Proposed Legislation in Washington Would End Student Visas for Iranian Students–Not Completely!
Summary of eRumor:
This email asks readers to go to a website where they can sign an on-line petition about new legislation on Capitol Hill, which, according to the email, “targets Iranians.” The writer says a new bill to be introduced by Senator Diane Feinstein would ban student visas for Iranians.
It is true that Senators Diane Feinstein (D-California) and John Kyle (R-Arizona) are proposing legislation that they say would close some of the loopholes that may allow terrorists to enter the United States.
This eRumor, however, leaves the impression that it singles out Iranians and completely bans Iranian student visas.
One of the provisions Feinstein and Kyle want is a ban on student visas from several nations that are regarded as sponsoring terrorism, not just Iran. The other nations are Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Syria, Cuba and North Korea. Not only is the legislation not specifically targeted at Iran, but it does not completely end the opportunity for student visas. According to Senator Feinstein’s website, “…the Secretary of State could waive the ban if the student passes an extensive background check and the Secretary certifies that the student would not pose a threat to national security.” Feinstein says they do not want to end education opportunities for the students, but to enact laws that would ensure that terrorists are being distinguished from legitimate students.
To visit the website offering the petition against the legislation, CLICK HERE
To visit Senator Feinstein’s website, CLICK HERE
Subject: NO Visa for Iranian students? (Please Read & FWD)
Sorry this is informal, but I feel passionately about this! Please
respond as you find appropriate.
Please sign and forward the petition to STOP Feinstein’s Bill. Over
700 people signed in less than 2 days.
1) It is a misguided Bill targeting Iranians who have nothing to
do with events such as the 9/11 tragedy. Ever.
2) There will be NO student visas for Iranians and relatives. What
will be next?
3) If passed, discrimination against our community will be promoted
due to its use and reference.
4) It abuses the situation to promote special interests and
self-agenda against the nation’s interests.
5) It contradicts Senate Resolution 173 that calls the Iranian-
American community as “vibrant, peaceful, and law-abiding part
of America’s people; …”.
Date: Wed, 07 Nov 2001 00:01:08 -0800
Subject: [PWC] Please sign the petition against
student visa ban for Iranians
Please sign the petition against student visa ban for Iranians. Over
700 sigantures within the first 2 days. Please sign the petition and
forward this message to others.
Petition against University Education Ban for Iranian Students in
New York, November 4, 2001- PWC press release- A group of Iranian
Americans and concerned citizens have posted a petition to protest the
anticipated proposal to ban student visas for Iranian students in the
United States in the aftermath of September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks
(Petition posted at www.antidiscrimination.org).
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
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
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 website 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
Visit the petition at: http://www.antidiscrimination.org
This petition has been endorsed by:
Society of Iranian Professionals (SIP): www.sip-ca.org
Association of Professors and Scholars of Iranian Heritage (APSIH):
Persian Watch Center (PWC): www.antidiscrimination.org
World Political Action Committee (WPAC): www.worldpac.org
Iranian Student Cultural Organization of UC Berkeley (ISCO):
Iran Today: www.irantodayonline.com
And many more non-political and professional organizations that are
not listed here!