Democrat Response to Coronavirus: End Trump’s Travel Bans on China, Iran
House and Senate Democrats are responding to the coronavirus outbreak in the United States by supporting measures to effectively strip President Trump of his authority to impose travel bans to protect American citizens.
While Trump has implemented travel bans on China and Iran — two of the most coronavirus-affected nations in the world — House Democrats are looking to roll back the president’s authority to enact travel bans from regions of the world.
The “No Ban Act,” introduced by Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) and co-sponsored by 219 House Democrats, would have prevented Trump from immediately implementing a travel ban on China once the outbreak of the coronavirus spread past its origins of Wuhan.
Instead, the No Ban Act would have allowed travelers from Wuhan to continue to arrive in the U.S. while the president received guidance from Congress.
“This bill imposes limitations on the President’s authority to suspend or restrict aliens from entering the United States and terminates certain presidential actions implementing such restrictions,” a summary of the legislation reads.
The legislation would mandate Trump “only issue a restriction when required to address a compelling government interest,” though that interest is not defined. Before imposing a travel ban, Trump would have to “consult with Congress,” the legislation dictates.
Likewise, Democrat Senators Christopher Murphy (D-CT), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) have introduced legislation to stop Trump’s recent expansion of a travel ban on some legal immigration from Burma, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Sudan, along with Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen.
The legislation states:
No funds, resources, or fees made available to the Secretary of Homeland Security, or to any other official of a Federal agency, by any Act of Congress for any fiscal year may be used to implement or enforce Presidential Proclamation 9983 … which restricts the entry into the United States of nationals of certain countries.
The effort to end America’s ability to implement travel bans comes as the number of coronavirus cases hits 1,107 nationwide, including 32 deaths.
Democrats’ fight to keep U.S. borders open to the world during the spread of the coronavirus was echoed by 2020 Democrat presidential primary candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) this week when he explicitly said he would not close America’s borders to protect Americans from the coronavirus.