Iranian American Coalition Requests Information on Student Visa Denials

Contact: Shannon Kuehn
Email: shannon@paaia.org
Phone: (202) 828-8370

Washington, DC – A coalition of Iranian American organizations, including the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), the Iranian American Bar Association (IABA), and Pars Equality Center released the following statement after sending a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan requesting clarity regarding recent en masse visa cancellations and entry denials of students of Iranian nationality:

“In the past month, our organizations have received over 20 reports from Iranian nationals approved for valid student visas that their visas had been revoked or they were denied entry without explanation only days before they were due to begin the academic school year at top universities like Northwestern, Harvard, Stanford, UC Davis, and more.

“These recent reports are extremely troubling given the exemptions for Iranian students and scholars explicitly stated under Presidential Proclamation No. 9645 (Travel Ban). Unnecessary travel restrictions against the Iranian people, including the Travel Ban, have already caused undue hardship on tens of thousands of American citizens, and are counterproductive to U.S. national interests of engaging the Iranian people and supporting their democratic aspirations.

“We hope to engage in a constructive conversation with the administration regarding the implementation and processing of exemptions for Iranian nationals under the Travel Ban.”

The Iranian American community is significantly impacted by the Travel Ban. As organizations that represent the interests of Iranian Americans, the coalition has actively worked to protect the Iranian American community from the unjust effects of the Travel Ban since its inception, such as filing legal challenges, working with senators to obtain information on the ban’s ineffective waiver provisions, and filing an amicus brief in support of Hawaii in the Supreme Court case that decided the legality of Travel Ban 3.0.

PAAIA, IABA, and Pars Equality Center are committed to protecting the civil liberties of Iranian Americans.

October 7th, 2019

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