Dear community brothers and sisters,
The House of Representatives has recently passed legislation that may affect your right to freely travel to and from certain countries. We are asking that you please contact your State Senators at the email address or phone number below to share your concerns about Act HR 158. You may copy and paste our letter below.
Senator Diane Feinstein
Senator Barbara Boxer
I write to you to ask that you act in accordance to your good conscience and in justice.
Last week, the United States House of Representatives passed the Visa Waiver Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act, or HR 158. This Act would require European citizens of Iranian, Iraqi, Syrian or Sudanese origin, or Europeans who have recently traveled to said countries, to apply for a visa to enter the United States.
This prejudicial Act punishes people who have had nothing to do with terrorism in the West and shows that the U.S. House of Representatives in fact is not using the right approach to secure our borders and in addition is willing to punish the wrong people.
This act would directly affect Muslims, and Shiite Muslims in particular, who have traveled to Iran, Iraq, and Syria to perform religious pilgrimages. Just for informational purposes, about 25 million Shiite Muslims performed pilgrimage to Karbala, Iraq just last month. This pilgrimage is performed annually and a percentage of them travel from the West.
Therefore, I implore you to search your conscience and act in accordance with justice and correct such provisions of Act HR 158 which may adversely impact the travel freedoms of American citizens if Europe reciprocates the program. HR 158, as the A.C.L.U. states, “… amounts to blanket discrimination based on nationality and national origin without a rational basis. There is no sufficient reason to justify the differential treatment of VWP citizens who are nationals of Iraq, Syria, Iran, or Sudan. There is no evidence to support the blanket assertion that citizens of VWP countries, who are dual nationals of these four countries, are more likely to engage in terrorist acts…”