FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Shayan Modarres
Email: [email protected]
Washington, DC – The National Iranian American Council issued the following statement regarding the Trump Administration’s decision to appeal its “Muslim ban” to the Supreme Court and implement new “extreme vetting” measures:
“Donald Trump’s decision to take his ‘Muslim ban’ to the Supreme Court is disappointing, but unsurprising. The Iranian American community has been unduly impacted by Trump’s Muslim ban and we hope that the Justices will uphold the constitution and protect this country’s values and way of life.
“Even as the courts have halted the Muslim ban, Donald Trump has been carrying out a backdoor Muslim ban. Yesterday, the Trump administration exploited ’emergency’ procedures to implement new ‘extreme vetting’ measures for at least 90 days. Visa applicants can now be required to turn over social media activity and 15 years of extensive personal information. In addition, applicants from Muslim ban countries are being subjected to a Security Advisory Opinion requirement that forces a lengthy inter-agency background check process. Together, these ‘extreme vetting’ measures will work to fulfill the president’s campaign promise where the executive order failed: ‘A TOTAL AND COMPLETE SHUTDOWN OF MUSLIMS ENTERING THE UNITED STATES.’
“The result is a subset of visa applicants – likely overwhelmingly Iranian – will be subjected to this disparate treatment and additional layer of scrutiny for at least the next 90 days, and perhaps indefinitely. This will tear Iranian-Americans families apart, will inflict pain on Iranian-American children and families, and will prevent some of the best scholars, students, and researchers in the world from contributing to American research and academia.
“This extra scrutiny on Iranians is entirely unwarranted. According to a 2015 report by the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee Task Force, none of the countries included in the Muslim Ban made the top ten countries of origin of foreign fighters. Saudi, Tunisian, and Russian nationals will not face the same scrutiny as Iranians, despite being at the very top of the list in terms of countries of origin for foreign fighters.
“If the President won’t stand down from his abhorrent pledges to ban all Muslims from this country, Congress must step up. Legislation has been introduced in both chambers that would rescind the Muslim ban, but Republicans have thus far blocked in and decided to protect Donald Trump instead of this country. In fact, Congressional Republicans have refused to hold one single hearing on the Muslim ban. We still do not have answers on how these new measures are being implemented and why, with the Muslim ban suspended by the courts, are so many fewer visas being issued to ‘banned’ countries. Enough is enough, it is time for Congress to do its job.”
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