Help Protect Green Card Diversity

 

Organizational Letter Supporting Sen. Durbin’s (D-IL) RELIEF Act

October 16, 2019
To: Members of the U.S. Senate

Dear Honorable Senators,

As organizations representing immigrant communities who would be harmed by H.R. 1044/S. 386, the so-called Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act, we write to express our support for the compromise offered by Sen. Dick Durbin in the Resolving Extended Limbo for Immigrant Employees and Families (RELIEF) Act.

Many of our groups warned in September that H.R. 1044/S. 386 would not actually fix the green card backlog, and instead would reduce the diversity of the green card process and pit one group of immigrants against others to fight over a broken and inherently unequal system. 

Today, we encourage the Senate to instead support and pass the RELIEF Act to address the green card backlog. The bill recognizes that the backlog stems from too few green cards to meet the actual demand, which can only be sufficiently addressed by expanding the overall number of green cards available, which the bill would do. Moreover, it includes key provisions to protect the diversity of the green card process and minimize the negative repercussions of only removing the country caps. The RELIEF Act does not offer a zero-sum approach that prioritizes one group of immigrants to the exclusion of all others. Moreover, we know that such a formulation can pass, as it is based on the bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed the Senate in 2013.

The green card backlog is a long-standing, complex problem. The RELIEF Act offers a balanced approach that can fix it faster for everyone in the backlog, unlike H.R. 1044/S. 386. We encourage you to cosponsor the RELIEF Act today and oppose H.R. 1044/S. 386 moving forward.

Sincerely,

18 Million Rising
All of Us
Council on American-Islamic Relations
Justice for Muslims Collective
MPower Change Action Fund
National Iranian American Council Action
Project South
South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
United Chinese Americans
United Macedonian Diaspora
United We Dream

A major victory on our work to protect green card diversity

Last week, we scored a major victory on our work to protect the green card process for Iranians and other communities. Recently NIAC Action assembled a coalition of immigrant-advocacy organizations to send a letter to the Senate urging them to oppose H.R.1044/S.386, the so-called “Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act.” This bill, if passed, would effectively block many immigrant communities’ paths to a green card⁠—and Iranians would be particularly impacted. 

This bill was on a path to sail through Congress under the radar until NIAC Action and our allies stepped up to stop it.

Last week, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) drew a firm red line against passing this bill in a private letter to the bill’s lead, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT). In the letter, Sen. Durbin cited the coalition’s concerns that this bill exasperates the green card backlog and pits one group of immigrants against others to fight over a broken immigration system. Durbin’s letter could prove decisive in winning the battle against this unfair bill.

Now Durbin plans on introducing his own bill that would clear the current backlog by increasing the number of green cards authorized each year; the solution we proposed in our coalition letter.

Unfortunately, proponents of this bill have attacked Sen. Durbin and employed tactics to intimidate Iranians from voicing their concerns—one group has even encouraged their members to report Iranians who publicly oppose the bill to ICE. We will not allow anyone to silence our voices and we will not allow special interests to turn immigrant groups against one another. And now, we are winning.

However, the fight to protect green card diversity is just revving up. We need everyone to support  Durbin’s efforts by make it abundantly clear  that we will not yield, so please call your Senator today and support our campaign to protect green card diversity.
 

📞 Call your Senator

➡️ Donate directly in support of our campaign to protect fair immigration
 

Sen. Durbin cannot be the only senator stepping up and fighting back. Take action today and help us secure the additional Senate allies we need to ensure the immigration system is fair for all.

نامه ائتلاف به مجلس سنای ایالات متحده در مخالفت با لایحه کارت سبز که بر مشکلات می‌افزاید

در هفته جاری، کمیته اقدام نایاک نامه ای را در مخالفت با لایحه H.R. 1044/S.386 برای سناتورهای ایالات متحده هماهنگ و ارسال کرد. امضا کنندگان این نامه بنیاد آمریکائیان عرب‌تبار، شورای روابط آمریکایی/اسلامی، سازمان غیردولتی آمریکائی‌های جنوب آسیائی‌تبار و ۱۱ سازمان دیگر که نمایندگی جوامع مهاجر را بر عهده دارند را شامل می شود. این جوامع در صورت تصویب این لایحه تحت تاثیر آن قرار خواهند گرفت.

چرا ما با لایحه کارت سبز H.R. 1044 مخالفیم؟

این لایحه که به غلط لایحه “انصاف برای مهاجران با مهارت بالا” نام گرفته، در عمل مسیر دستیابی شهروندان ایران و تقریبا ً همه ملل دیگر را به کارت سبز مسدود خواهد کرد. ایرانیان هم اکنون نیز مشمول (دستور) منع سفر هستند و تنها برای یک بار ورود برایشان ویزای آمریکا صادر می شود. بواسطه تصویب این لایحه، مدت انتظار آنها برای دریافت کارت سبز سالها افزوده خواهد شد. در زمانی که دولت کنونی، مهاجران از دیگر کشورها را موجوداتی اهریمنی جلوه می دهد، ما اعتقاد داریم هیج یک از این سیاستهای غیر موثر و مضر، از جمله لایحه H.R.1044 از خلاء ظهور نمی کنند. بهترین راه حل برای کاستن از لیست انتظار طولانی متقاضیان کارت سبز، افزایش عرضه کارت سبز است، نه ایجاد تقابل بین گروه‌های مختلف مهاجر و وادار کردن آنها به رقابت بر سر تعداد محدود کارت سبزهای موجود.

ما چه کاری برای مقابله با این لایحه می‌توانیم انجام دهیم

شهروندان ایرانی و آمریکایی‌های ایرانی‌تبار در حال حاضر از همه جوانب مورد هجوم قرار گرفته‌اند. همراه با سیاست شکست خورده فشار حداکثری به ایران، ایرانی‌ها و آمریکایی‌های ایرانی‌تبار هم به واسطه بررسی شدید تقاضاهای ویزایشان و ممنوعیت ورود مسلمانان در معرض شدیدترین محدودیتها قرار گرفته اند.

کمیته اقدام نایاک توانسته با کسب حمایت شماری از سناتورهای ایالات متحده، از تصویب این لایحه به اتفاق آرا جلوگیری کند. علاوه بر هماهنگ کردن این نامه ائتلاف، ما با همکاری متحدانمان در مجلس نمایندگان و مجلس سنای آمریکا ادامه می دهیم تا از تبدیل شدن این لایحه به قانون جلوگیری کنیم و با بررسی همه راهکارهای ممکن، تضمین کنیم که تنها راه حلی برگزیده شود که به معنای واقعی برای همه متقاضیان مهاجرت به آمریکا منصفانه باشد.

اقدام کنید!

این تلاش به منابع (مالی) نیاز دارد و ما برای پیروز شدن به چالشهای سیاسی که جامعه ما با آن روبه رو است به حمایت شما نیاز داریم. کمک کنید تا راه دستیابی ایرانیان به کارت سبز باز بماند. برای کمک به این تلاش‌ها، شما می توانید با نماینده خود در کنگره تماس بگیرید و با کمک های مالی (به ما) تضمین کنید که منابع لازم را برای متوقف کردن این لایحه در اختیار داشته باشیم.


۲۵ سپتامبر ۲۰۱۹

به: اعضای مجلس سنای ایالات متحده

سناتورهای محترم گرامی،

به عنوان سازمانهای نماینده جوامع مهاجری که بواسطه (تصویب لایحه) H.R. 1044/S 386، موسوم به ” قانون انصاف برای مهاجران با مهارت بالا”، آسیب می بینند ما بدیوسیله مخالفتمان را نسبت به این لایحه اعلام می کنیم. نظر به اینکه این قانون پیشنهادی یکی از ستونهای نظام مهاجرتی ما را حذف خواهد کرد و تبعات جدی در پی خواهد داشت، ما از سناتورها می خواهیم که نگذارند این لایحه به اتفاق آراء در دستور کار مجلس قرار بگیرد.

ما برای درخواستمان دلایل ذیل را داریم:

  •  (1) این لایحه مشکل لیست انتظار متقاضیان را حل نمی کند بلکه صرفا ً مدت انتظار برخی را افزایش خواهد داد و تنوع نژادی را در نظام کارت سبز محدود خواهد کرد.
  •  
  •  (2) این لایحه رویکرد «صفر و یک» دارد که یک گروه از متقاضیان مهاجرت را در مقابل گروه‌های دیگر قرار می‌دهد تا بر سر یک نظام مهاجرت شکست خورده با هم رقابت کنند.
  •  
  •  (3) یک راه حل واقعی با افزایش تعداد کارت سبزهای عطا شده، تنوع نژادی را تضمین می کرد.

ما می پذیریم که حجم قابل توجه تقاضاهای ویزا در نوبت بررسی مایه تاسف است و باید حل شود. اما (لایحه) H.R. 1044/S 386 یک راه حل منصفانه نیست و می تواند مشکلات جدیدی را ایجاد کند، مشکلاتی از قبیل ایجاد انحصار برای یک گروه از متقاضیان و حذف هر نوع تنوع نژادی از این فرایند، آنگونه که وزارت خارجه (آمریکا) بدان اشاره کرده است. ما از سناتورها می خواهیم که نگذارند این لایحه به اتفاق آرا در دستور کار مجلس قرار گیرد و این تلاش غیر سازنده برای حل یک مشکل دیرپا و پیچیده را رد کنند.

با صداقت،

بنیاد آمریکائیان عرب تبار

سازمان روابط عمومی آمریکایی های با تبار جزایر اقیانوس آرام

اتحادیه کارگران آمریکایی های با تبار جزایر اقیانوس آرام

شورای روابط اسلامی آمریکا

شورای فدرال آمریکایی های با تبار جزایر اقیانوس آرام

شورای رهبری دموکراتیک آمریکایی های ایتالیایی تبار

کنسرسیوم آمریکایی های کره ای تبار در بخش خدمات و آموزش

کمیته اقدام شورای ملی آمریکایی های ایرانی تبار

کنسرسیوم ملی آمریکایی های کره ای تبار در بخش خدمات و آموزش

وکلای آمریکایی های با تبار جزایر اقیانوس آرام

کمیته اقدام سیاسی آمریکایی های پاکستانی تبار

پروژه جنوب

آمریکایی های جنوب آسیایی تبار

اتحاد آمریکایی های چینی تبار

اتحاد مهاجران مقدونیه

اتحاد رویای ما

NIAC Action Joins 200+ NGOs to Tell Congress: Cut ICE And CBP Funding

NIAC Action joined a group of more than 200 organizations calling on Congress to cut funding for the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) detention, enforcement, and border militarization programs as well as to ensure that appropriated funds are not abused by the administration. The letter comes as Congress prepares to consider and pass legislation funding the government for the upcoming fiscal year.

From the Muslim ban to locking kids in cages, the Trump administration has done profound damage to America’s immigration policies and moral standing. Yet, the President has encountered minimal resistance from Congress as budgets for DHS’ Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) continue to rise in spite of the horrific abuses they perpetrate. 

In joining more than 200 organizations, NIAC Action is encouraging Congress to use the power of the purse to rein in these abuses. The letter calls for decreased funding for detention and agents, as well as no funding for the border wall. Moreover, it calls for an end to unlawful deportations and guardrails to ensure nobody is detained by CBP for longer than 72 hours.

NIAC Action remains committed to fighting for just and equitable immigration policies.

Read the full text of the letter below.

Defund-Hate_NGO-Sign-on_FY20-DHS-Priorities_Sept-2019

SCOTUS Just Approved Bigotry. Now What?

While we had hoped that justice and equality would triumph over hate and discrimination, we also suspected the Supreme Court, given its current makeup, would side with Trump. So we planned ahead. Our strategy is focused on terminating the ban through political organizing and legislative action.

Our Strategy Moving Forward

  1. Expose the lawmakers supporting Trump’s ban. The current Republican-led Congress has blocked a vote to repeal the Muslim Ban.
  2. Uncover the information that Trump is hiding. That is why we worked with Senator Chris Van Hollen to require Trump to turn over documents that will lay the groundwork for repeal. to lay the groundwork for a vote to repeal the ban.
  3. Organize to elect a new Congress this November that will vote to overturn the ban.
  4. Pass legislation to repeal the ban once and for all.

Have Questions on the Decision?

If you’re wondering what yesterday’s ruling means for you, we offer some answers in our FAQ. To see our legal analysis on the decision, look here.

Want to Get Involved?

We need your support. You can donate your time and you can donate your money. See where your representatives stand on the issue, and contact them. If you’ve been impacted by the ban, share your story with us.

Justice Kennedy’s retirement, announced today, raises the stakes even further for the upcoming elections. It’s crucial our community has a voice in November, so I hope you’ll be part of our efforts.

If our community is fully invested, we will overturn this ban. 

NIAC Action Joins Civil Rights Groups in Opposing Expansion to ‘Extreme Vetting’

NIAC Action has joined a coalition of civil rights organizations today warning against the Trump Administration’s proposed expansion of its ‘extreme vetting’ policies.

Last May, NIAC Action’s sister organization, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), expressed deep concern with the proposed policy of ‘extreme vetting’ which collects social media identifiers, phone numbers and email addresses used within the past five years, as well as travel history and documentary proof of funding sources for travel for the past 15 years, among other things. Initially, the State Department ventured to gather this information for an unspecified subset of visa applicants.

Under the State Department’s new proposal, the Trump administration seeks to cast a wider net in screening the social media accounts of almost all visa applicants to make adverse visa eligibility determinations.

NIAC Action joined groups including the Brennan Center for Justice and the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), in sending a public comment to the State Department opposing the Department’s new proposal.

The coalition’s public comment reiterates the positions that have been echoed to this administration for the past year: information gathered through social media is unreliable and difficult to interpret, social media collection will chill free speech and result in the inevitable incidental collection of information from third parties and American citizens, and this policy–considered against the backdrop of a broader ‘Muslim Ban’ framework aimed at targeting certain individuals based on national origin and religion–has the potential to be discriminatory in impact and intent.

“Proposals by the federal government to use social media to make adverse visa determinations have been consistently opposed by privacy, civil liberties, civil rights, and other civil society groups,” the letter states. “And the government’s own studies have not produced evidence that social media screening programs work.”

Read the full letter here.

Earlier this year, NIAC filed a lawsuit against the State Department for its failure to respond to a request made under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requesting documents which would provide critical data and shine a light on how the administration has been interpreting, implementing, and enforcing ‘extreme vetting’ through data collection. As of today, the administration has still not provided the requested documents to NIAC.

NIAC Action repeats its call on Congress to intervene and immediately enact legislation rejecting this administrations latest attempt to broaden ‘extreme vetting’ data collection. After twelve months of sustained efforts to fulfill the president’s promise to have a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” it should be abundantly clear to members of Congress that this administration will stop at nothing to achieve this objective, even at the expense of Free Speech rights and other constitutional protections.

Trump’s Muslim Ban Undermines American Interests

On September 24, 2017, President Trump issued a Presidential Proclamation, “Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats” barring entry into the U.S. for foreign nationals from eight countries — Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) has introduced legislation (S. 1979) to block implementation of the new ban, which has 32 cosponsors. In the House of Representatives, Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) has introduced matching legislation (H.R. 4271) to block the ban.

Still a Muslim Ban, Still Permanent

The Trump Administration is fulfilling its campaign promise to impose a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States…” Trump advisor Rudy Giuliani indicated that the President asked him how to implement a Muslim ban legally prior to the first Executive Order, and advisor Stephen Miller indicated that the second order will feature only minor technical changes and will result in the same fundamental policy. This third order seeks to extend the ban on an indefinite basis as articulated in the March 6 Executive Order.


This new order will permanently bar Iranians and other nationals from America, with few exceptions. While the first and second versions of the ban were ostensibly for a period of 90 days to ensure a review of vetting requirements, the Proclamation issued September 24 has no sunset, meaning it will be indefinite.

This is a propaganda victory for extremist groups like ISIS who have used it as a recruiting tool against the U.S., calling it a “blessed ban.”

Damaging to U.S. Security and Economic Interests

The ban makes American businesses and universities less competitive. It “disrupts ongoing business operations” according to nearly 100 tech companies – including Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter – that filed a brief opposing the original ban. The companies say the ban “makes it more difficult and expensive for U.S. companies to recruit, hire, and retain some of the world’s best employees.”

Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet, Inc. wants the ban lifted. Schmidt stated, “Iran produces some of the smartest and top computer scientists in the world. I want them here, right? To be clear: I want them working for Alphabet and Google. I’m very very clear on this. It’s crazy not to let these people in.”

The ban is a victory for Iranian hardliners who want to keep Iranians isolated from the U.S. and undermines those who support engagement. Iran’s Supreme Leader said the ban “reveals the true face” of the United States. The result could contribute to a hardliner winning Iran’s presidency in May who favors confrontation over engagement with the U.S.

The ban makes America less safe by diverting resources away from the real threats and instead arbitrarily cracks down on our loved ones. All visa applicants must go through rigorous vetting, though enforcing an arbitrary ban will divert resources in agencies that have successfully protected us.

Punishing American Families

Iranian American families in the U.S. have been particularly harmed by the ban. The ban bars Iranian family members from visiting the United States, while many Iranian Americans are unable to return to Iran because they have been politically active and fear repercussions from the Iranian government. There are countless stories of weddings and family reunions being cancelled or delayed indefinitely.

When the Supreme Court ruled Trump could not ban close family in June, the Trump Administration tried to argue that our grandparents did not count and should still be banned. Muslim ban 3.0 included no exemptions for bona fide relations, though the courts have since stepped in to bar the administration from banning family members and those with ties to U.S. institutions such as a university. If these protections are overturned, the ban will once again be fully enforced including by targeting family members.

An Irrational Counterterrorism Policy

Not a single person has been killed in the U.S. by a terrorist attack committed by people from the countries subjected to Trump’s ban. None of the 9/11 hijackers would have been targeted by this ban. Neither would the San Bernardino attackers or the Orlando nightclub gunman.September 11th was staged by 15 Saudi, 2 UAE, 1 Egyptian, and 1 Lebanese terrorist. San Bernardino was conducted by 1 Pakistani American and 1 Pakistani who was radicalized in Saudi Arabia. The Orlando nightclub attack was committed by 1 Afghan American.

The Department of Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis disputed the security benefits of the ban. After the initial ban was suspended, the Trump administration sought affirmation from agencies by requesting intelligence to support its pre-determined policy of a Muslim ban, though no convincing justification was found. A DHS intelligence report indicated that nationals of the targeted countries are “rarely implicated in U.S.-based terrorism,” and that citizenship is an “unreliable indicator of terrorist threat to the United States.”

The criteria used to justify the new proclamation are applied arbitrarily. Many countries that failed to meet the criteria were excluded from travel restrictions under the proclamation. While only 9 countries were targeted in the ban, 86 countries did not issue an electronic passport while 16 failed to report any stolen or lost passports. In 2016, thirteen nations were identified by the Department of State as terrorist safe havens, though only three countries – Somalia, Venezuela and Yemen – were targeted under the proclamation.

The overwhelming majority of so-called “radical Islamic” terrorism attacks in the U.S. have been committed by lone wolf attackers with no sponsorship. Such lone wolves include the Boston bombers, San Bernardino shooters, Orlando nightclub shooter, OSU shooter, Fort Hood shooter and New York truck attacker. The only recent example of terrorism on U.S. soil that may have included some state sponsorship was 9/11 and the alleged sponsors were certain Saudi officials. It is also notable that all of these particular terrorists adhered to an extreme Wahhabi ideology that also views most Iranians as apostates.

Nobody from the banned countries receives a visa without visiting an embassy or consulate. Former Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, now Trump’s Chief of Staff, has on numerous occasions misleadingly suggested that vetting cannot occur in countries without a U.S. consulate without adding that individuals in states without consulates must still visit a consulate. Iranians, for example, travel to consulates in Dubai, Ankara or Yerevan to attend visa interviews.

Punishing the Iranian People

The ban will impact more Iranians and Iranian Americans than any other group on the restricted countries list. Muslim Ban 3.0 disproportionately impacts Iranians with 62% of those potentially impacted being Iranian nationals. However, it is likely that many Iranians will begin to self-select out of the application process altogether in favor of other Western countries.  

Iranians are one of the only populations in the region who have positive views of the United States. After 9/11, Iranians held vigils in solidarity with America. Iranians want to buy American goods and study in American schools. Donald Trump may single-handedly destroy this goodwill. The majority of Iranians view the American people favorably according to a poll conducted by the University of Maryland one year after the nuclear deal. 80% of Iranians supported increased tourism and 68% supported more cultural and athletic exchanges such as the recent trip by the U.S. wrestling team to Tehran which occurred without incident.

The ban does nothing to punish the Iranian government for its inclusion on the U.S. State Sponsors of Terror list. The punishment is almost exclusively felt by innocent Iranian nationals who seek entry into the United States for educational purposes, family visits, tourism, and medical care. It is these people seeking a positive connection with America – not Iranian government officials – who are targeted.

Iran remains a stable country and is neither a failed state nor a conflict zone. This map of 2015 terrorist attacks generated by the University of Maryland reveals that Iran is wedged between terrorism hotspots that are not on the list:

A PDF version of this Memo can be found here.

NIAC Action, AAAJ, and CAIR Condemn Attempted “Backdoor Muslim Ban,” Mobilize Community to Oppose Proposal, Groups Facilitate Submission of Approximately 1,900 Comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The public comment period for the proposal to make the Trump Administration’s Backdoor Muslim Ban permanent ends today. NIAC Action (sister organization to the National Iranian American Council), Asian Americans Advancing Justice (“Advancing Justice”), and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (“CAIR”) are announcing that their coordinated campaign against this discriminatory policy during the public comment period was successful.  Since launching in early September, the three organizations helped facilitate approximately 1,900 comments against this policy by organizing the community to use their web portals.

If approved, this policy would allow the Trump Administration to continue to gather huge amounts of personal data about visa applicants, including social media history from the past five years and travel history for the past fifteen years, simply to justify rejecting Muslim applicants.  

“Our community wants what any other community would want: the freedom to proudly express our identities freely and without fear of discrimination,” said Shayan Modarres, Legal Counsel for NIAC Action. “This policy of extreme vetting based on national origin and religious belief is discriminatory, unconstitutional and not the country we should be.”

“This administration has shown time and again that enacting a Muslim Ban by any possible means is their flagship policy,” said Christina Sinha, a National Security Staff Attorney with Advancing Justice. “Changing the policy’s packaging does not change what is inside –and what is inside is a backdoor attempt to institute yet another unconstitutional Muslim Ban.”

“For decades, our communities have witnessed a continual erosion of our civil and human rights,” said CAIR Director of Government Affairs Department Robert McCaw. “From registries and profiling to regular harassment, we have endured these attacks on our rights and our humanity. This comment period was an opportunity to stand up to all anti-Muslim policies that have tried to silence us and to speak up for our values as a community, and as a country.”

The web portals were set up in order to assist affected communities, and the general public, in submitting their comments about this proposal by providing a platform to make their voices heard.  The groups conducted community outreach to alert the community about the plan; created a video in several different languages to help explain the government’s proposal; encouraged people to comment; joined a Coalition of civil and human rights organizations in opposing the policy; and filed their own organization comments.  

Advancing Justice, CAIR, and NIAC Action are committed to combating the Backdoor Muslim Ban and every attempt by the Trump Administration to target the Muslim community.  No matter its iteration, our communities will rise up to demand #NoMuslimBanEver.

###

NIAC Action is the grassroots, civic action organization advancing peace and championing the priorities of the Iranian-American community.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice is a national affiliation of five leading organizations advocating for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and other underserved communities to promote a fair and equitable society for all.  Its members are: Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus, Advancing Justice-Los Angeles, Advancing Justice-Atlanta, Advancing Justice-AAJC, and Advancing Justice-Chicago.

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization.  Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

Urgent: Help us fight Trump’s new Iranian ban

Donald Trump just signed a new Muslim ban that will severely impact Iranians and their families in the U.S. We are analyzing the text of the order and will provide updates as they develop but it confirms what we have long warned: the Trump administration is making its Muslim ban against Iranians and other nationals permanent and will cement a racist and discriminatory campaign promise into official U.S. policy unless we convince the courts and Congress to intervene.

Effective today, all immigrant and nonimmigrant visas will be suspended for Iranians, except student visas (M and F visas) and student exchange students (J visas) – though such travelers will be subject to increased scrutiny. All entries of Syrian and North Korean nationals with visas of any class or green cards are barred. Immigrant visas and most non-immigrant visas to nationals of Chad, Yemen, Venezuela, Libya, and Somalia will also be suspended. Iraq and Sudan have been removed from the list of banned countries.

Additionally, there will be no longer be an exception for travelers with a bona fide U.S. relationship after October 18 – meaning family members of Iranian Americans will once again be banned. The new version of the travel ban is indefinite with no set expiration date.

We are mobilizing now to fight this latest ban with everything we’ve got:

  • Legal: Our legal counsel is working with our coalition partners as we speak on potential litigation to freeze and roll back Trump’s new ban.
  • Grassroots: we are organizing actions around the country with a coalition of civil rights organizations to mobilize popular opinion and increase public pressure against the ban. (You can sign up for rallies in Washington, DC or San Francisco right now).
  • Political: we are reaching out to lawmakers and their staff to urge them to introduce new legislation to rescind Trump’s new ban and to put political pressure on those in Congress who refuse to challenge this president’s heinous bans. We are also prepared to notify lawmakers about specific cases of affected travelers in case Congressional intervention is needed.

Additionally, if you or a family member are affected by the ban please contact our Legal Counsel, Shayan Modarres, at smodarres@niacouncil.org.

We will post our legal analysis and Question and Answers about the new ban on this page (niacouncil.org/noban) shortly. It will be updated frequently as the situation evolves, so please bookmark it.

We face a difficult road ahead but are confident through legal, political, and grassroots pressure we can once again put a freeze on Trump’s ban and ultimately dismantle it. But we need your support if we are going to succeed. Please donate $100, $250, or $500 today so that we have the resources needed to win.

In these challenging times, it takes an organized, motivated community to fight for our rights. We are not going to let Trump target the right’s of our community or any other community, and we’re glad to have your support and participation for the battle ahead.

Tell Trump: “No Backdoor Muslim Ban!”

 

Donald Trump’s illegal Muslim Ban Executive Orders have been knocked down by the courts twice. Now he is trying another way to implement his discriminatory agenda: new “extreme vetting” requirements in visa applications.

If approved, this policy would be devastating for our communities. It would let the Trump Administration gather huge amounts of personal data about visa applicants, including their social media history for the past five years and their travel history for the past fifteen years. The Trump Administration would then be able to use this vast amount of information to reject visas; if they wrongly reject someone’s visa application, it is very hard to fight that decision.

Collecting this social media information is particularly frightening. We have already seen cases where visas were denied because U.S. government officials misunderstood innocent social media posts. Collecting this information on such a vast scale is sure to lead to widespread rejection of visas for inappropriate reasons, and the language about who can be targeted for this information collection is so broad that it can encompass huge groups of people. Given this administration’s unchecked xenophobia and Islamophobia, this policy is sure to be used very heavily against Iranians and other individuals from countries targeted by Trump’s Muslim Ban Executive Order.

The Trump Administration is once again trying to push a Muslim Ban, this time by calling it “extreme vetting.” We should not be fooled. Take action today to protect our communities from this Backdoor Ban!