Washington DC — Ryan Costello, Policy Director with National Iranian American Council Action (NIAC Action), issued the following statement on the adoption of the Meng-Espaillat-Pocan amendment that would make visas available to diversity visa recipients unjustly denied by President Trump’s discriminatory immigration orders, including the Muslim ban:
Back to top
“The House Appropriations committee should be applauded for taking a key step to right a wrong today. Under the Trump administration, thousands of individuals were selected for diversity visas only to be denied on the basis of their national origin due to the Muslim ban and other discriminatory orders. Many sold their most valuable possessions and traveled through war zones just to have the chance to procure their promised visa, only to be cruelly and arbitrarily denied. Hope turned to despair and disillusionment.
“The amendment adopted today would make unused visas available to these individuals, which is a critical step to mitigate the ongoing harm of Trump’s outrageous and harmful discriminatory immigration orders. Reps. Grace Meng (D-NY), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Roybal-Allard (D-CA), along with Reps. Judy Chu (D-CA) and Ritchie Torres (D-NY) should be commended for their vital work on this important issue.
“It is vital that the Senate similarly adopt a fix through the appropriations process, and Congressional leaders ensure that this measure sticks in the final appropriation that gets sent to President Biden’s desk. Thousands of people hoping to pursue the American Dream are depending on the U.S. keeping its word. We must work to make sure that their hopes aren’t once again dashed by the last administration’s misguided and xenophobic policies.”