WASHINGTON – Today, President Trump enacted an executive order temporarily banning nationals from Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and Iran, from entering the United States.
The measure prohibits immigrant and non-immigrant nationals from the designated countries from entering the United States for at least 90 days. This includes Iranian nationals who hold valid visas as well as Legal Permanent Residents (green card holders) and dual nationals who also hold a passport from a non-designated country. The executive order is not expected to impact American citizens. Click here for updated clarifications from the American Lawyers Immigration Association.
The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) is deeply concerned about this executive order. While PAAIA and the Iranian American community commend efforts that would enhance our national security, we believe measures based solely on national origin are ineffective national security tools and anti-American.
The executive order will disrupt Iranian American immigrant petitions, student visas, as well as family visitation and emergency medical care for loved ones. Such measures are discriminatory and may pose an undue hardship on Iranian Americans.
Furthermore, this executive order is counterproductive to United States’ policy interests in engaging the Iranian people and supporting their popular democratic aspirations. Iran is unique in the Middle East in that the majority of the Iranian population maintain a favorable disposition toward America and its values. Unfairly targeting the Iranian people undermines the solidarity between the peoples of both countries and serves the interests of hardliners in Tehran.
In the wake of the tragic San Bernardino incident, an Iranian American woman was one of the victims, and an Iranian American medic was among the first responders on the scene. A blanket ban on a single nationality overlooks the many contributions immigrants from that country have made and continue to make in the United States.
Iranian Americans are invested in the social and economic fabric of our country. They work in all sectors of American public life, including government, military, and law enforcement. Iranian Americans uphold the U.S. Constitution, seeking to protect the freedoms granted to all citizens of the United States.
While PAAIA remains open to working with President Trump’s administration, we remain vigilant in responding to any measures that unfairly target our community. We will work tirelessly with our coalition partners to ensure the liberties and freedom granted to all American citizens, and we will update you as we learn more about this issue.