Congressman García Votes Against Discriminatory Travel Bans and to Ensure Access to Counsel for Refugees at Ports of Entry

April 21, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04) voted today to pass the NO BAN Act, which would prevent future presidents from issuing discriminatory travel bans, and the Access to Counsel Act, which would ensure individuals detained at a port of entry have access to legal representation.

“Diversity is America’s greatest strength and our laws should reflect that,” said Congressman García. “Instead, Trump’s presidency was marked by blatantly anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim policies designed to strip away the civil rights of those seeking entry into the United States.  The bills we passed today in the House of Representatives move us closer to our ideals as a nation that welcomes immigrants and thrives because of its diversity, not despite it.

“In 2017, President Donald Trump abused executive authority by issuing three versions of the Muslim Ban, barring foreign nationals from several Muslim majority countries from entering the United States.  In doing so, many Muslim American citizens and other individuals with legal status were detained indefinitely at ports of entry without the ability to consult with family or an attorney.  This was a violation of civil liberties and civil rights that caused hardship, confusion, and chaos for Muslims in the United States and around the world.

“Though President Biden has rescinded the Trump bans, these bills are necessary to restore the separation of powers, prevent future executive overreach, and safeguard due process.  The NO BAN Act strengthens immigration law by explicitly prohibiting discrimination based on religion.  The Access to Counsel Act ensures that those seeking to lawfully enter the country at ports of entry have the right to communicate with legal counsel, family members, and others who can assist with verifying the legal status of their travel."