Since the 2016 presidential elections, certain issues and policies introduced by the White House have remained in the limelight from the past three years. Amongst those, travel ban, also known as the Muslim Ban, has sparked massive controversy and further put the country’s foreign relations at risk.
Now, after the announcement by President Donald Trump that he will introduce the expanded list of travel ban, the House Democrats have called for the approval of NO BAN Act, also known as the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants Act. Currently, the bill, which was introduced last year, is with the Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship, under the orders of Committee on the Judiciary.
Political experts claim that the announcement coming just a few days before the Iowa Caucus is not a coincidence. Considering the past policies and history of the Trump administration, the move can either be to regain lost ground amongst conservative base and ensure reelection in 2020 or to retaliate against the recently strained relations with the Middle Eastern and Asian countries.
As per critics, the proposed NO BAN Act will put restrictions on President Trump from imposing further travel ban on foreign citizens trying to visit the United States. Apart from ending the religious discrimination that foreign immigrants or citizens are subjected to, the bill will also bring the White House officials under the jurisdiction to explain any sort of travel ban that is imposed on foreign citizens.
In further bid to protest against the Trump administration’s expansion to the travel ban list, Democratic legislators protested alongside the faith and civil rights leaders on Monday. During the protests, Democratic Sen. Christopher Coons voiced concerns against the announcement of the President in Singapore.
He said, “We have no other answer to this shameful policy but to pass the NO BAN Act, which will amend the underlying law, repeal the existing travel bans and fix the hole in the heart of American immigration law that was created by this ungrounded decision.”
“Only by getting this act passed and signed into law will we be certain that future presidents won’t act based on fear, prejudice and a lack of grounding and real information,” he added.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the bill will be voted upon in upcoming weeks, while House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said “his panel would take up the bill in two weeks” and ensured that bill will be introduced in the House of Representatives by mid-February.
This has sparked a question amongst the activists if the calls for NO BAN Act and the protests delay the Administration from introducing the expanded list of travel ban. Until the real reason for expanding the list of travel ban remains speculative, political experts would be looking forward to how the protests will unfold in Washington DC in the upcoming weeks.