People Affected By President Trump's Travel Ban Speak Out.
These people who have already felt the effects of President Trump's decided to tell us what's going on from their perspectives. And it really made us reflect.
This piece is based on a Quora Question. Link on the last page.
9. I am affected by the travel ban, but not in the way most people might think. I am not an immigrant, refugee, or someone here on a work visa. I am a teacher and almost half the students in my class are minorities. Some of my students' families hail from one of the 7 banned countries and others do not. All of the students in my classroom are here legally.
The past week these are a few of the concerns Ive addressed in my class:
- Students asking me about Green Card rules and regulations.
- Concerns that they might not see grandparents or relatives again.
- Why did someone at the store tell him and his mother to go home? Hes lived here his whole life and has never left the country.
- Children were working on an art project where they were making a figure to look like themselves. One of the boys wanted to give himself white skin so more people would like him.
- Kids worried because they see their parents worried, but theyre not sure why.
- I dont want to lose my friend. Can Mr. Trump take him/her away?
I teach 2nd grade. These children are 7 and 8 years old. Ive never had to deal with things like this before with my students. And, frankly, I shouldn't have to.
I worry about how my students feel and are being perceived by people in the community. These children and their families are innocents. I will do everything in my power to protect their rights and keep them safe. I am not normally an activist, but this travel ban has made me find my "voice."
8. I was actually planning on traveling to USA during spring, which has always been my dream. I was planning on traveling to Venice at first, but then I said to myself: why not New York or Los Angeles, like you always wanted?
I love New York. Even though Ive lived in Sweden for nearly my entire life, I cant now. (continued)
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Im of Iranian descent. and a national through my parents, despite the fact that I was raised in Sweden from the age of 1. Im not politically involved, not an activist in any form, just a normal Swedish national who aspires to be a writer and is deeply both influenced and inspired by the culture of the USA.
I dont take it personally, even if it sucks for me on a personal level. And New York will remain a beautiful and modern mystery to me, as it has always been before.
Anyways. Peace to all the Americans who love New York and wouldnt have minded having me there in the first place.
7. I was accepted to give a talk at a Stanford University conference next April along with several young activists from Morocco.
While my country wasnt affected by the visa ban, my fellow delegates from other Arab countries were. Therefore, we wont be able to attend the conference in America. Fortunately, it will be held in the United Kingdom.
I always dreamed about visiting Stanford, and I planned to visit Google while in California but thanks to Trumps visa ban decision none of those dreams will become a reality, at least for now.
6. A manufacturing conference in Europe, which my company was going to attend, was cancelled. A multitude of Fortune 100 companies cancelled their attendance because many of their employees are from countries affected by the travel ban. The loss of potential sales and opportunities is incalculable. There is a reason why close to 100 US tech firms filed briefs in the law suit that was filed against the Travel ban.
I thought Trump was pro-Business and pro-Jobs?
5. I am an Iranian grad student in one of the top 20 colleges in the US. I came to the US just this fall. I was planning for an H1B1 visa to work in the tech industry but all of that has changed. I have decided to leave here as soon as i get my degree and here is why. (continued...)
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Right now I feel like a prisoner here. I cant go back to see my family because of the ban. Even if its being battled in the court, I have no idea by the time i get back which other crazy executive order Mr. Trump might pull out off his hat.
That is a sh*tty way to feel about a country which asked you to come here and study, and thats a sh*tty way to treat your guests.
I live in California so fortunately people are friendly. There are exceptions here and there, but I am not as thin-skinned as Mr. Trump. I do understand why many people are so sensitive about the Muslim community, but I dont understand why despite you living in such a diverse country, you cant see that other countries have minorities too.
Not everyone from the middle east is a Muslim. Im actually an atheist, and so are a lot of my friends.
4. I was planning to go to a conference in Atlanta in the summer, to present a paper and get to know other scholars from around the world. But this idea has been shattered by Mr. Trumps order. When I think about it, it feels horrible and unjust to be banned only because of my nationality (Iranian); something that is randomly assigned to you and you have no control over it.
I have nothing to do with terrorism. I am merely an academic and entrepreneur. Yet, they imposed a ban on someone like me. I really like the US as a country since I have traveled there four times before, but now it seems unlikely I will return.
Iranians form a successful and intellectual community in the US and there has never been ANY terrorist attack by Iranians so I am sure that there are other reasons to put my country in the list.
It is difficult to foresee the future but I am afraid that President Trump is too stubborn to change anything despite all the protests. Anyway, lets be optimistic since other paths are really dark and scary.
3. To be honest it is hard to express feelings right now, it is still boiling and raw, but maybe a little bit will not hurt. My girlfriend, for a long time now, is from Iran. (continued...)
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I am from Egypt. She was crying yesterday.
I told her "I know why you are crying but express your feelings to me." She told me, "I feel ashamed of who I am and where I am from and I feel unsafe." I told her, "me too. I cannot even introduce myself with my first name anymore comfortably."
She went inside and she came back telling me, "I want to leave here." I told her: "I was thinking of going to Germany I think a path to a blue card is not that hard, they have great schools and you can find a job there. You shouldnt be ashamed of yourself - you are amazing."
I have to mention that even before this arbitrary executive order her mom and her sister couldnt come to visit her because both of their visas were rejected, and obviously she cannot travel anywhere now. She really misses her mom and her sister, she hasnt seen them for 2 years. If it wasnt for me, she would have just left. But now she is torn because we cannot be together in either of our countries for religious reasons.
I am still doing my PhD, she graduated with a masters degree in computer science and her paper is in the process of getting published. She got a job at Hewlett Packard Enterprise as a software developer right after graduation.
Why is this country driving talent like that out? Hard-working young people who came here based on their own will. It is this feeling of uncertainty and insecurity that made me think that I should leave this country. And for what? For some political propaganda that will not make America safe but rather will increase the level of resentment and will separate families.
Personally, to me, passports, visas and citizenship are just documents and paper work. All we want is to be able to travel freely without having to worry that we will never see each other again.
Islam Akef Abeid
2. I'm a Caucasian male and am worried about the ban, mainly because my mother might be screwed over by it.
My grandfather worked for the Shah in Iran as an expat and my mother was conceived there, which unfortunately counts as birth if its after 6 months. When things started going poorly in Iran, they left but unfortunately, someone that was either trolling us or taking notes on us gave her Iranian citizenship. (continued...)
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I can't imagine why anyone at the time would do it as a gesture of good will or as part of their job. Were American Catholics and it's certainly arguable that wed bring nothing of value to an Islamic republic. I figure some medical staff marked off some checklist while my grandmother was pregnant and that's when trouble started.
I normally wouldn't care about it, as she never bothered to get her Iranian passport and they've never looked back at it since. Now with this ban though, I've been wondering what will come of her when she goes to the airport.
I don't pretend to know everything and have been wondering for a few weeks about whether or not officials would be able to pull up every country she's a citizen of.
But it really puts you in the shoes of someone who is seriously afraid of losing a family member or loved one who is an American.
1. My wife and I are legal permanent residents of US. Our two-year old son was born here.
Pakistan has not been placed on the list, yet.
But we are not leaving the country for foreseeable future. Trumps absolutely bonkers and random. His executive orders come as surprise to even his own cabinet. Who knows, maybe well drive to Vancouver and upon returning a few hours later well be told that we cannot enter USA anymore. Were not going back home to visit family or relatives.
Muslims around us have been attacked since Trump won the election, one mosque was vandalized and another one burned down.
We are thankfully, not refugees. But the general atmosphere now is that of fear and apprehension. I dont go to the mosque for that matter, Im not even a religious person but that does not mean that Im not afraid.
I know Donald Trumps words can be twisted every which way to prove that this isnt really a ban on Muslims despite Giuliani confirming that a Muslim ban is exactly what Trump asked for and inquired about legal ways of doing it. I know not all of Trumps supporters are Islamophobic.
But those of you who voted for Trump and dont hate Muslims, I implore you. Please ask yourself. Out of all the groups and peoples that incurred the wrath of Donald Trump, which is the only one that he never extended an olive branch to? Which group of people hed never be caught dead saying something nice about?
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Racism is an insidious, and unfortunately prevalent, force in all of our daily lives. Maybe we're on the receiving end of it, being treated differently and losing opportunities because of others' preconceived notions.
Or maybe we're on the other side of things. Even those who aren't actively racist or discriminatory still have to process the world through the filters of the things they've been told about people who are different.