NIAC Statement on First Congressional Hearing on the Muslim Ban
WASHINGTON DC – Today, the Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship held the first ever Congressional hearing on the Trump Administration’s discriminatory Muslim Ban. The hearing, which included witness testimony from impacted individuals, enabled Congress and the public to glean insight into the implementation of the nearly three-year-old Muslim Ban.
In response to today’s hearing, NIAC Policy Director Ryan Costello issued the following statement:
“The Muslim ban has been impacting Iranian Americans since Donald Trump’s first week in office, but had to wait until today for a full hearing examining this fundamentally unjust policy. Thankfully, Reps. Zoe Lofgren and Ami Bera—as well as the many Democrats on the subcommittee—delivered, pressing administration officials directly and allowing representatives of impacted communities the chance to explain the harm caused by this ban, which has separated families based on nothing more than bigotry.
“As the hearing made clear, the waiver process that enabled the ban to survive its challenge in the Supreme Court is nothing but a sham. Knowing that they were going to be held to account, the administration actually sped up processing of waivers under the ban over the last ten days in a bid to make the ban and waiver rate more defensible. Fortunately, legislators saw through this charade and rightfully pointed out the irrationality of the policy and the administration’s shameful efforts to shield scrutiny of its actions.
“Unfortunately, those Republican legislators in attendance continued their long track record of defending the ban and Trump, spending more time nitpicking Democrats for using the phrase ‘Muslim ban’ than examining the impact of the ban on impacted communities. History will recall their cowardice and partisanship in the face of Trump’s assault on our nation’s values and Constitutional safeguards.
“Ultimately, there is only one way to uphold America’s higher ideals and defend both Iranian Americans and all impacted communities: by repealing the ban. Until this ban is fully repealed, the shadow of near-insitutionalized discrimination will only continue to degrade the tolerance and values upon which the U.S. was built. Now that the hearing has laid bare the empty rhetoric and justifications underpinning the ban, we urge the House to pass legislation to end the ban once and for all.”
A number of individuals impacted by the Muslim ban are available to speak to the press and media about their experiences. A summary of their stories can be found in PDF format here.