January 31, 2020

NIAC Statement on the Expansion of the Muslim Ban

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, January 31, 2020
CONTACT: Mana Mostatabi | 202.386.6325 x103 | [email protected]

President of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), Jamal Abdi, issued the following statement after the Trump administration announced it was restricting six countries under its Muslim ban—Nigeria, Eritrea, Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan, and Tanzania:

“Today’s expanded Muslim ban is yet another consequence of the courts and Congress allowing the President to discriminate against immigrant communities. This expansion, which clearly has no basis in an imminent national security threat, should further motivate lawmakers to take swift action that has been delayed too long. Fortunately, the House of Representatives has announced plans to vote on legislation that would end the Muslim ban in the weeks ahead.

“Unfortunately, President Trump has continued to turn the destruction and disruption of people’s lives into a reality TV show. Despite claims by the president that these bans are ‘temporary,’ the Muslim Ban continues to separate Iranian Americans and other communities from their families, leaving them unable to be with their children, spouses, parents, or other loved ones. The Iranian-American community is the largest community among many who have been punished over the past 3 years, with Iranians accounting for the majority of visas denied. We’ve also seen how slippery the slope can get with the recent unlawful detentions of Iranian Americans and the unexplained deportations of Iranian students.

“With this expansion, more communities will begin to feel the pain of the administration’s family separation policy, while aiding the administration in its quest to re-define who gets to be counted as an American. This is a politically-motivated policy and our elected officials – including the President – must be made to understand that they pay a cost for green-lighting discrimination. Our communities need to mobilize to fight this discriminatory policy and end it once and for all.”

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