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NIAC Action statement on Congress rejecting amendments to bar Muslim-ban funding

NIAC Action statement on Congress rejecting amendments to bar Muslim-ban funding

NIAC Action Executive Director Jamal Abdi issued the following statement regarding today’s vote to defund Donald Trump’s Muslim ban in the House Appropriations Committee:

“We applaud Representatives Mark Pocan and Barbara Lee for leading the charge against the Trump administration’s Muslim ban. By offering amendments to defund elements of the ban, Representatives Pocan and Senator Lee demonstrated real leadership in attempting to put an end to Congressional inaction and forego the need for further judicial intervention regarding the Muslim ban. The Pocan amendment, which came to a vote, was unfortunately defeated on a largely party line vote.

“We are gravely disappointed that nearly all of the Republican members on the committee voted to defend the Muslim ban. Specifically, all but one Republican member on the committee – Congressman Charlie Dent – voted against the Pocan amendment, which would have simply ensured that no funds could be used to impose the ban against family members of US persons, in accordance with a Supreme Court decision. It is unconscionable that lawmakers would vote to ban our grandparents from visiting us in the US.

“Congress cannot stand idly by while the Trump administration tears apart families, manufactures chaos and uncertainty at our borders, and severely disrupts American businesses, colleges and universities. This is not an issue that can simply be punted to the courts as Americans and their relatives abroad sit in limbo. Congress has the authority and the responsibility to weigh in on this crucial policy matter.

“There has not been a single vote in Congress on the Muslim ban until today and there has still not been a single hearing or investigation on the ban. Republican leadership has blocked a vote on legislation to rescind the ban in both the House and the Senate. Congress spent more time investigating steroids in baseball than they have spent on the Muslim ban. Lawmakers must not abdicate their responsibility and hope that the courts will clean up Trump’s mess.

“Some lawmakers may want to avoid this issue because they are afraid to stand up to Donald Trump or they fear that some elements of their base support a Muslim ban. We will not give them a pass. The Iranian-American community will remember this vote and work to ensure that Members of Congress who have prioritized protecting Donald Trump over protecting American families and values are held accountable.”

NIAC Action is the grassroots, civic action organization committed to advancing peace and championing the priorities of the Iranian-American community. It is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization of the National Iranian American Council.