WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash) issued the following statement today after the House passed H.R. 1333, the NO BAN Act, and H.R. 1573, the Access to Counsel Act:
“The United States should be a place that welcomes and embraces people of all nationalities and religions. By passing the NO BAN Act and the Access to Counsel Act, the House is setting a path forward that better reflects America’s values where we do not shut our doors for xenophobic reasons.
“Following President Biden’s executive action to rescind the egregious Muslim ban put forward by President Trump, the NO BAN Act will establish guardrails to prevent future attempts at discriminatory travel bans. I have spoken with countless constituents who were forced to live apart from their loved ones because of the Muslim ban. This is unacceptable and this bill helps ensure we will not have similar needless and cruel policies in the future.
“Following Trump’s Muslim ban, many individuals lawfully entering the U.S. were held by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for secondary inspection for hours and often denied the ability to contact loved ones or lawyers. Just last year we saw this happen in Washington when hundreds of Iranian Americans were held at the U.S.-Canada border for hours. The Access to Counsel Act seeks to ensure that individuals entering the U.S. who are subjected to secondary inspection can rightfully access and communicate with legal counsel, family, and others who can assist with verifying the legal status of their trip.
“The two bills passed today are important steps to address bigoted policies and practices that have caused unnecessary suffering for years.”