By Servet Gunerigok
WASHINGTON (AA) – The US House of Representatives passed the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants (NO BAN) Act on Wednesday.
The bill cleared the House floor by a vote of 218-208, backed by only one Republican representative.
The bill limits the president's authority to suspend or restrict aliens from entering the US and prohibits religious discrimination in various immigration-related decisions, such as whether to issue an immigrant or non-immigrant visa.
The NO BAN Act had been introduced by Democrat Rep. Judy Chu in response to former President Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban.
In her speech on the House floor before the vote, Chu called the Muslim ban "always wrong, needless and cruel."
"And today we can make sure it never happens again. First this policy was wrong. America does not ban people because of their religion, and the Supreme Court acknowledged this," she said.
The legislation will next move to the Senate floor.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) hailed the passage of the act and thanked Chu and the House Democratic leadership for fast-tracking the adoption of the measure.
In a statement, the nation's largest Muslim advocacy group also urged the Senate Democratic and Republican leadership to support the bill.
“We are also calling on Congress to find alternative immigration pathways for those would-be immigrants – including Diversity Visa winners – who were prevented by the previous administration’s Muslim and African bans from traveling to the United States and denied their chance at the American dream," said CAIR Director of Government Affairs Department Robert S. McCaw.