• 13 January 2010
  • Posted By NIAC
  • 1 Comments
  • Civil Rights Legislation, Immigration Policy

Major Victory for Iranian-American Community

Washington DC – Congressman Gresham Barrett’s (R-SC) office has confirmed to NIAC that he will drop language aimed at deporting non-immigrant Iranians from the U.S. when he reintroduces the Stop Terrorists Entry Program (STEP) Act today.

This is a major victory for the Iranian-American community.

When the STEP Act was first introduced in 2003, it contained provisions that would have mandated the deportation of all Iranians on student visas, temporary work visas, exchange visas, and tourist visas from the United States within 60 days.

On Tuesday, NIAC staff hand-delivered over 3,500 letters from concerned Americans, asking the Congressman to reconsider his legislation.

Though the elimination of the deportation provisions constitutes a significant victory for the Iranian-American community, the bill remains problematic. It would make it illegal for Iranians to travel to the United States, though some exceptions may be made for medical emergencies and political or religious asylum after “extensive federal screening.”

“Eliminating the deportation provisions is welcomed but it isn’t enough,” said Trita Parsi, President of NIAC. “We shouldn’t make it more difficult for Iranians to seek refuge in the US at a time when repression in Iran is increasing.”

Posted By NIAC

    One Response to “Breaking News: Language to Deport Iranians Dropped from STEP Act”

  1. pirouzm says:

    Well, I do applaud the effort, and I did use the NIAC email form (thanks for that, by the way!).

    But qualifying this relatively minor deletion as a “major victory” is a bit overblown, in my opinion. Once those short-term visas expire, the result will be the same- practically no Iran>US travel- should this bill be adopted.

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