Your Members of Congress should know how a ban on immigrants impacts your life – share your story. #StopTrumpsBan
Husband of Iranian citizen
My Iranian nieces, one of which was an US Army flight nurse during the Iraq War, now feel as though they are second class citizens as a result of the ban. My other niece teaches at Harvard, another is a pathologist intern at Columbia University and my last niece volunteers at a suicide hotline when she is not working on her PHD at Kansas State. My Iranian wife owned the most popular Cafe’ in rural Virginia and when she sold it she was front page news in the local paper. They now, as a result of the ban, feel as though they are treated differently and in a way that is not reflective of their contributions to the American society.
Iranian-Canadian dual national
I am an Iranian-Canadian. Studying in the United States as a PhD/doctoral candidate with a student visa. Months ago, after years of trying to live in the US, my partner and I moved back to Canada because we financially could not make it work any longer – my part time student income could not financially support two people and my partner wasn’t allowed to work in the US. Since that time, I had been traveling back and forth weekly by car to the US for school and work – the last time such travel was successful was on January 27th, traveling to Canada. Almost immediately after I arrived in Canada, the EO was made public. The travel ban has affected me. Amidst promises that dual citizens with a passport other than from one of the 6/7 countries will be okay, I have been hatefully and explicitly excluded from the United States. I have been turned away after long detentions, and have felt ongoing pressures from American people/allies to keep trying to cross into the US, only to feel stuck in – rather than out of – the US. I’m devastated and hurt. I am disheartened and frustrated too that folks who are disconnected from this issue assume that the ban has been lifted and thus all is “back to normal”. This is not true. Laws do not matter as much as if/how they are implemented on the ground. Also “normal” was no good. Every hateful and racist thing that is happening now is deeply embedded in a historical context – albeit perhaps less explicitly.
I’ve chosen to be private about my experience because it is difficult to share. I’m also full of anxiety and fear about this situation and the emotional and physical repercussions have been unbearably difficult. Being private has come with a high cost: not only do I feel protected, I feel isolated, shamed and humiliated without any sort of validation/affirmation. The most supportive messages from folks have been ones that show compassion and understanding – the responses that make me feel validated and seen.
Given the new EO, I understand that if I were to be allowed in the US, it would be as an exception. And even so, if I were to enter the US, I would feel a heightened sense of fear for my safety, as a target to many people and systems that do not like people who look like me and/or identify as I do. How is this “the greatest country in the world?” or how is this so-called “democracy” when I do not feel free to be myself? This breaks my heart. I feel deeply connected to my Iranian identity, even after living in Canada for most of my life. When I began having trouble crossing the Canadian-US border, after 9-11, a long and unresolved identity crisis began. I feel deeply connected to my racial/ethnic identity, yet I am being targeted because of it.
The academic world that I find myself in is so US-centric that I don’t even know what my career will look like if I were to cut the US out of the equation. I was supposed to finish my PhD this spring and I don’t even know how this is possible. Most of my family outside of Iran reside in the US, and given that I have no living parents I’ve long endured the pain and anxiety, and identity-compromising experience that is crossing the border so that I can visit them often. I don’t know how to cut that out of my life either. I recognize that in many ways I am privileged in these time – for example through having Canadian citizenship and a “home”, unlike refugees for example – but at the same time my life has been turned upside down. I find crossing the border to be the single most stressful thing in my life – and I was born amidst a war at the dawn of a revolution, I’ve had cancer twice, and lost both my parents at a young age. Yet it’s borders I fear. I do not know how to exist in these times, in this body, and with these anxieties.
Iranian-American dual national
San Diego, CA
As an Iranian American that left Iran at the age of two months old and has grown up in San Diego, I take pride in my rights as an American and I whole heartedly believe in our constitution. It is such that my heart was broken when I heard about the ban that will affect seven countries, one of which is Iran. Because of this ban I was faced with a rude awakening that has rocked the foundation of my values to its core. This ban will deprive me, my husband and our unborn son of a once in a lifetime experience as I am eight months pregnant and my husband was planning to visit the United States for the birth of our son. The US Embassy in Nicosia has been forced to cancel my husband’s visa interview which was scheduled for two weeks from now and as a result we have been left devastated. My husband has successfully completed the visa application process multiple times. In fact only 18 days ago my husband was here in San Diego with me and now overnight he has been banned from being issued a visa for no good reason.
I am writing to you on behalf of myself as a mother, my husband as a father and an innocent unborn child that deserves the right to have both of his parents present as he enters this world. We do not have much time. Please help us bring our family together in this desperate situation. Please give us a voice. This unjust ban has altered our lives in a way that we can never makeup or replace. Our sensitive case is not one based solely on a medical emergency but is also a case based on family values and basic human rights.
Iranian-American dual national, worried about returning from Iran trip
I was supposed to go to Iran this summer and I was beyond thrilled to take pictures and make amazing blogs about it, but now I am afraid of leaving. As a citizen, I deserve the right to safely visit another country I am a citizen in, who is allowed to take that away from me? But as a college student, I am afraid that even if I am able to go, I may not be able to come back. | Read more >
@NIACAction we r just students who wish to promote peace,love and knowledge in the world.We have nothing to do with any kind of hostility.
— Susan Ataei (@SusanAtaei) February 22, 2017
Australian-Iranian dual national, visa denied due to Executive Order
“An Australian teen was denied a visa to attend space camp in the United States today. The 15-year-old, Pouya G., was born in Australia but his parents are from Iran, giving him dual citizenship. The visa denial is believed to be the first for an Australian citizen under the Trump regime’s so-called Muslim ban, interpreted by many legal scholars to be grossly unconstitutional.” | Read more >
My Iranian uncle was just turned away from even entering US Embassy in Armenia let alone applying for visa. Not following State Dept orders!
— Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan) February 8, 2017
4-month-old Iranian denied entry due to Executive Order | UPDATE: Granted waiver to enter, free medical procedure
“She needs the surgery as soon as possible,” said Sam, Fatemah’s uncle. Fatemah has a very serious heart condition. Concerned about the quality of medical services in her birth country of Iran, Fatemah’s family decided they did not want her to have surgery there. “Over there it’s a very high risk because that is open heart surgery.” So the family chose to bring Fatemah to OHSU for what they believe will be a much higher quality surgery and to be closer to family members who live in Oregon. But then, when they landed in Dubai Saturday, they heard about President Trump’s executive order and were told they couldn’t finish their trip. | Read more >
U.S. Visa holder, 7-year U.S. legal resident
South Carolina, USA
I was excited about my trip to Tehran. After all I only get to visit them once a year. I was excited and anxious at the same time. I was worried about my little puppy but I couldn’t wait to see my mom… It was an uneventful trip… We were all happy. I was going to eat lots of delicious Persian food and make tons of great memories and go back to my life in the U.S. But the happiness didn’t last that long. On Wednesday, we started hearing rumors about new executive orders that will change immigration rules for some countries including Iran. Soon we started reading drafts like everyone else. I might be banned from going back?!?! No that can’t be true. I’m not gonna let that ruin my trip. But then it got serious so fast. Before I knew it, it was actually happening. Even though I didn’t want to leave my family, I quickly booked a ticket to get on the next flight back.
Only a few hours after the order was signed, I got to the airport, got on a plane and made it to Dubai. After waiting in the line to get my documents checked and after 40 minutes of waiting, I was ready to board the plane to Washington, only to have officers ask me to live the boarding area. “For security reasons your boarding is denied.”!!! Yes after almost 7 years of living the the United States, I got deported!!! No one warned me when I was leaving, no one cared what will happen to my dog or my job or my life there. No one told me what I should do with my car that is still parked at the airport parking. Or what to do with my house and all my belongings. They didn’t say it with words but with their actions, that my life doesn’t matter. Everything I worked for all these years doesn’t matter. | Read more >
Iranian national, mother of Green Card holder | UPDATE: Green card holders allowed entry after January 30
It is unfair and ridiculous to put such a ban on Iranians. Iranians have never been violent or terrorists! This [decision] will rip our family apart. | Read more >
VIDEO: Mother from Iran
5-year-old son reunited after he was detained at Dulles Airport | Source >
Concerned Iranian-America U.S. Citizen
As an Iranian-American Muslim, I also worry for myself, for my family and for my community. Personally, I have never felt so targeted by the country I call home, nor have I ever felt so obligated to defend it. I have no choice but to resist. This isn’t merely political for me. This is personal. And I’m not just talking about wrecked travel plans or the inability to see loved-ones. I’m talking about my soul and my psyche. […] My tears serve as both protest and protection. What others see as weakness, I know as strength. My emotions, my faith, my ancestry, my femininity—all these things that may make others think less of me—they lift me up. They allow me to bear the burdens of oppression without being broken by them. So yes, I am a proud Iranian-American Muslim. Yes, I will not hide or shut up. Yes, I will resist. And yes, I will do so on my own terms. | Read more >
British-Iranian dual national
“I couldn’t convince the guy because he kept asking me about why I’m entering the country with a British passport, not an Iranian passport. I told the guy I don’t have that Iranian passport anymore. […] I was arrested back home in Iran in 2009 because I was working for the BBC. It felt the same this time.” | Read more >
Iranian Harvard student denied entry due to Executive Order
— Ali Vaez (@AliVaez) February 1, 2017
Ten year U.S. resident with revoked Global Entry visa
San Francisco, CA
I am a lawful permanent resident of the United States and an Iranian national. This morning, I received an email from Customs and Border Protection revoking my paid membership in Global Entry program. This program allowed me to clear customs and come back home after international trips faster. It also allowed me to use TSA Pre Check lines when taking domestic flights in the US. I understand that the program is voluntary and is ultimately a matter of travel convenience, but discrimination based on national origin is wrong and discriminatory. I felt that I was welcome in the US before the travel ban went into effect and I was hoping to become a US citizen when eligible. This ban is making me question if this country will ever accept me even after nearly a decade of living here.
Iranian-American citizen married to Iranian national
Mesbahi and Iranian citizen Homa Esfandiari were married in Tehran in December 2014. Since then, Mesbahi says they have spent years collecting, filling out and submitting paperwork so she could come join him in the U.S. Mesbahi says Esfandiari was in the final stages of approval and waiting for a date to have an interview at the U.S. embassy in Armenia, the closest one to Iran, when they heard the news about President Trump’s controversial immigration order.
“You can imagine how devastated we were, having waited so long,” he said. […] “We don’t want to be caught up in this feud between these two governments,” Mesbahi said. “We just want to live our life.” | Read More >
U.S. Green Card holder from Iran | UPDATE: Green card holders allowed entry after January 30
Although A. has a green card, she is now unable to travel outside the United States for fear of being barred from reentry. “I thought I was going to see my mom soon, but now it can’t happen,” A. told me. “I really wish would not wish this feeling on anyone. To lose a family member while you are abroad and can’t come home. You feel guilty, as though you abandoned your family.” […] “Its not easy to leave your home, to leave your family, your neighbors, your cat. I never expected that I would have to leave them and make a new life here, but I have been trying,” she told me. “But now to have the country that you’re wishing to be your new home do everything it can to tell you that you are not welcome, that you’re not wanted here, it is too emotionally draining.”
“I can never feel safe anymore and it feels terrible. It is the worst feeling ever.” | Read more >
U.S. Visa denied due to Executive Order
“I will lose the whole thing,” he said. “The Ph.D. and the four and a half years I spent there.” On Monday, Zeyghami resigned his position on the energy association board and might have to forfeit the prize from the engineering society. Once he finished with his education, Zeyghami planned to return and continue his research in Iran as a university professor. Along with the disappointment, Zeyghami is puzzled by the targeting of his people. President Trump said the order was designed to protect Americans, but Iranians come to the United States to learn and contribute, Zeyghami said, not to kill people. He urged Americans to stand up against the order. And he has a message for the president.
“Making America great is not possible with hatred,” he said. “Banning students from their schools and preventing them from reaching their dreams would not make America safer. You need love and support of all Americans and immigrants if America is going to be the great place as you dream of it.” | Read more >
U.S. citizen married to Iranian refugee
My wife, LT Shamis Fallah, came to the U.S. as a religious refugee from Iran in 2001. Even in high school, she was harassed and arrested, and many in her family were sent to prison for their religious beliefs. The US was a lifeline for her family when they got out. […] Friday’s executive order preventing Iranian nationals from coming to the U.S. (and possibly even preventing legal green card holders from leaving the US and returning) tears this family apart – and the “case by case” part of the order does nothing for us, no matter how much we might feel it’s clear we’re “the good ones.” Throughout our extended family and friends, so many of us are now stuck on one side of the ocean or the other, abruptly and cruelly separated from our family for no legitimate reason we can discern. Members of our family who live in the U.S. and run businesses here can’t even leave the U.S. on a business trip for fear of arbitrarily being denied re-entry. […] This brought me to tears last night – for the human pain, yes, but even more for the thought that this is *my country* turning its back on freedom. This is not an action consistent with the American values I’ve learned all my life. This is not us fulfilling our role as a “shining city on a hill.”
J-1 Visa revoked due to Executive Order | UPDATE: Samira landed in the U.S. on February 3, 2017 after temporary stay was granted
Myflight itinerary was Geneva-Boston with transit in Frankfurt with Lufthansa. After landing in Frankfurt I went through border control without any issue. They checked may passport, my swiss B permit and my J-1 visa for America. I proceeded to my gate and when I scanned my boarding pass to enter the plane I didn’t get the expected green light. I got a red light and a man standing there who immediately called me by my last name and asked me to get out of the line saying he has to talk to me. He introduced himself as consulate of Unites States of America in Frankfurt, told me that my visa is not valid to travel and when i said by the visa clearly says it is a valid travel visa he replied yes but the rules had changed since this morning. I asked for an explanation and he replied the american government is the one issuing the visas and can cancel them anytime if they wish so. I asked about my luggage and was informed they have unloaded my luggage already and I can go to Lufthansa help desk to get rebooked on a return flight to Geneva and to ask them about my luggage. I was then left feeling shocked and frustrated digesting the news, I called my boyfriend to let him the know the situation, went to Lufthansa help desk, got a return ticket to Geneva (and then a train to Lausanne, where I live). After arriving in Lausanne, my boyfriend and I spend a couple of trying to figure out what we should do, things like where to live (we have to leave our apartment tomorrow) or what are our career options and we are still in that process…all our friends in Lausanne and our ex-colleagues have been so generous and are sending us sympathy messages and offering us to stay with them. All in all, I feel extremely sad and frustrated and I am disappointed. i am still confused. One part of me feels guilty because my boyfriend resigned his job at EPFL to be able to accompany me and I feel I failed his trust even though I had no say in this process and what happens is not my fault.
This is Dexter. He was reunited with his mom yesterday after she was stuck in Iran during the travel Bannon. 13/10 welcome home pic.twitter.com/U50RlRw4is
— WeRateDogs™ (@dog_rates) February 7, 2017
Family of Iranian nationals who visit using U.S. visa
I have had Iranian family visiting me in Nebraska for 3 generations. Now, we are afraid that not only will my children not be able to see their grandparents here again, but my father, a dual citizen is afraid to visit. My sister, also a dual citizen, is afraid to leave. My family isn’t religious. Their country is. My family has been a part of farming in Nebraska since the 1940s. How can you allow this to happen?
Daughter of 65 year old U.S. Green Card holder | UPDATE: Green card holders allowed entry after January 30
My mom was supposed to be here with us tonight. To see her grandchild. She took care of Lara, my daughter, every single day in the past year and half. One of Lara’s first words was ‘Dada’, her own made-up word for grandma. My mom went to Iran for a rather short visit last month to visit family. We told Lara she will be back soon. Most of mom’s stuff are here, in her room. She is 65 years old, has US legal residency (aka green card), but still is barred from coming back in the most cruel way, being stripped of her constitutional rights. She returned from airport last night in dismay before her departure, when we told her that DHS has announced that the ban includes green card holders. Not sure what to do, I am a U.S. citizen, but I feel like a second class citizen who even is not even allowed to see family members simply because of her birthplace.
U.S. Green Card holder | UPDATE: Green card holders allowed entry after January 30
It is more 2.5 years from the time that I said goodbye to my family and friends, I bought ticket and I had plan to be home for Nuwroz celebration. I missed my family, my mother and my youngest sister who is going to give birth to her first child after 9 years of miscarriage missed me a lot, they are waiting for me, but if I go I have no idea whether I can come back or not with green card in hand.
— Mana Yegani (@Law_Mana) January 29, 2017
Iranian green card holders, age 88 and 83, both disabled. Were detained for hours pic.twitter.com/3fvGTrBWYy
— Betsy Woodruff (@woodruffbets) January 29, 2017
Wife of U.S. Green Card holder
My husband is currently in Iran because he needs to take care of his dad with Alzheimer, he is the only child that he still recognizes. He was supposed to come back in March 2017 and we were planning to have kids within few months.
Child of Iranian nationals whose U.S. visas were denied
Me and my parents had a VISA appointment today at the U.S. consulate in Dubai. We haven’t met my only brother in six years and we had planned to be there both for his PhD graduation ceremony and his engagement party. We arrived in Dubai on January 29th and our appointment was on January 30th. We had received no prior notice on cancellation of our appointments, so we were at the consulate at 8:00 am as it was told us. The lady at the front door referred us to a glass door when she checked our passports. Two other ladies there told us that we are not going to be interviewed based on President’s order. Although we insisted on a receiving a written notice, they denied providing an individual cancellation note. They accepted no responsibility for the time and financial resources we had put into this. No refunds for VISA fee were given back and they only said that this fee is saved for applications to be made in next 12 months if we ever be given the right to do so! The ladies told me that cases “worst” than ours are to be handled and they’re at the door giving us this message to prevent any “arguments!” Thank you for reflecting our voices, I hope this will be heard and understood by those who still care about human rights for everyone irrespective of religion, nationality and beliefs.
Wife of Iranian U.S. Green Card holder | UPDATE: Green card holders allowed entry after January 30
My husband has green card and is traveling from Iran. He will arrive Sun noon. My children and I are so worry if he can get in. We all went to Iran to visit our families during the winter break, he stayed there 3 weeks longer than us.
Holds expiring U.S. visa
My family may break apart in the U.S. […] My work visa expires in a couple of years and if this ban continues, my wife and I cannot be together unless my wife is forced to leave her country and move elsewhere with me. My wife has her family here and this will break their family up as well. Not to mention that my family cannot visit me and I can’t visit them either.
2. In graduate school, students from these countries were among my closest friends. My PhD thesis depended on the work of an Iranian peer.
— Daniel Cohan (@cohan_ds) January 26, 2017
Husband of Iranian U.S. visa holder now banned due to Executive Order
I am a research scientist from Iran working in the field of sustainable agriculture in rural areas of Montana. My wife, an Iranian citizen, along with our two U.S. citizen child (4 and 1 year old) went to Iran 3 months ago to visit family. She planned to come back here next month on H4 VISA, but due to this new discriminating order she can not and our us citizens child are banned entering their own country too. This is a real terrible action. I decided to quit my job here in Montana where they need me seriously to join my family.
— Borzou Daragahi (@borzou) January 27, 2017
Iranian-American with family in Iran
My father, my best friend, was a Muslim immigrant from Iran. He came to this country with nothing – no family, no money, no English – and he built himself from the ground up. He went to community college, university, and then medical school. He became an ER doctor and has saved countless lives at the hospital and at his own practice. He values every life. He is kind to everyone. He cries every time one of his farm animals gets sick. He has four kids, all of whom graduated from college and became successful, productive members of society in various fields (law, arts, business, STEM). He has three grand-kids, Mason, Madison, and Ruby. Multiple people have told me that he is the best person they know. Now tell me, would you ban him? His siblings, nieces, and nephews still live in Iran, and many are in the process of lawfully coming to the United States. Now, that might never happen. He already went two decades without seeing his family when he first came to this country, before he could afford a ticket back to Iran, and now he may not live to see family come here. #AmericaDoesNotBan
Iranian-American with family members holding U.S. Green Cards | UPDATE: Green card holders allowed entry after January 30
I have been living in the USA for the past 35 years (immigrating from Iran) and I am a US Citizen. I applied for green cards for my sisters fifteen years ago. They stayed on the list for 13 years and finally two years ago were allowed to move forward with the Green Card process. […] They were joyous to finally get their green cards. However, as the result of the executive order, they were turned away today at the airport when they tried to get on a Qatar airline to go to Washington-Dallas airport. Their green card stamp on their passport says that they must enter usa by early April. The 90-day ban on entering USA is putting their Green Card in jeopardy. The emotional toll on my family has been great. One of my sisters sold ALL her belongings in anticipation of immigrating to USA. Her children a third grader and a ninth graders are confused and don’t understand why they can’t go to their new country. After all they did everything legally for the past 15 years and did not expect not to be able to get on the plane. The implications of Mr. Trump’s Executive Action on Green Card holders is unconstitutional. At this point, I don’t know where my sisters stand in regards to their immigration status.
A friend from Iran left the US on a business trip and now CAN’T come back. His family — wife & kids — are now by themselves in the US.
— André L. Souza (@andrelesouza) January 27, 2017
Iranian-American with family members holding U.S. Green Cards | UPDATE: Green card holders allowed entry after January 30
New Jersey, USA
I left Iran over 30 years ago as a 10 year old child. I grew up in Canada, studied engineering, filed a number patents on renewable energy, and decided to come to the US to get my masters. Here I met my wife, have two great kids, and have been living the American dream. This ban has impacted me, an American citizen, overnight. My Canadian-Iranian family who have lived there for 30 years can no longer come visit me in the US. My parents who are green card holders may not be able to come and visit their grandchildren. This is not the America I know and cherish.
— Taraneh Alidoosti (@t_alidoosti) January 26, 2017
Friend of U.S. Green Card Holder barred from entry into U.S. | UPDATE: Green card holders allowed entry after January 30
Effective this morning, my wife and U.S. Permanent Resident Sarvin Haghighi Culley was barred from returning to the United States due to her muslim religion and country of origin Iran. Sarvin is a resident artist at the ZhouB Art Centers in Bridgeport and a talented artist with exhibitions worldwide focusing on blending Persian calligraphy with messages of love from Rumi. She is currently stranded in legal limbo in Australia.
Not a political statement, just thanking the heavens today that my Dad was allowed into this country from Iran in 1967.
— Dari Nowkhah (@ESPNDari) January 28, 2017
Iranian-American with family holding U.S. Green Cards | UPDATE: Green card holders allowed entry after January 30
— Holly Dagres (@hdagres) January 29, 2017
U.S. Visa Holders banned due to Executive Order
My wife and I moved to Australia 3 years ago after finishing our studies in the U.S, getting PhDs from Northwestern University and University of Houston. In the coming month, we had a few job interviews lined up in the U.S, obtained our visas, and were considering moving back to the U.S. With the new executive order, our plans are shattered. All the interviews we worked hard to get are now in the air. We have to rethink our future plans. We can’t even travel to visit our close friends in Michigan who are about to welcome a baby girl in their life.
My family fled Iran. Dad started a small business, brother grew up to be a prosecutor, me a journalist. The American dream.
— Robert Faturechi (@RobertFaturechi) January 28, 2017
Holder of expiring U.S. Visas
As a result of the U.S. president’s executive order, neither me, nor my wife would be allowed to work in the U.S., we would likely be forced to leave in as short as three months from today. Even if we are allowed to stay for a short amount of time we would have no chance of seeing our families as long as we stay in this country. Adding insult to injury, we would feel utterly ashamed to have our tax money spent on dividing and invading nations, and promoting hate and ignorance. We have been devastated, and our American dream has been utterly crushed. But we shall persist in our pursuit of happiness – here or elsewhere, and we will be grateful for the opportunity this country gave us, even if it’s leader has decided to take it away from us and others who came to this country to pursue their own dreams. We may have to leave this country beaten up, disappointed and heartbroken, but as long as we live, we shall not lose hope for the future. An un-American executive order will not take that away from us.
— Miss Rohani (@RoOnTheGo22) January 28, 2017
U.S. citizen concerned for Iranian immigrants like herself
My children who are part American have asked me why America is denying their mother’s people and people who share their heritage to come to this country to attain their American Dream like their mother did over 30 years ago. What do I tell them? I came to the U.S in 1985 after two years of traveling from one country to another to get a student visa. I almost died of Malaria while living in India while waiting for my student visa. I never forget the day I was granted the visa and what the U.S. consular told me. He said “you have no future in Iran, but a world of opportunities await you in the U.S.” What he told me propelled me to study and work hard. I often remembered what he told me when I was homesick or missed my family. I married an American in 1989 and after finishing my MBA started working for the pharmaceutical companies managing some of the most beloved household brands such as Tums, Aquafresh, Nicorette, and Nicoderm. Today, I am a high level executive enjoying my American Dream. I feel very sad that the opportunity to come to this wonderful country to attain the American Dream will be taken away from so many others. This is a sad day in our nation!
— Pej Vahdat (@pejvahdat) January 28, 2017