Can Iranian Americans Be Protected Under the New Visa Waiver Reforms?

January 25, 2016, Washington D.C. – On January 22, 2016, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) and Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-Palo Alto) published an article regarding the protection of the Iranian American community under the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015.

The article responds to the concern expressed by the Iranian American community that the new law will result in discriminatory treatment due to ancestry and origin. Congresswomen Lofgren and Eshoo argue that the Visa Waiver Program partners have little to gain by enforcing reciprocal restrictions on dual citizens.

The statement further argues that the United States does not allow “other countries to decide for us who is an American, and we should not and need not allow another country to dictate what constitutes dual citizenship or nationality.”  They continue to observe that the U.S. can help protect Iranian Americans by not allowing other countries to define dual citizenship.

Congresswomen Lofgren and Eshoo affirm the important role Iranian Americans have played in American society and declare that “we can and must ensure that implementation of the new Visa Waiver Program law does not discriminate against Americans of Iranian descent or anyone else based solely on one’s parentage.”

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