Target: Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson
Goal: Repeal a travel ban that denies innocent Middle Eastern citizens from entering America.
A journalist was denied entry into the United States because of racist new travel restrictions. The new restrictions require any European Union citizens who have dual citizenship in Iran, Iraq, Syria or Sudan to obtain a visa well ahead of time. The reporter, Rana Rahimpour, was traveling with her daughter. Both are British, but Rahimpour was denied a visa because she was born in Iran. She knew of the restrictions, but had been reassured they were not yet in place, only to be turned away.
These restrictions were put in place after the attacks in San Bernadino, but they should not be so exclusionary. Rahimpour is a reporter who simply wanted to celebrate her nephew’s birthday, but was not allowed to. Secretary of State John Kerry reassured people that the bill would not effect people traveling for business or pleasure, but it clearly has.
These new restrictions are far too overreaching. They imply heavy racism, and only stop innocent people from traveling in situations like this. The amount of people coming into America for terrorist reasons has already proven to be minuscule, and this bill only hurts the country’s image to the countries it affects. Please urge officials to reconsider the ramifications of these flight restrictions.
Dear Secretary Johnson,
The new visa restrictions being put into effect on dual national citizens is ineffective and racist. The restrictions were designed to keep terrorism out of the country, but so far they have kept out innocent civilians just trying to come to America for business and leisure.
We already know that citizens coming into America for reasons of terrorism are astronomically small, and a new visa such as this is not likely to filter those people out. We should not be placing restrictions on citizens of entire nations because of a few dangerous people.
These new visa restrictions also do not make our nation look any better in the eyes of Iran and Iraq, and could potentially motivate dangerous people to come into this country instead of deter them. This hurts our image in the eyes of other countries, especially to those countries where our image is already damaged.
We want to keep terrorism out of our country, especially after the San Bernadino attacks. But these visa constraints are too generalized, excluding many innocent people from traveling. We urge you to work with Congress to work out a new, more specific set of travel restrictions.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Rosendahl