Apr 21, 2021 - Politics & Policy

House votes to limit president's ability to impose discriminatory travel bans

Photo of Donald Trump speaking behind a podium

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The House voted 218-208 on Wednesday in favor of curbing presidential power to institute broad international travel bans on the basis of religion.

Why it matters: The legislation was first introduced last year after former President Trump issued a travel ban covering several Muslim-majority countries.

The big picture: The No Ban Act would inhibit the sitting president’s power to control immigration by requiring that travel bans be temporary and subject to congressional oversight, among other limitations.

  • The House also passed the Access to Counsel Act, which would ensure that certain immigrants are able to access a lawyer when detained by Customs and Border Protection. It passed 217-207.

What they're saying: "The Muslim ban will forever be a moral stain on our country’s history," Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) said in a statement.

  • "As the only member of Congress to come from one of the previously banned countries, I am thankful for the opportunity to help lead this effort and safeguard the United States as a land of hope and opportunity."

What to watch: Members of the House are now urging the Senate to pass the No Ban Act, though the measure is not expected to advance.

Of note: The White House expressed its support for the bill earlier this week, saying, “The prior administration’s haphazard misuse of this authority highlights the need for reasonable constraints," per AP.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with information on the House passage of the Access to Counsel Act.

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