For Immediate Release: April 10, 2019
Press Contact: Lynn Tramonte, firstname.lastname@example.org / 202-255-0551
Over 300 Religious Leaders, Organizations Call for Passage of NO BAN Act
“We are called by our sacred texts and faith principles to love our neighbor”
Washington, DC – As the NO BAN Act is introduced in Congress today by Senator Christopher Coons (D-DE), Representative Judy Chu (D-CA), and many others, 209 faith leaders and 92 faith-based organizations in 39 states plus DC are sending a letter to Congress calling for its passage. The letter states, in part:
We are called by our sacred texts and faith principles to love our neighbor, accompany the vulnerable, and welcome the sojourner. Our congregations, synagogues, and mosques 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. 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.
Shoulder to Shoulder’s Executive Director, Catherine Orsborn, said this: “The No Ban Act is an important step in only rolling back discriminatory legislation that has caused so much harm to individuals and families, some of whom are fleeing violent situations. It is also an important step in setting up checks and balances in our immigration system that make it nearly impossible for a future administration to discriminate against whole communities of people just because of their religion or national origin. As faith communities, we support this move because it protects all communities going forward.”
“We are grateful to Senator Coons and Representative Chu for introducing the NO BAN Act,” said Church World Service President and CEO, Rev. John L. McCullough. “This legislation would bring much needed relief to individuals from Muslim majority countries, as well as refugees and asylum seekers who have been targeted and banned by President Trump’s various executive orders. The bill would also prevent future administrations from unilaterally discriminating against people based on their religion or banning groups of people in the future. We urge the Senate and House of Representatives to pass this bill and to do everything in their power to reunite the families that have been separated for years as a result of these bans.”
Read the entire letter and list of signatories here.
Since 1946, Church World Service has supported refugees, immigrants and other displaced individuals, in addition to providing sustainable relief and development solutions to communities that wrestle with hunger and poverty. Learn more about our work and join our global homebase for refugee solidarity at GreaterAs1.org.