Aimed at Trump – ‘If elected president he would ban Muslims from entering this country’
A group of Democratic lawmakers, joined by religious leaders of various faiths, have announced a bill that would make it illegal to deny entry to the United States of any alien on the basis of religion.
Sponsored by Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) and co-sponsored by scores of lawmakers, the vast majority Democrats, the bill comprises a single short sentence: “An alien may not be denied admission to the United States because of the alien’s religion or lack of religious beliefs.”
Although the text does not further define the alien in question, Beyer’s office said in a statement that the bill – which he’s calling the Freedom of Religion Act – aims “to prohibit the use of religious litmus tests as a means to ban immigrants, refugees, and international visitors trying to enter the United States.”
At a Capitol Hill press conference announcing the initiative, Donald Trump came up frequently – although mostly not by name – as lawmakers and religious figures linked the bill to the GOP presidential candidate’s call last December for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S. due to terrorism concerns.
“We are here to build bridges, not to build walls,” said Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) national executive director Nihad Awad. “And Donald Trump has diminished the hopes of many people in America, especially those who live outside.”
Awad expressed the hope that in the election “in November, hope and faith will defeat fear.”