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House to Vote on Repealing Trump Travel Ban

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds a news conference on Capitol Hill, December 6, 2019. (Loren Elliott/Reuters)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday that the House will take up a bill to repeal President Trump’s travel ban, which bars citizens of certain countries with high rates of extremist violence from entering the U.S. on national security grounds.

Pelosi said the Judiciary Committee will take up in the next several weeks the “National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants or NO BAN Act,” written by Representative Judy Chu.

“House Democrats continue to stand opposed to President Trump’s cruel, un-American travel ban in all of its iterations,” Pelosi said in a statement, adding that the bill will “prohibit religious discrimination in our immigration system and limit the President’s ability to impose such biased and bigoted restrictions.”

Trump confirmed last week that the administration is looking to add to the list of countries covered by the travel ban, which currently affects nationals of Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia and Yemen. The ban also restricts visas for those from Venezuela and North Korea. Originally, the White House had proposed including Sudan on the list as well and prohibiting all refugees temporarily for 120 days.

“It is essential that we take away the president’s power to put prejudice into policy,” Chu, a California Democrat, said at a news conference.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler also said Monday that his committee will take up the travel ban repeal legislation in about two weeks.

Trump announced the controversial ban in January, 2017, citing terrorism concerns from the countries listed in the order as well as distrust of the way the countries vet their travelers.  Critics of the bill have said the ban is discriminatory against Muslims.

The travel ban was met with numerous legal challenges, prompting the White House to propose a watered down version of the original ban. The Supreme Court approved the new version in December, 2017 and upheld that version last summer.

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