Local Iranians Meet with Rep. Pearce’s Office to Discuss Travel Ban

Jun 12, 2017

Commentary: Las Cruces, NM -- A group of local Iranians met today with Congressman Steve Pearce’s staff to discuss their concerns over President Trump’s Executive Order banning travel from six Muslim-majority countries, including Iran.

“We came today to let the Congressman know how this Muslim ban would be devastating to so many of his constituents, and how it would badly impact the broader Las Cruces community,” said Ali Scotten, who heads the New Mexico chapter of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC).

Several NIAC members spoke of fear that loved ones would no longer be able to visit for momentous events, such as weddings and funerals. Also, students could no longer visit their families back home without being banned from re-entering the United States. NMSU faculty members highlighted the invaluable research contributions being made here by students from the potentially banned countries. They warned that the ban would be a big blow to the university in the form of lost tuition and grant money as well as future innovation.

Those who met with Pearce’s staff included small business owners, medical practitioners, a U.S. military veteran, and NMSU researchers working on scientific projects on topics, such as water management, that help the community. “We are your doctors and professors, your neighbors and friends,” added Scotten. “We love Las Cruces. If this ban had been in place before, none of us would be here.”

NIAC urges Pearce to sign on as a co-sponsor to H.R.1503, which would rescind the travel ban on citizens from Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Sudan, and Somalia.