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Congressional Hispanic Caucus Endorses NO BAN Act and Access to Counsel Act

Apr 14, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.— The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) has endorsed two bills introduced by Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC): The National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants (NO BAN) Act, introduced by CAPAC Chair Judy Chu (CA-27) and The Access to Counsel Act, introduced by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07).

The NO BAN Act strengthens the Immigration and Nationality Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion and restores the separation of powers by limiting overly broad executive authority to issue future travel bans. The Access to Counsel Act ensures that U.S. citizens, green card holders, and other individuals with legal status are able to consult with an attorney to help them understand their rights when detained by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at borders and ports of entry. 

NO BAN Act

“The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) is proud to endorse the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants (NO BAN) Act,” said Chair Dr. Ruiz. “Though President Biden took action on his first day in office to rescind the previous Administration’s Muslim Ban, we cannot risk letting bigotry become policy ever again. We must pass the NO BAN Act to ensure future presidents cannot prohibit people from entering our country solely based on their religion. I would like to thank Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) Chair Judy Chu for her leadership in introducing this important piece of legislation that strengthens the Immigration and Nationality Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion.”

“I am so grateful to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus for their endorsement of the NO BAN Act. We know that xenophobia and prejudiced policies directed at one group today can easily extend to another group tomorrow,” said Chair Chu. “That is why the CHC and CAPAC, which, along with the Congressional Black Caucus form the Tri-Caucus, have united around the belief that an attack on one community of color is an attack on all. Permitting prejudice to become policy, as was the case with Donald Trump’s hateful Muslim Bans, promotes bigotry and endangers communities by encouraging mistrust and fear of others based on their race and religion. We’ve seen the fatal consequences of government-sanctioned discrimination and we cannot be silent. CHC’s endorsement of the NO BAN Act today is a powerful message of solidarity that America is a country that will not tolerate religious discrimination. We must pass the NO BAN Act to prevent bigoted policies like these from happening again and ensure that America continues to be a welcoming and inclusive nation for all.” 

Access to Counsel Act

“The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is proud to endorse the Access to Counsel Act,” said Chair Dr. Ruiz. “Individuals in detention should be afforded basic civil rights and civil liberties, which includes the ability to request an attorney to represent them during immigration proceedings. We must take steps to affirm the human dignity of those who come to our country and that starts with ensuring they have access to legal representation. I would like to thank Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal for her leadership in introducing this important piece of legislation that ensures that individuals detained at airports, ports of entry, and detention centers are guaranteed access to legal counsel at no cost to taxpayers. The Access to Counsel Act upholds our American principles of due process and fair treatment.”

“I am proud that my Access to Counsel Act has earned the enthusiastic endorsement of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus at a moment when we must all work together to protect the rights, dignity, and humanity of immigrants. While we each have unique backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives, we all know how urgent this legislation is after four cruel years of a xenophobic Trump Administration carelessly stripping basic civil rights and civil liberties away from individuals solely because of the color of their skin, their religion, the language they speak, or their country of origin,” said Congresswoman Jayapal. “While we defeated Trump, there is more to do to ensure his policies of maximum harm are never inflicted on immigrants again. I look forward to continuing to work with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus as we once again pass the Access to Counsel Act and ensure that U.S. citizens, green card holders, and other individuals with legal status have the right to call a lawyer, consult with an attorney, and receive assistance if they are ever detained by Customs and Border Protection (CBP).”

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The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), founded in December 1976, is organized as a Congressional Member organization, governed under the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives. The CHC is dedicated to voicing and advancing, through the legislative process, issues affecting Hispanics in the United States, Puerto Rico and U.S. Territories.