Today's date is February 23, 2020

Murphy Leads Group Urging Vote on Legislation to End Anti-Muslim Travel Ban

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WASHINGTON –U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy of Winter Park, Fla., led a group of 34 Members of Congress urging House leadership to swiftly pass the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants (NO BAN) Act. The legislation would repeal the Trump administration’s travel ban, which primarily targets Muslim-majority countries. Recent reports surfaced claiming that the administration may soon expand the ban to cover more countries. Jan. 27 marks the third anniversary of Executive Order 13769, the first iteration of the President’s travel ban.

“As Americans, we must stand against the persecution of religious minorities,” wrote Murphy and others in a letter to congressional leadership. “To pass the NO BAN Act is to stand up for the bedrock American value of religious liberty. That is why a broad coalition of interfaith leaders support the bill, along with more than 200 Members of Congress, ourselves included.”

The NO BAN Act, which Murphy has co-sponsored, would repeal the President’s existing executive order blocking travel from majority Muslim countries and prevent another baseless, discriminatory travel ban from happening again. The NO BAN Act repeals the three versions of President Trump’s Muslim ban, strengthens the Immigration and Nationality Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion, and restores the separation of powers by limiting overly broad executive authority to issue future travel bans. The legislation is supported by more than 200 members of Congress, nearly 400 diverse civil rights, faith, national security and community organizations, as well as private companies and more than 50 immigration law professors.

The letter concludes, “In light of the above, we respectfully urge you to swiftly bring the NO BAN Act to a committee markup and floor vote this year. It is our duty to relay an unequivocal message that the United States House of Representatives welcomes the Muslim-American community, as we do other communities, that their hardships have not been forgotten, and that the American people refuse to stand for discrimination of any kind. By passing NO BAN, we can both protect our national security and stay true to our nation’s core values.”

The full text of letter, which Murphy co-led with Rep. Max Rose, D-N.Y., Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., can be found here and below:

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Hoyer, Majority Whip Clyburn, and Chairman Nadler,

We write to ask that you schedule HR 2214, the NO BAN Act, for markup in the House Judiciary Committee followed promptly by a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives. This bill will repeal the previous three iterations of the Muslim Ban, limit the President’s authority to issue future bans, and broaden the Immigration and Nationality Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion.

We believe that it is past time for Congress to repeal the Muslim Ban that has punished the Muslim-American community for nearly three years.

As Americans, we must stand against the persecution of religious minorities. To pass the NO BAN Act is to stand up for the bedrock American value of religious liberty. That is why a broad coalition of interfaith leaders support the bill, along with more than 200 Members of Congress, ourselves included.

Muslim-American families remain separated for the simple reason that they hail from countries selected by President Trump to enact a campaign promise for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” Since the first iteration of the Ban was implemented on January 27th, 2017 as Executive Order 13769, the Administration has been forced to issue successive revised versions of the Ban to overcome judicial scrutiny. Just last week, reports surfaced that the Administration may soon further expand the Ban.

We agree with Speaker Pelosi’s June 26th, 2018 statement that the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the current Muslim Ban “undermines our values, our security, and our Constitution.” Numerous national security officials have testified before Congress that the Ban does not make our country any safer. Foreign nationals undergo rigorous vetting through visa procedures that include biographic, biometric, and other stringent screenings. Furthermore, those seeking to enter the United States who are citizens of designated State Sponsor of Terrorism countries are already rightfully subject to the highest level of security and background checks including a required interview by a consular officer.

In light of the above, we respectfully urge you to swiftly bring the NO BAN Act to a committee markup and floor vote this year. It is our duty to relay an unequivocal message that the United States House of Representatives welcomes the Muslim-American community, as we do other communities, that their hardships have not been forgotten, and that the American people refuse to stand for discrimination of any kind. By passing NO BAN, we can both protect our national security and stay true to our nation’s core values.

Respectfully,

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U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy represents Florida’s Seventh Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she serves on the influential House Ways and Means Committee. The district includes all of Seminole County and much of northern Orange County, including downtown Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, and the University of Central Florida. Previously, Murphy was a businesswoman and college instructor who also served as a national security specialist in the Office of the Secretary of Defense where she received numerous awards, including the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service. Murphy lives in Winter Park with her husband and two children.

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