House to Vote on Travel Ban Repeal Bill
By Preston Huennekens | FAIR Take | March 2020
This week, the House will consider the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants (NO BAN) Act. This is a blatant attempt by House Democrats to cripple the president’s powers to pursue legitimate national security interests and protect American citizens. The fact that Congress is voting on this in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic is both stunning and ill-advised.
The NO BAN Act targets President Trump’s “travel ban” of countries deemed to present substantial risks to the American homeland. President Trump restricted travel from seven countries identified by the Obama administration as risks: Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, and Somalia. On January 31st, he also issued travel restrictions to immigrating nationals pursuing legal permanent residence from Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania. Although these bans began under President Trump, the Obama administration first designated these countries as problematic or otherwise dangerous to American security.
Fortunately, this bill has no chance of receiving a vote in the Senate or earning the President’s signature. It is, frankly, a political message that ignores present realities. As coronavirus spreads throughout the world, why would Congress want to limit the president’s authority to identify threats and restrict travel from countries with high levels of the disease? Consideration of the NO BAN Act could not come at a worse time and FAIR firmly opposes it.