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Iranian Christians Seeking Asylum Should Be Allowed to Come

The New York Times reports [1] on the 100 Iranian Christians and other religious minorities who were denied asylum by the Trump administration [2] earlier this year:

They sold their homes and possessions, quit their jobs, and left their country — they thought for good. The Iranians, mainly members of their nation’s Christian minorities, were bound for a new life in America after what should have been a brief sojourn in Austria for visa processing.

But more than a year later, some 100 of them remain stranded in Vienna, their savings drained, their lives in limbo and the promise of America dead.

Even as the Trump administration continued to pledge help to religious minorities in the Middle East, many of whom face persecution, the United States denied their applications for refugee status in recent weeks.

There is no good reason why these people have been turned away, and it is deplorable that they are being shunned at such a late stage in the process. Persecuted religious minorities should be welcome in the U.S. when they request asylum, and our government certainly shouldn’t pull the rug out from underneath people when they have been encouraged to come and have nowhere else to go. It would be especially dangerous for these people to return to Iran now, but unless some other government steps up and does what the U.S. should have already done that is where they will have to go.

Most of the Iranians that the Trump administration has left stranded in Vienna have been sponsored by their relatives here in the U.S.:

The Iranians applied to resettle in the United States under guidelines set by a 1989 law known as the Lautenberg Amendment, which offers safe haven to persecuted religious minorities. In the group are ethnic Armenian and Assyrian Christians, Mandeans, and Zoroastrians, most of whom have relatives in the United States who sponsored them.

It makes no sense to reject their request for asylum. These people were already vetted before traveling to Vienna, and they have been waiting a very long time for their applications to be processed. Denying their request for asylum after all this time is cruel and inexcusable. The Trump administration should reverse its decision at once.

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3 Comments To "Iranian Christians Seeking Asylum Should Be Allowed to Come"

#1 Comment By LouisM On March 2, 2018 @ 10:52 pm

Many Iranians don’t consider themselves muslim. They will be the 1st to tell you that Islam is the religion of their conqueror’s. Its not their religion.

I really want closed borders especially since Obama and the democrats are using immigration to create a voting base to keep them in power. I can think of no one Id rather have from the middle east than Iranian Christians. Trump also refused Iraqi Christians but that was because many of them had criminal records.

#2 Comment By E Kent On March 3, 2018 @ 1:48 am

I agree this is awful, but let’s be honest here. Middle eastern, poor (now that their savings are gone), sponsored by relatives (chain migration), from a country Trump really doesn’t like?

These are exactly the type of people in the exact same circumstances as all the others that he’s been promising to stop letting in since he first started his presidential campaign. The only reason he doesn’t try to get a wall built for them too is because there’s already a huge ocean between here and there.

#3 Comment By Carol On March 29, 2018 @ 11:28 am

Thing is that they were thoroughly vetted with relatives already here. You can’t assume all refugees are alike and going to milk the system. It shouldn’t matter what country they are from or how poor they are. What matters is that they will and have the means to integrate with the host country as well as that they are facing death and imprisonment based on their religion from Iran, which is well know as an abuser of those who don’t follow their religion. I’m all for a wall against illegals, jihadists, those who force Sharia down our throats or economic migrants. But these people don’t fit the bill and are what the Autenberg amendment was for.