IABA Applauds Reversal of the Travel Ban, and Will Continue Work to Achieve a Full Reversal and Remedy for those Affected


January 20, 2021

IABA welcomes and applauds the reversal of Presidential Proclamations 9645 and 9983 (also known as the Travel, Muslim, and African bans) announced by the new Biden administration today. Over the past four years, this discriminatory Ban has upended the lives of many and has caused unbelievable hardships, whether by way of separating families (often during critical time such as births, weddings, and funerals), preventing students from pursuing educational opportunities, prohibiting employees from work opportunities, blocking access to lifesaving medical care, blocking investment in the U.S. economy, and much more. The Ban was just one of many discriminatory executive orders and immigration laws over the last four years impacting Iranian Americans and other minority communities — all creating a chaotic and tumultuous legal landscape. There was no justification for so enshrining religious and national origin discrimination into the laws of our land, and we commend the new Biden administration’s swift action to reverse the Ban.

In addition to fully reversing the Ban, the new administration has instructed the U.S. Department of State (DOS) to swiftly develop a proposal to restore fairness and remedy the harms caused by the various forms of the Ban, particularly for those who have had their visas and waivers denied. They also instruct the DOS to strengthen screening and vetting procedures. IABA will share community advisories, “Know Your Rights,” and FAQs as we learn more.

We know that implementation will take time. However, we urge the new administration to immediately create a transparent process and issue guidance for cases moving forward. We also urge the new administration to prioritize providing a remedy, not only to those impacted by having their visas or waivers denied due to the Ban, but also for those cases held in indefinite limbo due to administrative processing.

IABA will continue to work to fulfill the promise of a full reversal of the Ban and help achieve a fair and equitable remedy for those affected by it. In this vein, IABA will continue to serve as co-counsel the class action lawsuit, Pars Equality Center v. Pompeo, challenging the unlawful
implementation of Ban waivers, until such time that all the goals of the lawsuit have been fully achieved.

We must also do our part to prevent future discriminatory bans. IABA supports the NO BAN Act passed last summer by the U.S. House of Representatives, which amends the underlying Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) Section 212(f) law, and which served as the basis for the Travel, Asylum, and Refugee bans. We urge Congress to pass the NO BAN Act.

Finally, while our work and legal efforts are far from over, we would like to thank the members of the public and you, IABA members, who have worked tirelessly to fight the Ban. You showed up at the airports, participated in MCLE events, engaged in Know-Your-Rights trainings, and donated time and money in service of our community. We also owe a debt of gratitude to our allies, civil rights and immigrants’ rights leaders and organizations, and the thousands of individuals who stood together at airports across the country condemning the Ban and demanding legal support for those detained; as well as our partners who came together in a coalition to file class actions challenging the various versions of the Ban. Our work on the Ban has shown us how critical it is to come and work together, and advocate for the legal rights of Iranian-Americans and other impacted communities.

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