Tlaib presides as U.S. House repeals Trump’s Muslim ban

By: - July 23, 2020 10:41 am

Rashida Tlaib | Andrew Roth

The U.S. House on Wednesday passed a measure that would repeal President Donald Trump’s travel ban to the U.S. that affects 13 countries. It also limits his authority to issue such sweeping bans in the future.

The measure known as the NO BAN Act was approved in the Democratic-led lower chamber with a 233-183 vote. The Michigan delegation was split 7-7, with U.S. Rep. Justin Amash (L-Cascade Twp.) joining Republicans in voting no.

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) presided over the vote in the House and gave a short clap after announcing the tally. Tlaib and U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) made history in 2018 when they became the first two Muslim women elected to the U.S. House. 

“There were hundreds of advocacy organizations that never let up and gave credibility to this movement to #RepealTheBan,” Tlaib tweeted on Wednesday. “We still have a long way to fight against the hate agenda coming out of this Administration.”

U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens (D-Rochester Hills) said that the ban is the “most outrageous example of disastrous policymaking influenced by bigotry toward the Muslim community.

“Metro Detroit, home to one of the largest concentrations of Muslims in the United States, was particularly stung by this administration’s discriminatory agenda as many Michigan residents learned that their loved ones would not be permitted to enter the country,” she added.

Trump’s executive orders, which critics have called a Muslim ban, affected Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen. Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania. 

The House legislation would strengthen existing prohibitions on religious discrimination in visa applications, which are guaranteed by the Immigration and Nationality Act. Immigrant advocates called the House’s measure as a means of protecting the rights of American Muslims.

It also imposes limitations on Trump’s authority to suspend or restrict aliens from entering the United States and terminates certain presidential actions implementing such restrictions. It prohibits religious discrimination in various immigration-related decisions, such as whether to issue an immigrant or non-immigrant visa, unless there is a statutory basis for such discrimination.

The bill would require the president, state department and the Department of Homeland Security to only issue a restriction when required to address a compelling government interest, and narrowly tailor the suspension to use the least restrictive means to achieve such an interest.

Meanwhile, in the U.S. Senate, U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) and Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.) have co-sponsored similar legislation, S. 1123, called the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants Act. 

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Ken Coleman
Ken Coleman

Ken Coleman covers Southeast Michigan, economic justice and civil rights. He is a former Michigan Chronicle senior editor and served as the American Black Journal segment host on Detroit Public Television. He has written and published four books on black life in Detroit, including Soul on Air: Blacks Who Helped to Define Radio in Detroit and Forever Young: A Coleman Reader. His work has been cited by the Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, History Channel and CNN. Additionally, he was an essayist for the award-winning book, Detroit 1967: Origins, Impacts, Legacies. Ken has served as a spokesperson for the Michigan Democratic Party, Detroit Public Schools, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters and U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence. Previously to joining the Advance, he worked for the Detroit Federation of Teachers as a communications specialist. He is a Historical Society of Michigan trustee and a Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit advisory board member.