Trump’s New Travel Ban: Collective Punishment of the Iranian People
Blanket Restrictions Aid Hardliners’ Efforts to Isolate Iranians from the World
September 26, 2017—The Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) strongly condemns the new travel ban announced by the Trump administration on September 24, 2017 targeting citizens of Iran and seven other countries. The new travel ban’s indiscriminate and arbitrary impact on Iranian citizens is unjustified and a gift to Iranian hardliners who want to isolate their population and prevent engagement with the outside world, CHRI said today.
“This travel ban is cruel, irrational and against the U.S. national interest,” said Hadi Ghaemi, CHRI’s executive director.
“Such blanket discrimination fails to differentiate between the Iranian people and state officials. It is collective punishment of an entire people for the policies of their government,” Ghaemi added.
Trump’s new travel ban shows the hollowness of his recent remarks on September 19th at the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly, where he said, “the good people of Iran want change” and that “Iran’s people are what their leaders fear most.” Less that a week later, he punished millions of “good people” by issuing the new indiscriminate ban.
The ban also deprives hundred of thousands of Iranian-Americans, who contribute significantly to the US economy and culture, from having their family travel to the US.
In addition, the indiscriminate nature of the travel ban impacts tens of thousands of Iranian human rights refugees and activists who live in Europe and throughout the world and can no longer bring their voices and testimonies to the United States.
“As a human rights organization based in the U.S. we depend on regular travel and meetings with Iranian dissidents who live abroad—they are essential to our research and advocacy. Now all these victims are swept up in this irrational ban,” Ghaemi said.
According to a Presidential Proclamation announced on September 24th, “the entry into the United States of nationals of Iran as immigrants and as nonimmigrants is hereby suspended, except that entry by such nationals under valid student (F and M) and exchange visitor (J) visas is not suspended, although such individuals should be subject to enhanced screening and vetting requirements.”
The proclamation further states “Iran regularly fails to cooperate with the United States Government in identifying security risks, fails to satisfy at least one key risk criterion, is the source of significant terrorist threats, and fails to receive its nationals subject to final orders of removal from the United States.”
The ostensible security and terrorism concerns behind the ban are not supported by fact: no Iranian citizens have carried out a terrorist attack on U.S. soil.
The Center for Human Rights on Iran calls on the Trump administration to immediately rescind a travel ban that does nothing to protect the security of the US and violates the human rights of millions.