NIAC Action

NIAC Action

Republicans Just Voted to Keep the Muslim Ban

 

Send a message to the five Republican lawmakers who voted to keep banning our grandparents under Trump’s Muslim Ban.

We need to hold Representatives Culberson (TX-07), Frelinghuysen (NJ-11), Herrera Beutler (WA-03), Valadao (CA-21), and Yoder (KS-03) accountable and show them that there will be political consequences for supporting Trump’s ban against our families.
 
This was the first time that Congress has held a single vote on Trump’s ban. An amendment was offered in the Appropriations committee to block any funding to impose the ban against family members of U.S. persons – including not just parents and children, but grandparents and other extended family members. 
 
Unfortunately, Representatives Culberson (TX-07), Frelinghuysen (NJ-11), Herrera Beutler (WA-03), Valadao (CA-21), and Yoder (KS-03) voted against this amendment – and voted to allow Trump to use taxpayer dollars to ban our family members. 
 
This was a party-line vote, but lawmakers must understand that voting with Trump on the ban is a political liability. That starts by flooding their offices with emails and phone calls to tell them we will hold them accountable unless they decide to break with Trump against the ban.
 

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Iranians and nationals of five other nations will once again be barred from entering the country, with certain exceptions for those with “bona fide” relationships with individuals in the United States. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of Trump this fall, the ban could be reinstated in full and result in an indefinite ban on Iranians.

Defeating the Muslim ban is going to take more than just legal challenges. Congress could end the ban right now if they had the political will. Our job is to make understand there will be political consequences if they avoid taking a stand on this issue. Contact Rep. Culberson and make your voice heard.

 

 

 

 

NIAC Action Urges Votes for Pocan and Lee Muslim Ban Amendments

NIAC Action urges Members of Congress to vote in favor of amendments to the Homeland Security Appropriations bill that would bar funding from being used to implement the Trump administration’s discriminatory and unconstitutional Muslim ban. An amendment will be offered during today’s markup from Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) to bar the Trump administration from banning close familial relations in line with the recent Supreme Court ruling, in addition to an amendment from Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) to bar funding for the implementation of the entire Muslim ban.
 

These amendments are urgently needed to protect American citizens and their loved ones from the discriminatory Muslim ban as well as to safeguard U.S. national security.

Last month, the Supreme Court overturned lower court injunctions against the Muslim ban, however, the court exempted individuals who have a “bona fide relationship” with a person or entity in the U.S. The Trump administration subsequently issued a directive that limits the Supreme Court exemption to “close familial relationships” which excluded grandparents, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, cousins, and siblings-in-law from the exemption. The U.S. District Court (Hawaii) then reimposed the exemption, ruling that grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins qualify as close familial relationships. The Trump administration announced it would appeal the Hawaii decision to the Supreme Court.

The Pocan Amendment would restrict funding in the DHS Appropriations bill from being used to implement the travel ban Executive Order against an individual who is a parent, spouse, fiancé, son, daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, or cousin of a United States citizen or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States. 
 
The Barbara Lee Amendment would restrict funding in the DHS Appropriations bill from being used to implement any element of the travel ban Executive Order. Not a single person has been killed in the US by a terrorist attack committed by people from the countries subjected to Trump’s ban. The Muslim ban makes America less safe by diverting resources away from real threats and instead arbitrarily cracking down on loved ones and the ability of U.S. businesses to freely recruit talent.
   
NIAC Action strongly encourages Members of Congress to vote for the Pocan Amendment and allow Americans to see their grandparents and other relatives, as well as to vote to defund this misguided ban altogether with the Barbara Lee Amendment.

 

Tweet at key lawmakers here to repeal the ban on Grandparents today: niacaction.org/grandparentsnotterrorists

Email Texas Rep. John Culberson

 

Tell Rep. Culberson to Defund the Muslim Ban!

Your Congressman, Rep. John Culberson, could end the Muslim ban TODAY.

Rep. Mark Pocan will introduce an amendment to the Department of Homeland Security spending bill that would block any funding from being used to enforce the ban against our grandparents and other family members. 
 
Rep. Barbara Lee will introduce an amendment to block any funding for the entire ban.
 

Email Representative Culberson and urge him to pass these amendments. 

*Select the checkbox to sign up for email updates on our court case and action alerts on Trump’s Ban


DONATE to help us stop Trump’s ban!

Help us mobilize the Iranian-American community and American public against Trump’s ban! Donate today >>


Iranians and nationals of five other nations will once again be barred from entering the country, with certain exceptions for those with “bona fide” relationships with individuals in the United States. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of Trump this fall, the ban could be reinstated in full and result in an indefinite ban on Iranians.

Defeating the Muslim ban is going to take more than just legal challenges. Congress could end the ban right now if they had the political will. Our job is to make understand there will be political consequences if they avoid taking a stand on this issue. Contact Rep. Culberson and make your voice heard.

 

 

 

 

Tweet at Key Members of Congress!

 

Tell Congress to Repeal the Ban on Grandparents!

Congress could end the Muslim ban TODAY.

Rep. Mark Pocan will introduce an amendment to the Department of Homeland Security spending bill that would block any funding from being used to enforce the ban against our grandparents and other family members. 
 
Rep. Barbara Lee will introduce an amendment to block any funding for the entire ban.
 

Tweet at House Appropriations Republicans and urge them to pass these amendments. 

*Select the checkbox to sign up for email updates on our court case and action alerts on Trump’s Ban


DONATE to help us stop Trump’s ban!

Help us mobilize the Iranian-American community and American public against Trump’s ban! Donate today >>


Iranians and nationals of five other nations will once again be barred from entering the country, with certain exceptions for those with “bona fide” relationships with individuals in the United States. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of Trump this fall, the ban could be reinstated in full and result in an indefinite ban on Iranians.

Defeating the Muslim ban is going to take more than just legal challenges. Congress could end the ban right now if they had the political will. Our job is to make understand there will be political consequences if they avoid taking a stand on this issue. Contact Congress and make your voice heard.

 

 

 

 

Stop Trump’s Muslim Ban – Demand Congressional Action!

 

The Supreme Court just reinstated Trump’s Muslim Ban.

Congress could end the Muslim ban TODAY but has failed to vote on legislation to repeal the ban. Urge your Senators and Representative to pass existing legislation that will rescind the Muslim Ban. Want to do more? You can call your Members of Congress, too.

*Select the checkbox to sign up for email updates on our court case and action alerts on Trump’s Ban


DONATE to help us stop Trump’s ban!

Help us mobilize the Iranian-American community and American public against Trump’s ban! Donate today >>


Iranians and nationals of five other nations will once again be barred from entering the country, with certain exceptions for those with “bona fide” relationships with individuals in the United States. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of Trump this fall, the ban could be reinstated in full and result in an indefinite ban on Iranians.

It is time for Congress to stop dodging responsibility and do its job. Congress could end the Muslim ban TODAY but has failed to vote on legislation to repeal the ban. In fact, Congress has not held even a single hearing to evaluate Trump’s ban.

Contact your lawmakers TODAY to urge them for a vote to stop the ban. Our lawmakers must understand – they represent US, their voters and constituents, not Donald Trump. You can email and call your Members of Congress to build pressure for a vote.

 

 

 

 

The U.S. is Backsliding into War in Syria

Recent events have clarified that the U.S. is at tremendous risk of backsliding into war with Syria, Iran and Russia. Now is not the time for Congress to add fuel to the fire by escalating new Iran sanctions. What is urgently needed is for Congress to debate the war in Syria before the Trump administration stumbles into a regional conflagration that would be disastrous for the region and U.S. security.

The U.S. is backing into a regional conflagration in Syria:

  • U.S. forces training rebels near al-Tanf in Syria have struck pro-regime, Iranian-backed forces three times in the past month.
  • As counter-ISIS operations in Mosul wind down, the tacit cooperation and de-confliction that has existed between U.S. forces and Iranian-backed militias could end – potentially teeing up a dramatic escalation between U.S. and Iranian forces.
  • On June 18th, a U.S. Navy warplane shot down a Syrian warplane after it had engaged U.S.-backed forces operating near Raqqa, a first since the U.S. entered the conflict in Syria in 2014.
  • Russia has responded by indicating that all U.S. forces operating west of the Euphrates will be tracked by Russian anti-aircraft forces and treated as threats.
  • A crisis could quickly drag the U.S. into war with not only the Syrian regime, but also a global power in Russia and a regional power in Iran.

Certain Trump administration officials are clearly pushing for war with Iran:

  • Secretary of Defense James Mattis has reportedly pushed back repeatedly on plans from National Security Council staff to escalate against Iranian-backed forces in Syria, which would detract from the fight against ISIS and endanger U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria.
  • Ezra Cohen-Watnick, senior director for Intelligence on the NSC, and Derek Harvey, the top Middle East advisor on the NSC, are reportedly pushing the plan to escalate with Iran in Syria.
  • Cohen-Watnick’s hawkish views on Iran have received substantial scrutiny – including for his eagerness to support covert regime change against Iran and his dismissiveness of the possibility of Iranian retaliation in response to U.S. escalation.
  • Sec. Tillerson, in remarks before Congress last week, both dismissed engaging Iran in serious diplomatic negotiations and suggested that the U.S. will support regime change against Iran.
  • Aside from these deeply concerning reports, the Trump administration’s visit to Riyadh, its statement essentially blaming Iran for the ISIS terror attacks in Tehran and the Senate passage of new sanctions shortly thereafter has only succeeded in antagonizing Iran.

Iran struck ISIS in Syria with ballistic missiles:

  • In response to ISIS’ terror attacks in Tehran, Iran struck the ISIS stronghold of Deir ez-Zour with several ballistic missiles. Iran described the targets as an ISIS command center and a facility for preparing cars for suicide bombings.
  • Iran also used the launch as a warning to the U.S and Saudi Arabia. According to one IRGC general, “The Saudis and Americans are especially receivers of this message…Obviously and clearly, some reactionary countries of the region, especially Saudi Arabia, had announced that they are trying to bring insecurity into Iran.”
  • In a potential escalation of the destabilizing proxy war between the U.S. and Iran, Saudi Arabia claims it captured Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps members with explosives offshore of an oil field. Iran claims that Saudi Arabia instead attacked fishing vessels that drifted off course.

Strikes on ISIS highlight divided views on Iranian missiles

  • The missile strike against ISIS comes at a time when Congress is considering levying new sanctions on Iran for its missile program. Yet, Iran’s striking of ISIS complicates the narrative in Washington on Iran’s missiles.
  • While threatening to the U.S. and its allies in the Middle East, Iran has demonstrated both a conventional use for its missiles and what many would deem a legitimate target in ISIS.
  • It would be very hard to convince Europe, let alone Russia or China, of the need to escalate multilateral pressure on Iran over a conventional weapons system being used to target ISIS.

Now is the time for Congress to debate the war in Syria, not new escalatory sanctions:

  • Congress has not authorized the use of military force against Syrian, Iranian or Russian forces in Syria or elsewhere, a notion confirmed by Sec. Tillerson in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week.
  • The Obama administration claimed it was authorized to wage war against ISIS based on the 2001 and 2002 AUMF’s passed by Congress, though these do not by any stretch extend beyond the narrow scope of the fight against ISIS.
  • New Iran sanctions appear to be the priority for Congress, yet such steps will not convince Iran to rein in its missile program or back down from its goals in Iraq and Syria. Amplifying sanctions at this time will only escalate tensions at a dangerous time.
  • Congress must urgently debate the scope of existing AUMF’s and clarify that opening a new front in the Syrian war is not authorized, lest the Trump administration lead us into yet another disastrous war in the Middle East.

NIAC Action Statement on Senate Passage of Iran Sanctions Bill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ryan Costello
Phone: (202) 386-6319
Email: rcostello@niacouncil.org

Washington, D.C. – Jamal Abdi, Executive Director for NIAC Action, issued the following statement in response to Senate passage of S. 722, the Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017:

“Giving Trump any new toys to wreak havoc in the Middle East is complete recklessness. We hope Members of Congress come to their senses and reconsider this ill-advised bill before it is too late.

It is the height of folly to expect Trump to show restraint with these new authorities when he is openly hostile to the nuclear deal and diplomacy in general. Numerous former administration officials, including Sec. Kerry, had cautioned against moving forward with this bill at this time. These warnings have gone unheeded in part due to the desire to pass new sanctions on Russia, which were inserted into the bill via amendment.

“The U.S. has now moved one step closer to a potential war with Iran. It is now the responsibility of those Senators – in particular those who asserted contrary to evidence that this bill is wholly consistent with the nuclear deal – to ensure that Donald Trump does not use these authorities to undermine the accord or spark conflict with Iran. If they fail to do so, they will end up bearing a large portion of the responsibility for an unnecessary geopolitical disaster.”

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Rep. Rohrabacher Must Apologize for Suggesting ISIS Attacks on Iran “A Good Thing”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Adam Weinstein
Phone: 216-544-0898
Email: aweinstein@niacouncil.org

Washington, DC – Jamal Abdi, Executive Director of NIAC Action, issued the following statement in response to Rep. Dana Rohrabacher’s (R-CA) suggestion that the ISIS terrorist attacks on Iran be viewed as “a good thing”:

“Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) must immediately disavow and apologize for his outrageous suggestion that the ISIS attacks on Iran should be viewed as ‘a good thing.’ After Trump’s heartless message to Iran blaming the country for being attacked by ISIS, it was hard to believe that any lawmaker could find a way to go lower. Yet that is exactly what Rep. Rohrabacher did with his outrageous and deplorable line of questioning yesterday.

“While Iranians held candlelight vigils for Americans after the September 11th attacks, lawmakers like Rohrabacher and our President appear incapable of showing any remorse or humanity for victims of terror.

“In Thursday’s hearing, Rohrabacher noted ‘we have recently seen an attack on Iran, and the Iranian government – the mullahs, I believe that Sunni forces have attacked them.’ Then he asked the panel, ‘Isn’t it a good thing for us to have the United States finally backing up Sunnis who will attack Hezbollah and the Shiite threat to us, isn’t that a good thing?’ Of course, the ‘Sunni forces’ he referenced are ISIS and their targets were innocent Iranian civilians.

“The U.S. cannot credibly lead the fight against ISIS if lawmakers like Rohrabacher are cheerleading for ISIS terrorism. His comments also pose a risk of feeding into anti-American conspiracy theories in the region that will ultimately undermine our ability to unite disparate forces against our common enemy in ISIS.

“Rep. Rohrabacher’s statement defending ISIS terror attacks prove that he is unfit to represent his constituents, in particular his Iranian-American constituents, and the US-led fight against ISIS and global extremism.”  

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Take Action: Rep. Rohrabacher Must Apologize!

Republican congressman Dana Rohrabacher (CA-48), who represents more Iranian Americans than nearly any other lawmaker in the House of Representatives, suggested on Thursday that the recent ISIS terror attacks in Tehran were a positive development during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Hezbollah:

“We have recently seen an attack on Iran, and the Iranian government – the mullahs, I believe that Sunni forces have attacked them,” stated Rohrabacher. He then asked the panel, “Isn’t it a good thing for us to have the United States finally backing up Sunnis who will attack Hezbollah and the Shiite threat to us, isn’t that a good thing? And if so, maybe…this is a Trump strategy of actually supporting one group against another.”

As a voter in or near Rohrabacher’s district, you must make your voice heard. Take action using the tool on this page to email Rohrabacher. 

Follow up action: Call 1-844-ACT-NIAC (1-844-228-6422) to be connected to Rohrabacher’s office to call for him to retract and apologize for his remarks

See our write-up on the shocking exchange, and then let Rep. Rohrabacher know that this is unacceptable and that he should immediately apologize for his outrageous cheerleading of terror!

  

Tweet and Call: Congress should not pass sanctions after Tehran attacks!

 

Today, Senator Bernie Sanders called on Congress to delay a vote on Iran sanctions and condemned the Tehran Attacks:

Take Action! Don’t let Congress pass Iran sanctions on the day of Tehran Attacks!

Today we stand in solidarity with the people of Iran following the heinous ISIS terror attack. Our statement from this morning is here.

Unfortunately, the Senate had planned to begin voting on new Iran sanctions today. The sanctions are deplorable on their own, but timing of this vote could not be more inappropriate.

Read about the sanctions legislation: “S. 722 Endangers U.S. Troops and Pushes Trump to Violate the Iran Nuclear Deal” >>

Moments ago, Senator Bernie Sanders went to the floor to call for the sanctions vote to be delayed in light of the attacks. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Murphy did the same, but more Senators need to follow suit.

Now we need you to weigh in. Please take a moment to contact your Senators NOW to urge them to halt the Iran sanctions vote. The two most effective ways to do this are via a phone call and via Twitter – we have setup the tools for you to do both below.

S. 722 Endangers U.S. Troops and Pushes Trump to Violate the Iran Nuclear Deal

S. 722 – the Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017, introduced by Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), is the first new Iran sanctions bill that has a serious chance of passing into law since the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Despite ongoing concerns that the bill as amended would still pose a risk of sparking conflict with Iran and pushing President Trump to violate the JCPOA, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) passed the legislation out of committee 18-3.

S.722 risks conflict by designating the IRGC a terrorist organization despite a decade of warnings from the Pentagon.

Sec. 5 would direct the Trump administration to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – Iran’s main military force – a terrorist organization under the U.S. Specially Designated Global Terrorist program (SDGT). This remains unchanged after the SFRC markup. Multiple administrations – including under George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and even Donald Trump – have declined to take this unprecedented step and the Pentagon has warned since at least 2007 that it would endanger U.S. troops and expose them to similar counter-designations.  This dangerous move risks endangering U.S. troops, undermining the fight against ISIS, and leading to a confrontation that could result in a war with Iran.

S.722 would still interfere with U.S. obligations to lift sanctions on Transition Day.

Section 8, as amended, does not fully resolve concerns that the provision could prevent the President from de-listing Iranian parties scheduled to be removed from U.S. sanctions lists on Transition Day, thus placing the United States in non-compliance with its JCPOA obligations. If, for instance, an Iranian person scheduled for removal from U.S. sanctions lists on Transition Day engages in activities that contribute to Iran’s ballistic missile program, the President is required to designate that person under Executive Order 13382 (or, if already designated under that Order, to add such legal basis for designation to the person’s evidentiary record). In doing so, the President may be precluded from removing the person from U.S. sanctions lists on Transition Day, as the person will now be the subject of a non-nuclear sanction imposed following the implementation of the JCPOA. Such an occurrence would place the U.S. in clear violation of the nuclear accord.

S.722 gives the Trump administration new authorities to undermine the deal.

Sec. 4 mandates the President to impose sanctions on any individual that “knowingly engages in any activity that materially contributes to the activities of the Government of Iran with respect to its ballistic missile program.” It remains unclear how the Trump administration will utilize this new green light for additional sanctions pressure on Iran’s missile program, and could interpret the provision in an overly broad manner that threatens U.S. compliance under the JCPOA. Given the President’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord and pending reversal of President Obama’s opening to Cuba, Congress must act with restraint and the expectation that Trump intends to reverse the significant progress Obama made on Iran policy.

The sanctions would backfire by empowering Iranian hardliners.

Iran has reelected Hassan Rouhani over a hardliner after he campaigned for openness at home and further negotiations with the West. The Senate threatens to immediately negate that mandate. Escalating sanctions now will only serve to empower those hardliners that thrive under sanctions and the threat of war, like the IRGC, while undermining Rouhani as he seeks to cooperate with the West and to rein in provocative hardline forces.