Resolution Condemning Discrimination and Bigotry Against Iranian Americans Re-Introduced in the House
Washington, D.C. - Congressmen Marty Meehan (D-5th/MA) and Christopher Shays (R-4th/CT) introduced H.RES.476, a resolution condemning discrimination and bigotry against Iranian Americans, into the House of Representatives on June 11, 2007. The resolution, previously introduced in the 109th Congress, is a response to documented reports of discrimination targeting the Iranian American community which, according to civil rights organizations, have increased over the past year. Original cosponsors include Representatives John Campbell (R-48th/CA), Mike Honda (D-15th/CA), Carolyn Maloney (D-14th/NY), John Mica (R-7th/FL), and Henry Waxman (D-30th/CA).
The resolution acknowledges the diversity of the Iranian American community and its contributions to American society. At the same time, it expresses serious concern over increasing reports of discrimination against Iranian Americans and other Americans of Middle Eastern descent. These include findings in the Inspector General's Report of discriminatory enforcement of immigration laws, arrests followed by detentions for extended periods of time without charges, denials of access to counsel, and abuse by prison guards of nationals of Iranian origin.
The resolution encourages Iranian Americans to report experiences of discrimination they have had to local, state, and federal political leaders. The resolution also calls upon local and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate and vigorously prosecute "...crimes committed against all Americans, including Iranian Americans, that are based on actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin or ethnicity."
H.RES.476 is part of IAPAC’s broader efforts in connection with the Iranian American Know Your Rights Campaign, which strives to educate Iranian Americans about their civil rights and liberties as well as to educate all Americans about the Iranian American community. Spearheaded by the National Legal Sanctuary for Community Advancement (NLSCA), the Know Your Rights Campaign comprises a coalition of national organizations and federal government agencies, which include the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Amnesty International USA, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Iranian American Bar Association (IABA), and IAPAC.