Expanded Muslim Ban is Discriminatory and Morally Reprehensible

January 31, 2020

For Immediate Release: January 31, 2020

Contact: Media@cwsglobal.org

Expanded Muslim Ban is Discriminatory and Morally Reprehensible

Congress must pass the No Ban Act and end to the administration’s harmful Muslim, Refugee, and Asylum Bans


Washington, D.C. — Church World Service today condemned the Trump administration’s expansion of its cruel and unnecessary Muslim ban. The expanded ban will now suspend immigrant visas that can lead to permanent status in the United States for nationals of Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Burma, and Nigeria. It will also ban individuals from Sudan and Tanzania from obtaining “diversity visas,” which are provided to individuals from countries with low rates of immigration into the United States. 

The countries included in this expansion are all majority non-white, and have significant Muslim populations. The expansion coincides with the third anniversary of President Trump’s executive order banning individuals from Muslim-majority countries and halting all refugee resettlement for 120 days.

“Three years ago, when President Trump introduced his first Muslim and refugee ban, we pledged to fight it at all costs. Now, with the administration cruelly expanding its ban, we are as adamant about that fight as ever,” said Reverend John L. McCullough, President and CEO of Church World Service. “We have all witnessed the horrific impact of the ban. Expanding it is morally reprehensible and contrary to everything that has long made the United States a beacon of hope. Keeping families apart, simply because of where they come from, replaces that hope with despair. Congress must step in to insist that America’s immigration system is not based in discrimination.”

The expanded ban will reportedly not apply to individuals from the listed countries who are considered for admission through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP). 

On January 27, 2017, the Trump administration issued an executive order banning individuals from seven (later changed to six) Muslim-majority countries and halted all refugee resettlement for 120 days. Thousands took to the streets and flooded airports where people from Muslim-majority countries were being detained and, in many cases, sent back to danger. Since then, the administration issued multiple additional bans on people from Muslim-majority countries — including Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. On September 24, 2017, President Trump signed the third version of the Muslim ban, which blocked travel to the United States from six predominantly Muslim countries – and added North Koreans and certain Venezuelan government officials to the ban list. On June 26, 2018, the Supreme Court in Hawaii v. Trump allowed the third version of the Muslim ban to go into effect. The President issued another refugee ban on October 24, 2017, against which litigation is ongoing. In addition, the president issued an immoral and illegal executive order on September 26, 2019 allowing state and local officials to block refugee resettlement in their jurisdictions. Church World Service and its partners have thus far successfully challenged it in court.

Church World Service calls on members of Congress to support the No Ban Act (S.1123 / H.R.2214), an important piece of legislation that would terminate the Muslim, refugee, and asylum bans – and prohibit future discrimination based on where you come from or what faith you practice.

For more information or to speak with Church World Service experts, contact Christopher Plummer at CPlummer@cwsglobal.org

Our statements on previous iterations of the Muslim and refugee bans are available here, here, and here