For Immediate Release
Jamal Abdi, 202-386-6408, Jamal@niacaction.org
NIAC Action Applauds Senate Effort on Muslim Ban
WASHINGTON - NIAC Action released the following statement after the Senate Appropriations Committee adopted an amendment from Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Patrick Leahy D-VT mandating Congressional oversight of the implementation of Presidential Proclamation 9645, commonly referred to as Muslim Ban 3.0:
“The American people and Congress are thankfully recognizing that this administration’s outrageous actions on immigration cannot continue in the dark. Senators Leahy and Van Hollen deserve tremendous credit for offering this amendment and ensuring its passage through the Senate Appropriations Committee. As we await a decision from the Supreme Court on the legality of Trump’s third ban, these reporting requirements begin to ensure that President Trump’s Muslim ban receives scrutiny not just from the courts but also from the U.S. Congress.
“Earlier this week, NIAC Action along with 50 other organizations – including the American Civil Liberties Union, Brennan Center for Justice and National Immigration Law Center- implored Congress to institute oversight on the ban, stating ‘After a year and a half of turning a blind eye to a policy that impacts their Muslim, Iranian American, and other constituents, Congress must exert some basic oversight.’ As we have seen over this period, the ban along with ‘extreme vetting’, have achieved the intended result of plummeting visa issuances to applicants from seven Muslim-majority countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
“Among other things, the Secretary of State will be mandated to submit regular updates to Congress which include the total number of applicants granted and denied waivers under the case-by-case waiver provision of Muslim Ban 3.0. The reports provided by the Secretary of State will be submitted in unclassified form and made publicly available online for the American people to access.
“Today’s reporting requirement language makes significant progress towards transparency and accountability. It gives the American people necessary information about a concealed policy that has remained shrouded in secrecy, while also providing Congress the necessary information to carry out its function of oversight to hold this Administration accountable to the American people.
“NIAC Action thanks Senators Van Hollen and Leahy for their courage and stewardship on this exceedingly important issue, in addition to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for including the provision in the chairman’s mark. Now, Congress must ensure that these vital and noncontroversial oversight provisions are included in the final bill.”
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NIAC Action is the grassroots, civic action organization committed to advancing peace and championing the priorities of the Iranian-American community. We are a nonpartisan nonprofit and the 501(c)4 sister organization of the National Iranian American Council, which works to strengthen the Iranian-American community and promote greater understanding between the American and Iranian people.