Senators Feinstein and Kyl have proposed this bill to the US Senate in late October 2001.
According to their proposal, any student who is from Iran or six other countries that are designated by the US State Department as sponsoring terrorists may not study in any American university or college anymore.
The petition criticizes sharply Senator Dianne Feinstein of California for initiating and actively supporting this proposal and describes it as a categorical discrimination.
Since most of the students from the designated countries are Iranians, many Iranian-Americans believe that the target of Senator Feinstein is their community in the US.
This is despite the fact that hard-working, law-abiding Iranian-Americans comprise an exemplary community in the United States of America in general and in her state of California, in particular.
A categorical ban on student visas for Iranians means the cessation of growth of the Iranian American community in the US.
"This bill is not in the long term interest of the United States as it limits the contribution of a future generation of Iranian-Americans to the growth of this country," said an Iranian American scientist in Colorado. "Most Iranian-Americans working in the US today came to this country on a student visa and today we are one of the most productive immigrant communities in the US."
According to many Iranian American groups and organizations, there has never been a terrorism case in the United States involving an Iranian student or immigrant.
The Persian Watch Center (PWC, www.antidiscrimination.org) is currently hosting this petition, which has obtained a wide range of support by many non-political Iranian American as well as many civil liberties and student groups and organizations.
This independent petition can be downloaded and posted by any individual, group, or web site that seeks to support our civil liberties and free cultural and educational exchange for all students throughout the world regardless of nationality, race, or ethnic background.
Visit the petition at: http://www.antidiscrimination.org
... Payvand News - 11/5/01 ... --