Ryan Costello, Policy Director with National Iranian American Council Action (NIAC Action), issued the following statement after the House Judiciary Committee approved immigration language for the must-pass reconciliation bill. In addition to providing a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and others in the United States, the language would provide visas to Diversity Visa recipients barred from securing their visas due to Trump-era bans:
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The restoration of Diversity Visas that were lost for Iranians and other nationals barred under Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban is an important step towards undoing the lingering damage from that bigoted policy and restoring American credibility.
The Judiciary Committee should be applauded for advancing its must-pass reconciliation package that would be the biggest overhaul of America’s broken immigration system in years, a sorely needed step for the U.S. to remain competitive and restore the image of America as a beacon to all immigrants. Chairman Nadler and Rep. Lofgren deserve particular credit for including a provision that would rectify America’s failure to live up to its word to many Diversity Visa recipients in recent years.
Under Trump, those chosen for Diversity Visas from Iran and other banned countries soon had their elation turn to despair as they realized they were in fact ineligible to receive the visa they’d been promised. Others ran into bureaucratic challenges amid the pandemic, seeing their once-in-a-lifetime opportunity disappear through no fault of their own. We are pleased that the Judiciary Committee’s reconciliation package offers a fix for these Diversity Visa recipients, and hope that the whole package will be swiftly adopted by both the House and Senate and signed into law by President Biden. America is strongest when it keeps its word and lives up to its ideals as a land of immigrants. We urge Congress to pass the reconciliation package along with its immigration reforms as soon as possible.