Iranian People have performed protection for much too lengthy.
For years, the Trump administration’s journey ban hung over our neighborhood like a darkish cloud — unjustly separating households and family members and inspiring a dramatic rise in hate crimes and additional discrimination directed at Iranian People. This consists of the detention of lots of of Iranian People by U.S. Customs and Border Safety on the Washington State/Canadian border in January 2020.
Throughout this time, our neighborhood was pressured to place our priorities on maintain to mount a near-impossible protection towards the ban whereas additionally defending our individuals from the xenophobia that went hand-in-hand with this mindless coverage.
The swift motion taken by President Joe Biden on his first day in workplace to repeal the journey ban was a second that Iranian People — and different ethnic communities impacted by this discriminatory coverage — celebrated.
However victory is much less candy when it outcomes from overturning one thing you may have lengthy fought towards somewhat than one thing you may have lengthy fought for.
In different phrases, our neighborhood — and our nation — can by no means transfer ahead if we’re pressured to defend towards insurance policies that haven’t any place on this nation.
Final month, the NO BAN Act was reintroduced in Congress by Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., The NO BAN Act will safeguard towards future abuses of presidential powers and be sure that exclusion of entry into the USA is maintained for many who pose an actual risk — not these whose ethnicity makes them a handy political goal.
We want extra insurance policies just like the NO BAN Act — insurance policies that aren’t addressing solely the right here and now however that anticipate and cease future threats. This forward-looking strategy permits us to be an advocate for our neighborhood somewhat than consistently being on the defensive.
As a comparatively younger ethnic neighborhood — a lot of whom fled persecution in Iran within the late Nineteen Seventies to return to the USA seeking a greater life — Iranian People stay deeply linked to our roots, traditions and household overseas whereas now we have additionally embraced the tradition, freedoms and customs of America.
Iranian People proudly serve in elected workplace, legislation enforcement and the army; we’re first responders, docs, educators and enterprise leaders; we worth schooling, household and neighborhood; and we imagine in civil rights and civil liberties for all.
So when insurance policies just like the journey ban are put in place, they turn out to be an impediment that additional prevents Iranian People from higher serving our communities, companies and households.
We will applaud the repeal of the journey ban — it has been an incredible weight lifted off our shoulders. However I’m asking that we not view the ban’s repeal as “success” and reserve that standing for insurance policies that advance our neighborhood.
In Congress, bipartisan, bicameral laws needs to be reintroduced quickly that might make it simpler for households and family members overseas to go to their kin in the USA. The Momentary Household Visitation Act seeks to create a brand new nonimmigrant visa class that may present a chance for household visitations whereas boosting the U.S. economic system.
That is success. That is ahead progress. And this is the reason now we have been such staunch advocates of this laws.
Let’s not get comfy celebrating insurance policies that upend discriminatory motion that has lengthy triggered pointless ache and agony. Let’s declare victory once we begin instituting adjustments that create a brighter future for all People.
Leila Golestaneh Austin is government director of the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian People, a nonpartisan group serving the pursuits of the Iranian American neighborhood.