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Image of the Virginia AG Seal

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

 

For media inquiries only, contact:  
Charlotte Gomer, Press Secretary
Phone: (804)786-1022 
Mobile: (804) 512-2552
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING URGES CONGRESS TO EXPAND ANTI-DISCRIMINATION PROTECTIONS IN IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION ACT

~ Coalition of 19 attorneys general supports NO BAN Act in response to Trump Administration’s Muslim Ban ~

RICHMOND (September 24, 2019) – Attorney General Mark R. Herring has joined a coalition of 19 attorneys general 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 Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants Act, or NO BAN Act is a response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling in Trump v. Hawaii that allowed President Trump’s third iteration of his immigration travel ban, effectively a Muslim Ban, to take effect. Attorney General Herring won the nation’s first preliminary injunction against the original travel ban, and continued to fight successfully to block the second and third versions when they were challenged in court.

 

“The immense fear and pain that I felt from Virginia’s Muslim community following Trump’s immigration ban was heartbreaking,” said Attorney General Herring. “We cannot allow something like that to ever happen again in our country that was built on the backs of immigrants of all races, religions and backgrounds. I remain committed to protecting the fundamental rights of all Virginians, and all Americans, to live, work, worship and raise their families in a community free from discrimination and hate.”

 

In the letter to Congressional leaders submitted for today’s hearing, Attorney General Herring and his colleagues assert that the President’s Muslim Ban “resurfaces the discriminatory practices and anti-immigrant sentiments of immigration laws form 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 Herring and his colleagues 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 Herring in the letter are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

 

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