WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash) issued the following statement today after the House passed H.R. 2486, the NO BAN Act, and H.R. 2486, the Access to Counsel Act:
“The United States should be a place that welcomes and embraces people of all religions and nationalities. One of President Trump’s first acts in office was the Muslim travel ban, and at every turn, he has pushed similar bigoted immigration policies. By passing the NO BAN Act and the Access to Counsel Act, the House is putting forward a different vision for America, one that better reflects America’s values and where we do not shut our doors for xenophobic reasons.
“The NO BAN Act would repeal the multiple versions of the Muslim ban put forward by President Trump and establish guardrails to prevent future attempts at discrimination in our immigration system. I have met and heard from countless constituents who have been forced to live apart from their loved ones because of the Muslim ban. This is unacceptable and the NO BAN Act makes clear that we do not stand for this needless and cruel policy.
“Many individuals entering the U.S. are held by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for secondary inspection for hours and often with no ability to contact loved ones or lawyers. We saw this in the wake of President Trump’s Muslim ban when countless individuals were detained at airports across the country, including Sea-Tac. Recently at the beginning of this year, CBP unnecessarily detained hundreds of Iranian Americans at the Canadian border in Washington with no access to counsel and little transparency on why they were being detained. 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.
“The two bills passed today address policies that have caused unnecessary suffering which I have heard about from constituents for years. We must continue to reject these bigoted policies and work towards comprehensive immigration reform that is fair and just.”