IABA Statement on Travel Ban Expansion
Dear IABA Members and Supporters,
This week marked the third anniversary of President Trump’s Travel Ban. It marked the third year that Iranian-Americans have been separated from our families for no reason other than nationality and religious beliefs. For three years, we have heard heartbreaking stories of children separated from parents, and spouses and other family members separated from each other, during critical life events like births, deaths, and medical emergencies; and individuals in critical health conditions kept from lifesaving procedures. Equally important, for three years, our government has permitted a policy that erodes one of the core legal principles and ideals on which this country was built: equality before the law.
Unfortunately, despite the effects of this harmful policy, yesterday Mr. Trump announced that he will double down on it by expanding the Travel Ban and adding six new countries. Under the expansion, all immigrant visas from Nigeria, Eritrea, Burma, and Kyrgyzstan will be banned, as well as all diversity visas for Sudan and Tanzania. It bears notice that Nigeria, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, and Sudan are all Muslim majority countries, and Tanzania has a significant plurality of Muslim residents. A fact sheet on the expanded Ban by Penn State Law can be found here.
As Iranian-Americans, a community who has been disproportionately affected by the Travel Ban, we know the destructive impact of this Ban and offer our support and solidarity with our Nigerian, Eritrean, Burmese, Kyrgyzstani, Sudanese, and Tanzanian American brothers and sisters, and we stand with them.
IABA & Coalition Partner Lawsuit Challenging Unlawful Implementation of the Ban Continues
IABA-with critical collaboration from its coalition partners-continues to challenge the implementation of the Travel Ban in Pars v. Pompeo, one of two primary class action lawsuits in the country challenging the Ban’s grant of waivers. This lawsuit will impact the rights of all individuals for waivers, including those added yesterday. We will continue our litigation to hold the administration accountable for such waivers and will continue our fight on other fronts to abolish this Ban permanently.
Take Action: Support the NO BAN ACT
Fortunately, there is a vehicle for ending the Travel Ban. The NO BAN Act, which has been introduced to Congress, is legislation that not only repeals the Travel Ban and (the related) Refugee and Asylum bans, but also limits any future presidents from issuing such unjust orders. This newest expansion of the Travel Ban is another crucial moment for all of our community and our allies to come together and fight back against a broader attack on all immigrant communities.
No family or community should be separated because of their religion or where they come from. Please take a few minutes to contact your represented officials today, make your voices and your opposition to this Ban heard, and ask them to support the NO BAN Act.
IABA National Board of Directors