Trump’s Travel Ban Grants Iran’s Government Veto Power Over US-Bound Nationals
January 30, 2017—The executive order signed by President Donald Trump banning entry into the United States from nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, subjects all Iranians to collective punishment while doing nothing to enhance the security of the US homeland.
Signed by Trump on January 27, 2017, the order prohibits the freedom of travel of all Iranian citizens, including academics, human rights lawyers, journalists and cultural figures, as well as Iranian political dissidents and activists seeking legal entry into the United States.
In addition, according to Section 3(e) of the order, if a foreign government refuses to provide “information regarding their nationals within 60 days” to the United States, all forms of immigration from that country to the US will be barred for a potentially indefinite period.
“The executive order gives the Iranian government, which arrests journalists, activists, and human rights lawyers, veto power to decide which of its nationals should even be considered for entry into the US,” said Hadi Ghaemi, the executive director of the Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
“The Iranian government has no interest in providing the information the US is seeking on Iranian individuals with whom it differs,” said Ghaemi.
If this order had been in effect in 2009, it would have prevented Iranian dissidents, including Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi, from entering the United States to speak about the Islamic Republic’s violent repression of pro-democracy protesters who disputed the results of the presidential election that year.
“This order has left those Iranians most vulnerable to persecution at the mercy of the Islamic Republic,” Ghaemi added.
“Trump’s executive order is a lose-lose situation for Iranians,” New York-based immigration attorney Reza Mazaheri told the Campaign. “If the Iranian government does not comply with the reporting requirements set forth by the Secretary of Homeland Security, Iranian nationals in the US, and those seeking to visit or immigrate to the US, will be subjected to collective and indefinite punishment.”
“The Islamic Republic may see the executive order as an opportunity to further harass and undermine its opponents, real or perceived, by providing the US with false and derogatory information about these individuals,” he added.
Trump’s order is titled “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals,” yet there was not one Iranian among those who committed the 9/11 attacks nor have any Iranian nationals been involved in other fatal terrorist attacks in the United States since then.
The Campaign urges the US government to revoke this unjust and counterproductive executive order, which goes against core and revered American principles, as well as US commitments under international law, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), and other international conventions.