FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ryan Costello
Email: [email protected]
Washington, DC – National Iranian American Council Policy Director Jamal Abdi released the following statement in response to President Trump’s revised Muslim Ban:
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“Donald Trump has doubled down on his harmful and un-American threat to ban Muslims from this country. Since Trump’s first Muslim ban, we have seen a spate of hate crimes against people who were believed to be Muslim or of Middle Eastern descent. The President and advisors like Steve Bannon are effectively egging on these acts of hate and bigotry by making discrimination against us official U.S. policy.
“Make no mistake: The new Muslim Ban is still an unconstitutional ban that targets individuals based on their religion and nationality. And it is still a ban that undermines rather than enhances America’s security.
“Department of Homeland Security reports reveal that the US government does not believe that nationality is a useful predictor of terrorism. Nor have the foreign born individuals who have committed acts of terror entered the US with that intent – rather, they were radicalized once in the United States. Consequently, Trump’s Muslim Ban 2.0 shifts our focus away from the real threats and towards targets that only satisfy the Islamophobic and anti-immigrant segments of his support base.
“Today’s order will primarily target Iranians and their Iranian-American families in the U.S. Unless it is stopped it will likely mean Iranian Americans will be barred from seeing their families permanently. DHS Secretary Kelly has made clear that, for countries like Iran, the ban is not “temporary” but will in fact be indefinite.
“The revised ban is merely designed to withstand immediate challenges in the courts. However, the Trump administration has and will continue to instruct DHS and other administrative bodies to enforce the spirit of the ban at U.S. consulates worldwide. This occurred even after the original order was blocked by the Ninth Circuit. For example, we received numerous reports that Iranians with consular appointments in Dubai received cancellation notices due to ‘backlog’ even though the average wait time for an appointment was one business day.
“Immigration officers will be encouraged to abuse their broad authority in an attempt to quietly carry out the Muslim ban under the guise of a “case by case basis” review. This means visas will be denied without cause, even for citizens of countries not listed in the order, and visa holders should expect to be harassed once they reach U.S. airports. This is clearly designed to chill Muslim immigration.
“Donald Trump is turning the American dream into the American nightmare. There are already countless stories of Iranian Americans who have had to cancel weddings, who haven’t been able to have their parents visit to meet their newborn grandchildren in America, and who don’t know when they will see their parents and siblings and friends again. There are stories of Iranian students, hopeful about the opportunity to study in the U.S. and make their contribution to this country, who are now in indefinite limbo.
“We will continue to fight Trump’s ban in the courts and in Congress. We will continue aiding those who are being punished by the ban. And we will not rest until this threat to America’s most fundamental values and identity is overturned.”
The National Iranian American Council is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the voice of Iranian Americans and promoting greater understanding between the American and Iranian people.