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Democrats challenge Trump’s travel ban on anniversary

January 27, 2020 at 9:00 pm

Nancy Pelosi, House of Representatives Speaker, in Phoenix, Arizona, on 20 February 2018 [Gage Skidmore/Flickr]

Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, and other prominent Democrats, on Monday announced plans to stop President Donald Trump’s three-year-old ban on travelers from some mostly-Muslim countries, Anadolu Agency reports.

Pelosi issued a statement on her website, while Senator Chris Coons and Representative Ilhan Omar attended a press conference on Capitol Hill to show support for a new piece of legislation called the No Ban Act.

“House Democrats continue to stand opposed to President Trump’s cruel, un-American travel ban in all of its iterations,” Pelosi said in her statement.

“In the coming weeks, the House Judiciary Committee will mark up and bring to the floor the NO BAN Act to prohibit religious discrimination in our immigration system and limit the president’s ability to impose such biased and bigoted restrictions.”

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Trump administration officials are understood to be planning an expansion of the ban, which was first rolled out soon after Trump took office in January 2017, to include Belarus, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Myanmar, Sudan and Tanzania.

“President Trump and his administration’s continued disdain for our nation’s national security and our founding ideals of liberty and justice dishonor our proud immigrant heritage and the diversity that strengthens and enriches our communities,” wrote Pelosi.

“Despite the Administration’s hateful policies and dangerous rhetoric, this fundamental truth remains: immigrants make America more American.”

US congresswoman Ilhan Omar in Minnesota, US on 4 October 2016 [Lorie Shaull/Flickr]

US congresswoman Ilhan Omar in Minnesota, US on 4 October 2016 [Lorie Shaull/Flickr]

In a tweet, Omar said she believes “in an America that protects the free exercise of all religions”, that lawmakers should steer away from religion and that “three years after the #MuslimBan, I will continue to fight for that America.”

In another tweet, Coons said that the travel ban “sent the wrong message to our allies around the world about what we stand for as a country.”

Trump’s executive order, often described as a “Muslim ban,” was imposed soon after he took office and limited travel from folks traveling to the US from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, North Korea and Venezuela.

The ban was heavily criticised and faced multiple legal challenges, forcing the administration to revise it. Its third iteration was ultimately upheld by the Supreme Court in a 5-4 vote in June 2018.

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