President Donald Trump’s attempts to impose a visa ban on a set of majority-Muslim countries has sparked unusual anger and activism among a wealthy, highly educated group that generally avoids U.S. politics: Iranian Americans.
Now, they’re about to get their day in court, winning the first chance to present in-person testimony against the travel ban. Leaders of groups fighting the travel restrictions plan to use the opportunity to detail how students, medical researchers and others coming to America from Iran could be disproportionately hurt by Trump’s executive order.
The testimony in Washington on Tuesday, allowed by U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan, is an important moment not just for the fate of one of Trump’s signature initiatives, but also for Iranian Americans stunned by a measure they say is illogical, counterproductive and outsized in its impact on their community.
“It was a dagger in my heart as someone of Iranian-American heritage,” said Cyrus Mehri, a civil rights attorney who is leading the litigation. “I really saw it as a flashpoint for this diaspora, over half a million strong, that has done so much to contribute to this country and is now in such danger of being potential scapegoats.”...
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