Revised Travel Ban Excludes Iraq, Move Welcomed by Vets Who Fought Alongside Iraqi Allies

NEW YORK, NY (March 6, 2017) — Today, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) released the following statement regarding the revision of a recent Executive Order banning travel from several Muslim-majority countries to exclude Iraq:

“Removing the ban on Iraqis is the right decision for our troops, veterans and national security.” said Paul Rieckhoff, Iraq veteran, Founder and CEO of IAVA . “Right now, US troops are deployed in Iraq and around the world next to local allies who are risking their lives to stand with them in combat. We’ve asked them to have our back when the bullets are flying, but the previous travel ban turned America’s back on them. This welcomed move smartly rights that wrong for our Iraqi friends.

Since 2013, IAVA has supported authorization of the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program to continue for as long as the U.S. commits military forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. IAVA has also called for expanding some facets of the SIV program. IAVA’s full position can be seen in our Policy Agenda Section 5.3 here.


Note to media: Email or call 212-982-9699 to speak with IAVA leadership.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America ( is the leading post-9/11 veteran empowerment organization (VEO) with the most diverse and rapidly growing membership in America. As a non-profit founded in 2004, IAVA’s mission is to connect, unite and empower post-9/11 veterans. Celebrating its 15th anniversary, IAVA has connected more than 1.2 million veterans with resources and community, and provided more than 8,000 veterans with personalized support from IAVA’s Master’s level social workers.