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Urge Your Member of Congress to Oppose The STEP Act

Source: Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA)

Congressman reintroduces legislation barring travel from Iran

Congressman J. Gresham Barrett (R-SC/3rd) introduced the Stop Terrorists Entry Program Act (STEP) into the House of Representatives on January 13, 2010, a bill he originally introduced back in 2003. The STEP Act would bar the entry of individuals to the United States from Iran and other countries that are "State Sponsors of Terrorism", as well as Yemen.

If enacted, the proposed legislation could effectively forbid all Iranians from immigrating, visiting, or studying in the United States. Individuals seeking political or religious asylum as well as those requiring emergency medical treatment may be exempt from the provisions of the Act.

The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) strongly favors taking appropriate and necessary measures to protect the national security of the United States. However, PAAIA is opposed to legislation that effectively bans individuals from certain countries coming to America based on their nationality. Such proposed legislation is not only discriminatory but also has the potential to encourage xenophobia and hatred.

The STEP Act is damaging to America's reputation and extremely offensive to the Iranian American community.  Iranian Americans are hard working, law abiding citizens who have done much to strengthen the economic and social fabric of the United States. Furthermore, recent events unfolding in Iran following the disputed June 12th presidential elections highlight the fact that the Iranian people seek democratic freedoms and basic human rights.  In fact, it was the Iranian people who held candle-lit vigils on the streets of Tehran in solidarity with the American people in the days following the 9/11 attacks.

Legislation such as the STEP Act would not only impose an unfair and unreasonable burden on Americans of Iranian descent but also unfairly targets the Iranian people, undermining the solidarity between the peoples of Iran and America.

In light of these facts, PAAIA is contacting members of Congress to inform them of our opposition to the STEP Act.  PAAIA is also carefully monitoring this issue and will report on developments as they become available.

Click here to read the text of the STEP Act.

PAAIA Urges You to Take Action!
Ask your member of Congress to oppose the STEP Act!

... Payvand News - 01/14/10 ... --

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