UUSC is troubled by the recent escalation in tensions between the United States and Iran. We urge you to contact your Congressional representatives in support of peace and human rights. Read the full text of the letter below, and scroll to the bottom to add your name.
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To Congressional Leadership:
We, the undersigned people of faith and conscience, write to express our dismay that U.S. officials recently detained and aggressively questioned up to 200 travelers of Iranian heritage, including U.S. citizens, following the January 3, 2020 U.S. drone strike that killed Iranian Major General Qassem Suleimani.
We urge you to do everything in your power to ensure that no one suffers discrimination at a U.S. port of entry on the basis of their religion, ancestry, or nationality. Doing so requires passing the NO BAN Act (H.R. 2214/S. 1123), which revokes the Trump administration’s travel ban targeting people from Muslim-majority countries and ensures no additional groups of people can be subject to this ban in future.
Our urgent request comes at a time when the U.S. government is signaling its willingness to break with long-established human rights norms. By assassinating a high-ranking Iranian military leader without Congressional authorization or a declaration of war, the Trump administration has violated international laws prohibiting extrajudicial killing. This action also gravely exacerbates conflict in the region in ways already placing more lives at risk.
The President’s threats in the wake of this attack to target Iranian cultural sites and to unleash potentially “disproportionate” violence further indicate contempt for the international rules of war. Moreover, we have witnessed before this administration’s readiness to promote anti-Muslim bigotry and to “ban” whole groups of people on the basis of false Islamophobic narratives.
In this context, reports of Iranian Americans being detained at a U.S. port of entry offer a disturbing glimpse of what may come if Congress fails to take action. We urge you to offer support and solidarity to Muslim communities and Iranian Americans, including passing the NO BAN Act. Our government must never again disgrace itself by discriminating against travelers, immigrants, and U.S. citizens on the basis of religion or nationality.