FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 11, 2020
WASHINGTON—As the only national organization built and led by refugees, asylum-seekers and other vulnerable migrants, Refugee Congress strongly urges the Members of Congress to pass the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants Act (NO BAN Act) (H.R. 2214), which is scheduled for a vote in the House of Representatives tomorrow.
Over the past three years, the Administration has taken a series of actions threatening refugee, asylum-seeker and Muslim communities. A January 2017 executive order banned people from seven (later changed to six) Muslim-majority countries and stopped all refugees from entering the country for 120 days. Since then, the Administration has issued additional bans on people from Muslim-majority and African nations, and has sought to dismantle and undermine the popular bipartisan refugee resettlement program.
The Administration also suspended the “following to join” process for refugees who have been separated from their spouse and children, and has taken actions attempting to deny the right to asylum and creating dangerous situations for asylum-seekers.
Refugee Congress is also strongly opposed to the Administration’s discriminatory travel bans, which unfairly target individuals based on country of origin and specifically Muslim-majority and non-white countries, and we oppose actions that threaten refugee resetttlement and the safety of asylum-seekers.
These actions are damaging to our communities across the country and to our national identity as a welcoming nation. They threaten individuals who are seeking safety, and they block resettled refugees and asylum-seekers in the U.S. from uniting with family members. They also harm lawful permanent residents and U.S. citizens with origins in the countries included in the ban.
The NO BAN Act (H.R. 2214) would uphold our national tradition of welcome and ensure protections against discriminatory travel bans. It would repeal the bans targeting Muslims, refugees and asylum-seekers and would outlaw discrimination against immigrants or travelers entering the U.S. based on religion, in addition to the existing legal protections against discrimination based on race, sex, nationality, place of birth, and place of residence. It would establish necessary protections against future discriminatory bans.
We value the diversity of this country and the important contributions of many different races, ethnicities, religions and backgrounds. Refugees, asylum-seekers and other migrants are great assets and valued members of our communities. We contribute to the economic, cultural and civic landscape of our nation in so many positive ways.
It is vital that we embrace our nation’s tradition of welcome and support. Refugee Congress urges all Members of Congress to pass the NO BAN Act (H.R. 2214) and to provide support, welcome and protection to refugees, asylum-seekers and other migrants.
Refugee Congress is a nonpartisan national advocacy organization built and led by former refugees, asylum-seekers and other vulnerable migrants to promote the well-being, integration and dignity of all vulnerable migrants. With delegates across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, we use our voices and experiences to inform and influence decision-makers on critical domestic and international issues that affect our communities. www.refugeecongress.org.