UPDATE: In all, NIAC obtained the signatures of over 5,000 people who signed letters to Rep. Barrett opposing the STEP Act.
Washington, DC – The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) delivered over 3,500 letters to Rep. Gresham Barrett (R-SC) today, calling on him to abandon his proposed legislation that would deport thousands of Iranian students and workers despite their legal visa status. The legislation would also bar Iranians from entering the United States. Click here to send a letter to your Representative urging them NOT to cosponsor!
“At a time when people around the world are asking what they can do to help the Iranian people, it is unbelievable that Congressman Barrett wants to deport innocent Iranians and deny them opportunities to find refuge in the US,” said NIAC President Trita Parsi.
Rep. Barrett has said he is reintroducing the Stop Terrorist Entry Program (STEP) Act in response to the Fort Hood shooting and the Christmas-day attempt to blow up an airplane over Detroit. “The justification for this bill doesn’t make any sense,” said Parsi. “No Iranian has ever carried out a terrorist attack in the United States and the people who actually carried out those attacks wouldn’t have been affected by the STEP Act in any way.”
“There are over one million Americans of Iranian descent woven into the diverse fabric of this nation through family and community,” Parsi added. “Rep. Barrett’s legislation would divide and fracture these families and communities in the name of false security.”
Iranian Americans are among the most highly educated and productive immigrant communities in the United States. According to one study, Iranian Americans contribute over $400 billion to the US economy annually.
NIAC is requesting a meeting with Congressman Barrett to raise the concerns of the Iranian-American community and to request Rep. Barrett withdraw his proposal.