Chu and House Democratic leadership for fast tracking the adoption of the NO BAN Act and encourages the U.S. Senate to adopt the act without delay,” said CAIR Director of Government Affairs Department Robert S. McCaw. “We are also calling on Congress to 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.” 


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. 

About the NO BAN Act

The measure is Democrats’ response to former President Donald Trump’s proclamations banning travel or immigration by nationals of several, mostly Muslim, countries. Trump had said the bans were necessary for security and counterterrorism.

Under the bill, admission to the U.S. could be blocked or otherwise restricted only when “specific and credible facts” support a determination by DHS that entry would undermine U.S. security or public safety, human rights, democratic processes, or international stability. 

Before a restriction could take effect, the State and Homeland Security departments would have to provide evidence for the determination to Congress. They also would have to provide a briefing and report within 48 hours of issuing restrictions, or else they would automatically end. An unclassified version of the report would have to be published in the Federal Register. 

An additional report would have to be provided to Congress every 30 days while the restrictions are in effect, or they would automatically terminate, and a final report would be due 30 days after the restrictions are lifted. The reports would have to be publicly available online. 

Executive actions to limit entry would have to specify a duration and use the least restrictive means to address the concern. Waivers would be available, specifically for family-based and humanitarian concerns. 

The measure would allow private suits, including class actions, by anyone present in the U.S. who is harmed by a violation of the limits imposed by the bill. 

The bill also would: 

  • Transfer to DHS the Justice Department’s existing authority to block entry by noncitizens traveling on a commercial airline that hasn’t complied with rules related to detecting fraudulent documents. 
  • Require reports on the implementation of travel-ban proclamations issued by Trump during the period they were in force. 

About the Muslim and African Bans: 

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 recently welcomed the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary’s approval of the NO BAN Act and submitted a statement of support for the bill’s mark-up hearing. 

SEE: 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 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.  


CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper,