Last week, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-5) circulated a letter in the House of Representatives that asks the Departments of Homeland Security and State to lift the visa sanctions on Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Eritrea, and Laos. The letter also asks the agencies to conduct a full review of all visa sanctions. House members can sign onto the letter until Friday, Sept. 17 before it is sent to the agencies. Strong Congressional support is necessary to show the Administration that they must lift these visa sanctions and end the immigration ban on Laos.
Call your member of Congress and tell them to join Rep. Omar’s letter to DHS and State asking to lift the immigration ban on Laos and visa sanctions on African and other Southeast Asian countries. The deadline for a member of Congress to join is Friday, Sept. 17. You can find your member of Congress here and use this script for a call or email:
My name is _____, and I am a constituent of Rep. ______. I urge Rep. _______ to join Rep. Ilhan Omar’s letter to the Department of Homeland Security and State asking the agencies to lift the visa sanctions on Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Eritrea, and Laos. During the Trump Administration, the Department of Homeland Security escalated efforts to deport African and Southeast Asian immigrants by placing multiple visa sanctions on African and Southeast Asian countries. These arbitrary sanctions have separated and harmed families in the United States, resulting in a drastic increase of removals of refugees and asylum seekers from Africa and Southeast Asia, with Cambodian removals seeing a 258% increase between 2017 and 2018.
Additionally, the visa sanctions on Laos prevents the processing of all immigration visas for Hmong, Lao, and other Laotians seeking to immigrate to the United States and has prevented US citizens and lawful permanent residents from rightfully sponsoring their families to the United States. It essentially has a complete, ethnic immigration ban that continues to be implemented by DHS and State. This has devastated communities who have survived US-backed wars, violence, and genocide and face poverty, incarceration, and now, deportation while living in this country.
The letter calls on Secretary Mayorkas and Secretary Blinken to lift the sanctions on Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Eritrea, and Laos and conduct a full review of all 243(d) visa sanctions. I urge Rep. _____ to join Rep. Omar’s letter by Friday, Sept. 17. Thank you.”