Chu Rips Reported Expansion Plans On Travel Ban to U.S.

Rep. Judy Chu issued a statement last week denouncing President Trump following a report the White House is mulling expansion of its ban on people traveling to the U.S. from certain countries, most of them Muslim-majority nations.

Chu, a Democrat whose 27th District includes South Pasadena, issued a joint statement with Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.). The two are authors of the NO BAN Act — an acronym for National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants.

“The Muslim ban is a dangerous policy rooted in bigotry and xenophobia, sold to the American public through misinformation and innuendo,’’ Chu said in a release.

“That is why we are fighting back with the one thing Donald Trump’s policy lacks most: evidence. Our bill, the NO BAN Act, would end the Muslim Ban and require any president who wanted to implement a similarly broad ban to demonstrate an actual threat with actual evidence.

“This is particularly important because, as we saw with the recent provocation against Iran, Donald Trump believes neither Congress nor the American people deserve explanations or justifications for his actions. We will not just let prejudice become policy and that’s why, if this expanded ban is issued, we must move forward with consideration of the NO BAN Act immediately.” 

Coons, meanwhile, said: “Thousands of families have already been torn apart because of President Trump’s discriminatory Muslim ban that does not make us safer. Now, thousands more spouses, parents, grandparents, children, siblings and friends could be separated by the expansion of this senseless ban.

“This policy is wrong, it is un-American, and I will fight it. We must pass the NO BAN Act immediately to bring relief to families that have already been separated and make it clear that, in the United States, we will not tolerate discrimination based on religion or nationality.”

Chu’s office said the NO BAN Act would repeal the three versions of Trump’s travel ban, strengthen the Immigration and Nationality Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion and restore the separation of powers by limiting overly broad executive authority to issue future travel bans.

The current version of the travel ban features restrictions on travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, all Muslim-majority nations, plus North Korea and Venezuela.

The NO BAN Act has 209 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives and 39 in the Senate.

Last week, the Associated Press, quoting six people familiar with the situation, said a document is circulating around the White House outlining plans to add as many as seven countries, most of them Muslim, to the travel ban.