FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, January 20, 2021
CONTACT: Mana Mostatabi | 202.386.6325 x103 | [email protected]
Washington DC — Today, only hours after being inaugurated, President Joe Biden will sign an executive order repealing former President Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban, which prevented individuals from over a dozen countries, including Iran, from obtaining the visas necessary to travel to the United States. In response, NIAC Action Executive Director Jamal Abdi issued the following statement:
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“Today, we can finally breathe a sigh of relief as President Biden takes the reins after four years of chaos and turmoil under Donald Trump. With the start of this new chapter comes the opportunity for the Biden-Harris administration to steer our nation back to an equilibrium defined not by white nationalism and hate, but by equality and respect.
“We applaud President Biden for upholding this promise and repealing Trump’s bigoted Muslim Ban that ripped us from our loved ones, demonized communities of color, and upended countless lives. This move is vital to Biden’s aspiration to ‘restore the soul of the nation’ and we are eager to work with the new administration and Congress to ensure the ban’s termination is fully implemented.
There is still work to do to implement the ban’s repeal. We were pleased to see new commitments on the ban from the President to ‘restore fairness and remedy the harms caused by the bans, especially for individuals stuck in the waiver process and those who had immigrant visas denied,’ and to review so-called ‘extreme vetting’ practices that risk further discrimination against impacted communities. We will work to ensure that Iranians and others who went through the costly and arduous process to apply for a visa only to be rejected due to the ban get fair and just treatment and can re-apply; that the U.S., at a minimum, restores visa processing back to the levels before the Muslim ban; and to pass legislation, the NO BAN act, to permanently prevent any future iteration of the ban.
“The Iranian-American community, alongside fellow impacted communities and countless unimpacted Americans moved by good conscience, worked hard for this moment. When Trump first signed the ban into existence, Iranian Americans mobilized like never before, racing to airports across the country and joining protesters and lawyers across the country in defiance of Trump’s bigotry. We partnered with allies on litigation, defeated lawmakers who defended Trump’s heinous ban, and pushed the House to hold hearings and helped pass the No Ban Act to set the stage to repeal the shameful policy.
“It is the collective power of this past November to ensure a new President would enter the White House who would make restoring our rights a Day One priority. And while there is work yet to be done in implementing the ban’s repeal, we have confidence that the Biden administration will repair the four years of damage done by Trump and his ban and help ensure no such future iteration of the ban ever again takes hold.”