Hawai‘i AG Supports Banning Discrimination on Basis of Religion in Immigration Decisions
Hawaiʻi Attorney General Clare E. Connors today joined a coalition of 19 attorneys general, led by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, in urging Congress to support a bill that would expand the anti-discrimination protections in the Immigration and Naturalization Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion in immigration decisions.
The National Origin-Based Anti-discrimination for Non-immigrants Act, or NO BAN Act (H.R. 2214/S. 1123), is a response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling in Trump v. Hawaiʻi that allowed President Trump’s third iteration of his immigration travel ban, effectively a Muslim Ban, to take effect. The bill is being raised in Congress today before a special joint hearing of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship and the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations to discuss the Muslim Ban.
“The NO BAN Act is a powerful response to the Supreme Court’s disappointing decision in Trump v. Hawaiʻi,” said Attorney General Connors. “It would limit the power of the executive to institute pretextual entry restrictions and repeal the Trump Administration’s discriminatory Muslim travel ban.”
In the letter to Congressional leaders submitted for today’s hearing, Attorney General Connors and the coalition assert that the President’s Muslim Ban “resurfaces the discriminatory practices and anti-immigrant sentiments of immigration laws from the early 1900s,” contrary to Congressional intent. They urge Congress to “right this wrong by restoring the balance of powers, limiting overly broad executive authority to issue future discriminatory travel bans, and reasserting the rule of law and decency.” The NO BAN Act requires future presidents and secretaries of state to provide specific evidence in support of any proposed suspension of a class of immigrants, consult with Congress before doing so, and use the least restrictive means necessary. The Act also repeals the Muslim Ban.
Attorney General Connors and the coalition highlight some of the damage that the Muslim Ban has caused around the country. They argue that the NO BAN Act is a “rational and pragmatic solution to the grave harms caused by the President’s Muslim Ban” and would benefit all Americans by bolstering the economy, strengthening local communities, and improving safety for everyone.
Joining Attorney General Connors and Minnesota Attorney General Ellison in the letter are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.