This Newly Proposed Bill Will Prohibit Religious Profiling

In the midst of an election campaign teeming with hateful rhetoric and fear-baiting tactics, a group of US Representatives from both sides of the political spectrum are coming together to ensure the protection of an important American value:  Religious freedom.
On Wednesday May 11, the bi-partisan group, led by Virginia Rep. Don Beyer, introduced the Freedom of Religion Act, a bill that would prohibit religious profiling in the immigration process.
“We cannot allow fear and paranoia to drive our public policy, especially when it comes to the defining values of our country,” Beyer said in a press release.  “Our Founding Fathers guaranteed religious freedom for all in the First Amendment to our Constitution.  People all around the world look to us as the standard for freedom, liberty, and tolerance.”
The bill would incorporate a new stipulation to an existing law, the Immigration and Nationality Act, entitled “Prohibition on denying admission because of religion” and would prevent anyone from being denied entrance into the US based on their religious beliefs.
The bill has received support from over 100 national, religious, and interfaith organizations, including Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Bend the Arc Jewish Action, and American Civil Liberties Union.
“We are here to build bridges, not to build walls,” CAIR director Nihad Awad said at the press conference introducing the bill this past Wednesday. “This act, this bill, comes to restore hope in the American dream, in the American values, and in the American principles. And it is time for us to help this bill succeed.”
In December, leading GOP candidate Donald Trump proposed a sweeping prohibition of Muslim immigration to the US, a proposition that indubitably helped motivate the bill. The increasingly anti-Muslim and anti-immigration rhetoric that has come to define the pompous billionaire’s candidacy is not only a cause for concern, but has also become an impetus for amending deficits to the existing law.
“Our country is built on religious tolerance and the freedom to worship. When presidential candidates talk about closing our borders to people of a certain faith, they aren’t just being prejudiced – they’re being un-American. This bill will uphold our core values by guaranteeing that religion isn’t used to decide who can enter the country. The inscription on the Statue of Liberty reads: ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” It doesn’t say anything about a person’s faith,” said Rep. Keith Ellison, who was the first Muslim to be elected to Congress in 2007.
CAIR has submitted an action request encouraging people to urge their own Congressional Representatives to support the bill.