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Schrader Supports Closing Gaps in Immigration Law

Today, the House of Representatives voted to pass two bills aimed at closing gaps in immigration law: H.R. 1333, the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants Act (NO BAN) Act and H.R. 1573, the Access to Counsel Act of 2021.

First, the NO BAN Act seeks to amend immigration law to prohibit religious discrimination in immigration policy, while placing some limitations on the Presidential authority to implement sweeping restrictions. This is a targeted bill that would go after potential future executive overreach with the intent of restricting the entry of non-citizens into the United States based on overly broad classifications. It also blocks the restoration of past discriminatory actions, such as the Trump Administration’s ban on Muslim-majority countries in 2017.

The bill does not impede the President’s broader authority to enact travel restrictions in the event of emergencies, to protect our national security or to execute the powers granted by Congress in enforcing immigration laws. 

“The NO BAN Act is a commonsense measure to reassert Congressional authority in important matters like immigration,” Rep. Schrader said. “In placing these important checks and balances on the President’s authority, regardless of their party affiliation, the bill would ensure the Executive Branch can only suspend or restrict non-citizens based on tailored and specific, credible facts. Placing limits on entry into the United States based on religion goes against the ideals that this country was founded upon and is an abuse of power that should never be repeated.”

The House also passed a second bill today, the Access to Counsel Act, designed to address a fundamental gap in due process at our nation’s ports of entry. This bill would ensure that all individuals, including U.S. citizens, green card holders and others with lawful status are able to call an attorney, relative or other interested party to seek assistance if they are detained for more than an hour by Customs and Border Protection officials as part of a secondary inspection at ports of entry, including airports. 

“Over 10 million people, many of whom lawful immigrants, were subjected to a secondary inspection at American ports of entry in 2019, with many held for hours without access to anyone, and that lack of due process is unacceptable.” Rep. Schrader said. “Some people are even forced to abandon their status during these interrogations due to a lack of English proficiency and no knowledge of our complicated U.S. immigration laws. The Access to Counsel Act does not create an obligation for the federal government to pay for counsel, it simply allows the individual the right to access an attorney or other interested parties, which will help ensure they are treated with fairness and respect as they seek to lawfully enter the country.”