Trump’s threats and plans somehow did not feel real for many americans, whether they were supporters or against his beliefs. It’s been hard for all that feel segregated by our new president and specially, because of the recent travel ban. Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia are the seven countries where the ban applies, but it has not only affected them but the whole nation.
The University of North Texas is known to be a place where differences and other cultures are embraced and celebrated. Even though mainly residents and tourist were first affected by the travel ban, international students were affected, since coming home is not an option anymore. Two iranian students from UNT felt overwhelmed by this new law.
Sohrab is an Iranian student who recently graduated from UNT. Even before Trumps presidency he struggled to receive permission to travel to the U.S.
“There is no US embassy in Iran and we, as students, can travel to three countries including Armenia, Dubai and Turkey to have a visa interview,” Sohrab said. “The reality is that many of us will be denied of entry.”
He also explained that even before Trump it was hard to be able to see your family back home and that after the travel ban it became nearly impossible for that to happened.
“The only remaining option to see our parents was to inviting them over here for at maximum 6 month visit which was as difficult as getting a student visa.” Sohrab said. “Right now with Trump’s Presidency there is no way at all, we can talk with our parents through skype.”
Sohrab also claimed that he knows that even though that he has met people in Texas who are sympathetic to his situation as an immigrant and a international student, there are many who want him and his wife out of the country.
The effect of the travel ban has not only affected Soharb at UNT, but also as a future worker in this country. He thinks companies are reluctant to hired people from the seven banned countries.
“That’s one of my anxieties. My wife and I are seriously thinking about moving to Canada and Australia as well.” Sohrab said. “What if they want to sack us anytime soon?”
As for Nastaran Barhemmati, an Iranian getting her Ph.D. in mechanical and energy engineering. Barhemmati struggles to see her family again because of the travel ban.
“Its effect is too much in present and future. My parents wanted to come here for visiting me, but they were rejected in interview without any reason,” Barhemmati said. “My father is retired and my mother is a housewife without any political activity. So, why did they reject them?”
Barhemmati, when telling her story coming here, expressed her disappointment in American culture after Trump was elected.
“To be honest, it was unbelievable for me when I heard about travel ban regarding my country.” Barhemmati said. “One of my reasons for coming here was that there was no discrimination regarding religion and nationality, at least from what I have heard about American society. But unfortunately, I faced the exact opposite.”
Nastaran Barhemmati, thought it was nonsense for the american government to think that Iranians were all to blame and rejected the term “terrorist” associated to Iran.
“I believe that people in these countries don’t like war and living in unsafe society either,”Barhemmati said.“Politicians should know that people are different from their government and they only want a calm and friendly society.”
Sohrab thinks that there is partial credit for Iran to be included in the seven countries, but still felt it was unfair for all Iranian immigrants.
“I cannot say Middle Eastern countries including Iran are blame-free and guiltless, because there are many guilty, wealthy and cruel Iranians who have a green card, so why not ban those people and not the students and ordinary people?” Sorab expressed. “The ban has only closed the door on the people who seek freedom and a new start.”