Joint Statement of the Pars Equality Center, the Iranian American Bar Association (IABA), National Iranian American Council (NIAC), and the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA)
WASHINGTON, DC – As organizations representing the Iranian American community, we denounce the new guidelines for the revised Travel Ban issued by the State Department on Wednesday night.
Following the Supreme Court’s June 26th, decision to move the Travel Ban forward while exempting those who can “credibly claim a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States,” the State Department’s guidelines ban extended family including grandparents, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces and fiancées from entering the country.
Extended family is the lifeblood of all immigrant groups. This restrictive notion of family will deter people who continue to contribute to the United States and make America their home.
Iranian Americans, a community that President Trump himself has called one of the most “successful immigrant groups in our country’s contemporary history,” has been significantly and adversely impacted by the Travel Ban. Out of the six Muslim-majority countries affected by the ban, Iran alone reportedly accounts for more than half of legal entrants to the United States, many of whom visit to see their families and loved ones.
Banning grandparents from visiting their grandchildren does not make America safer. Neither does it make sense to separate fiancés who seek to be reunited to begin their lives together. The Travel Ban has already disrupted family visitation and emergency medical care for loved ones, putting lives at stake. Treating our American communities as second-class citizens is un-American at its core and does absolutely nothing to protect the United States.
The Iranian American community stands up for civil rights and liberties, and we will remain vigilant in responding to measures that unfairly target our community. All four organizations along with individual plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in Federal court in Washington, D.C. to stop the travel ban and its negative impacts on the immigrant population in the United States – “Pars Equality v. Donald J. Trump et al.” For more information, go to endthetravelban.com.