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By: Elias J. Atienza
Representative Justin Amash (R-Mich) introduced a bill to remove restrictions “limitations on the ability of certain dual citizens from participating in the Visa Waiver Program, and for other purposes” on January 30th. There is no text available for the bill, though the bill does have three cosponsors; Representative Thomas Massie (R-Ky), and two fellow Representatives from his home state of Michigan; Representatives John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich) and Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.)
It is unknown why there isn’t any text available for the bill; usually the text of the bills are available online a day or two after they are introduced, though if there is a large amount of bills being introduced or if the bill is long, delays are to be expected.
The dual-citizens he wants to remove limitations from are unknown as well.
Amash has been one of the most prominent critics of President Donald Trump, declaring that it wasn’t “lawful” to ban immigrants on the basis of nationality in his sweeping executive order over refugees, immigrants, and citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries.
Amash has been thrust into the spotlight due to his heritage; he is the son of a Syrian immigrant mother and a Palestinian refugee father. He is also one of six Arab-American Republican lawmakers and the only one who has been fully against Trump’s executive order.
“I’ve had both of those aspects in my life — the immigrant aspect and the refugee aspect,” Amash said in an interview with the Washington Post. “I believe it’s important that we remain a welcoming country, that people feel they have the opportunity to come here and start a new life.”
Amash has argued that his constituents have been hurt by the ban and affects people of all background, regardless of religion.
“In some cases you have people who just went overseas for a funeral or for a birthday and they want to come back to the United States, and now they’re in a difficult position,” he said. ““It affects people of all backgrounds, whether they’re Jewish, Christian or Muslim.”