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Date: 25 Feb 1998
Remote Name: 22.214.171.124
* Letter expressing serious concern over comments made regarding Iranian students in the United States
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The Honorable Dianne Feinstein United States Senate Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Honorable Jon Kyl United States Senate Email: email@example.com
Your comments on Tuesday, February 24, 1998 (reported by the Associated Press <http://search.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WAPO/19980224/V000604-022498-idx.html> ) regarding visas issued to Iranians attending universities in the United States have shocked and distressed Iranian-Americans and all Iranians living and working legally in the United States.
To suggest directly or otherwise that Iranian students in general are potential terrorists and a threat to the safety and security of the United States is nothing short of an insult to a group of students who over successive years has proven to be exemplary in every way.
Many of these students have and will move on to become citizens of this country. Those many many thousands who have graduated from American colleges and remained in this country have been among the most law-abiding, productive and honorable members of society.
Your demonization of Iranian students in the United States recalls one of the ugliest periods in American history when Japanese-Americans were rounded up and sent to concentration camps during World War II simply because this country was at war with Japan.
We, too, do not wish terrorists to gain access to any kind of science and technological knowhow that would threaten the United States and its citizens. However, pointing the finger at one group of people made of individuals (not made up of representatives of a government at odds with the United States) is not the answer.
If Nigeria becomes a supporter of international terrorism, should all black students from Africa go through a special security clearance? If Israel, goes to war with the United States, do all Jews in this country become a potential security threat? Of course not.
Being Iranian is not a crime. Iranians are human beings and deserve respect like any other. And we expect this simple human courtesy from you and all politicians of this great land where we have chosen to live as our new home.
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