ASL19 Urges the End of President Trump’s Discriminatory Travel Ban

Last Friday, President Trump signed an executive order that indefinitely suspends the resettlement of Syrian refugees, and bans the citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S for 90 days. ASL19 strongly urges the U.S. government to rescind this discriminatory policy that is against our core international values and fundamental rights.

As an Iran-focused organization, many of our colleagues, friends, and collaborators are among those directly impacted. On Saturday, Federal district judges in New York and Virginia stayed parts of the order, preventing the deportation of individuals already at U.S. airports or in transit, and providing temporary protection to refugees, the most vulnerable among those affected.

However, thousands remain impacted and much of the executive order is still being implemented. In addition to the negative impact this has on many dual nationals, refugees, and visa holders mentioned elsewhere, we’d like to highlight the following adverse effects on our community:

  1. Iranian diaspora civil society groups in the U.S. and other countries will find it tougher to do their work, unable to travel to community events that aid collaboration, fundraising, and access to other vital resources. Our community’s annual Iran Cyber Dialogue is due to take place this March in Europe. Many of our colleagues and friends based in the U.S. will not be able to leave to attend and return home.
  2. As a result of travel restrictions, Iranian experts who can bridge the divide between those inside Iran and those outside will face extra barriers to their work of engaging actors abroad in support of Iranian civil society goals. For example, actors working to mitigate the impact of sanctions overcompliance now find their access to global tech companies curtailed.
  3. Iranians who are in the process of pursuing studies, tourism, or employment in the US will find these opportunities out of their reach. This has a chilling effect on cross-cultural exchange and collaboration, and is fuel for hardliners in both countries.
  4. Iranian tech and human rights professionals will not be able to travel to the U.S. to attend industry events, community gatherings, and other opportunities that could support the development of both individuals and the broader global community.

We are very concerned about the impact on our community and our collective work around human rights. ASL19 opposes this executive order, and stands in solidarity with those seeking equality, due process, the rule of law, and respect for the fundamental rights of all.