Congress Revved Up The Fight Against Trump's Travel Ban With This New Bill

by Caroline Burke
Mark Wilson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

New bills introduced in the House and the Senate seek to change one of Trump's more controversial policies. Specifically, the National Origin-Based Anti-discrimination for Nonimmigrants Act, also called the No Ban Act, aims to reverse POTUS' travel ban. And if you're wondering whether Congress can overturn Trump's travel ban, the answer is yes — but both the Senate and the House have to vote in favor of the move.

The No Ban Act was introduced by Rep. Judy Chu and Sen. Chris Coons on Wednesday, who were backed by dozens of cosponsors from both chambers. Per a press release by Coons, the legislation aims to repeal all three versions of Trump's travel ban, and "is supported by over 90 members of Congress, nearly 400 diverse civil rights, faith, national security and community organizations, as well as private companies and more than 50 immigration law professors."

According to HuffPost, the new legislation doesn't just seek to overturn Trump's previous travel bans. It would also require all future presidents to consult with the secretaries of state and homeland security before passing any bill that bars a group of people from entering the country. Additionally, it would mandate that any future ban be backed up by facts and evidence.

In a press release following the introduction of the new bill, Coons said in part:

Right now, there are thousands of American citizens who are forced to live apart from their spouses, whose children will never know their grandparents, and who are denied the opportunity to celebrate milestones with loved ones because of the President’s discriminatory Muslim ban that does not make us safer. This ban is family separation by another name. It is a stain on America’s reputation around the world that runs counter to our values and is hurting real people.

In that same press release, Chu said:

President Trump’s Muslim Ban is a hateful policy, born from bigotry, that denies both our country and millions of aspiring Americans a better future. ... This ban makes America less safe, endangers the lives of refugees who seek safety here, and tarnishes our reputation in the world. It has nothing to do with national security, and everything to do with instilling fear of the Muslim community. And that’s why we are acting to end it.

You can read the one-pager summary of the No Ban Act here. Of course, the bill might face an uphill road to passage, given the Republican-controlled Senate and the likelihood that Trump would move to veto the bill even if it were passed (if that happened, Congress would have to vote to override his veto). Trump's travel ban, which restricts immigration and travel from a number of Muslim-majority countries, has faced multiple court challenges in the last few years. Even so, the Supreme Court upheld the ban last June, in a 5-4 vote.

Now, the 90-plus cosponsors of the bill suggest that the tide could change. If you want to contact your legislator to let them know you support the passage of the No Ban Act, you can find their information here, for both chambers of Congress.