People For the American Way

Khizr Khan and Progressive Groups Call on Congress to Pass the #NoBanAct

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Khizr Khan and Progressive Groups Call on Congress to Pass the #NoBanAct

In 2017, President Trump banned entry to people from several Muslim majority countries, following his repeated calls on the campaign trail to ban all Muslims from entering the United States. The first two orders were struck down by multiple courts, but in June 2018 the Supreme Court upheld the current third iteration of the ban. In response, members of Congress have introduced the No Ban Act, which would stop Trump’s Muslim ban and bar future immigration discrimination. To support the bill, People For the American Way joined Muslim Advocates and a diverse group of coalition leaders and activists at a rally on Capitol Hill.

Gold star father and PFAW board member Khizr Khan spoke at the rally and joined PFAW to promote a petition supporting the No Ban Act. At the time this blog was published, the petition had more than 11,000 signatures. Mr. Khan, father of United States Army Captain Humayun Khan who was killed while serving during the Iraq War, has been a longtime advocate for comprehensive immigration reform that addresses the issues of anti-Muslim hate and religious discrimination currently plaguing our system. He told the crowd to focus on the fact that, because of the Muslim ban, many Muslims who die serving this country will not even be able to have members their own families at their funerals. He spoke about the history of Muslim Americans, the contributions they have made to society, and how painful it is to live under an administration that has continuously acted to stigmatize their beliefs.

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., spoke about the very real and ongoing suffering that many Muslim families have undergone. He shared a few heartbreaking stories from families in his state and went on to explain why this legislation is necessary to solve these immediate problems and to prevent presidents from implementing discriminatory immigration practices in the future. Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., then spoke about how poorly executed and hastily implemented the order itself was, resulting in confusion and disruption for many aspiring Americans. She expressed her optimism for the future, stating that this bill is one of many steps needed for America to become a truly immigrant-friendly society.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., spoke about how President Trump has systematically targeted immigrants since the beginning of his campaign to stoke fears and appeal to his base. He stated that these prejudices are unacceptable and not based on the ideology America strives for. Finally, he promised to keep fighting until the ban has been lifted and all similar action would be outlawed in the future.

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., spoke about the fact that history will not look kindly upon the Trump administration and its campaign against religious freedom. She talked about her own experiences of coming to this country as a refugee and how it breaks her heart to think of “little Ilhans” trying to escape their home countries that will never be able to enter the United States because of the ban. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., stated that since the implementation of the ban, the number of hate crimes against Muslims has skyrocketed, indicating the very real and immediate dangers behind Trump’s rhetoric. She stated that she was not going to wait for her country to wake up from this immoral behavior and apologize for its ignorance. She demanded action now to stop these racist policies that have already harmed so many.

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Posted by Sojourners on Wednesday, April 10, 2019