500 signatures reached
To: Members of Congress
Faith leaders call on Congress to support the No Ban Act
We are called by our sacred texts and faith principles to love our neighbor, accompany the vulnerable, and welcome the sojourner. In keeping with these principles, as well as with the highest ideals of the nation we call home, we urge our members of Congress to support the No Ban Act. This Act will lead the way for more inclusive and just immigration policies that will benefit both not only those seeking refuge in a time of dire need, but also will benefit our nation and the world as a whole, as we model inclusion, justice, and freedom for all.
Why is this important?
Religious faith or national origin should never be an obstacle to whether we extend a hand of welcome to the refugee or the immigrant. To close the door to those who are Muslim or of other faiths, is not a faithful expression of the principle that all are created equal. This manner of exclusion weakens what has made our country strong – a commitment to stand with the vulnerable, the oppressed, the suffering, regardless of their religious faith or where they come from.
Our faith communities have historically played key roles in assisting refugees, asylum seekers, immigrants, and other newcomers with housing, language, jobs, and social supports necessary to integrate and thrive. Yet, over the last two years, the administration has undertaken a series of attacks against our refugee, asylum seeking, and Muslim neighbors. Together, the Muslim ban on travel from several Muslim-majority countries, asylum ban that wrongfully and illegally blocks people who cross between ports of entry from applying for asylum, and refugee ban that seeks to dismantle the resettlement program deny vulnerable families their fundamental right to safety, condemn them to return to unfathomable danger, and prolong family separation.
To restrict thousands of people based on discrimination forsakes our nation’s ideals of compassion, hospitality, and welcome. We cannot condone excluding people based on their nationality or religious background, but instead must work toward inclusivity and justice for all.
We are guided by our faith to love God and love our neighbors, whoever they may be. We cannot separate the two, and seek to be welcoming of all people because loving God means loving our fellow human being. We pray that our country reflects principles of both welcome and of religious freedom, and that we remember the value of diversity. At no other time has our moral responsibility to uphold these principles been greater.
The NO BAN Act upholds principles of religious freedom and our moral obligation to welcome. It would ensure that no one is banned from our country based on religious or nationality-based discrimination. The bill seeks important changes to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by outlawing discrimination in the entry of immigrants or nonimmigrants based on religion, in addition to the protections against discrimination based on race, sex, nationality, place of birth, and place of residence already in place. The NO BAN Act also amends the provision of the INA that has granted presidents the authority to suspend or restrict the entry of non-citizens by limiting this authority to align with responsible uses of the power by prior Democratic and Republican administrations, and by putting in place key congressional notification and reporting requirements as important safeguards against any future abuses of this authority.
We urge our members of Congress to cosponsor the NO BAN Act and be bold in choosing moral, just policies that welcome, regardless of faith or national origin, and provide refuge for vulnerable individuals seeking protection in accordance with our nation’s highest ideals.