The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Mana Mostatabi,

NIAC Statement on New Restrictions for Student Visas


Jamal Abdi, Executive Director of National Iranian American Council Action (NIAC Action), issued the following statement on new restrictions proposed by the Trump administration that would target international students, including a 2 year maximum visa for Iranian students and other nationals of countries whose governments have been designated by the U.S. as state sponsors of terrorism:

"Donald Trump's white-nationalist administration is once again demonstrating its zealous hostility toward immigrant communities, including the Iranian-American community. Give this administration more time, and there will be zero visas issued to Iranians and other Muslim and African nations.

"We are rushing down the slippery slope of national bigotry with the apparent goal of cutting all immigration from Iran and other black and brown countries. It started even before Donald Trump came into office, with Kevin McCarthy and Congressional Republicans inserting discriminatory restrictions into the Visa Waiver Program targeting dual nationals. It continued in Trump's first week in office with his Muslim ban, which is now being expanded. That ban was struck down by the courts several times until it eventually narrowly survived judicial review based in part on the inclusion of waivers for Iranian students. This act now effectively negates that waiver.

"The Trump administration has added ban on top of ban on top of ban, making it next to impossible for Iranians and others to see their families or pursue their dreams. This is not what our country, which is supposed to be a beacon of freedom and equality, stands for. We need to listen to Trump when he tells us that he wants to ban people based on religion, bar people from voting based on their race, or refuse to accept a peaceful transfer of power next year. He is un-American, and unfit to be President. Voters need to defeat him November 3 and ensure he leaves office."

The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization founded in 2002 to give voice to the Iranian-American community. From being the trusted voice on U.S.- Iran relations, to pushing forth legislation that protects individuals of Iranian heritage from systematic discrimination, to celebrating our cultural heritage, NIAC creates a lasting impact in the lives of the members of our community.

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