On Friday, January 27, Trump signed an executive order that bans people from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States. The subsequent chaos was immediate.
There was confusion at airports across the country. Individuals were detained, and some were deported. Massive protests popped up at major hubs like JFK to LAX to regional airports like Boise and Kansas City.
And then came the legal battles. On January 28, a federal judge in New York temporarily blocked the order nationwide for one week. Certain provisions were halted, but confusion remained and some border agents refused to follow court orders.
Since then, 19 lawsuits have been filed arguing the order is unconstitutional. Most recently, on February 3, a U.S. District judge in Seattle temporarily suspended the order nationwide, which the Trump administration has promised to fight.
As the Trump administration continues to push back against the courts, it seems clear that this clash isn’t going away. In its wake, fear and confusion is rampant.
“There’s no sense of certainty that says green card holders, legal immigrants, students, folks with visas, are completely safe and they shouldn’t be worried.,” said Taif Jany, a green-card holder living in Washington, D.C. “No one has said that these people should not be worried and they have all the right to come in or leave the country as long as they are legal.”
NAGHMEH: We don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow
TEXT: As battles play out in the courts, fear and confusion remain over Trump’s ban.
EMILY: There are so many unknowns for Marwan and I, we can barely plan for next week. We can’t plan anything. We can’t plan our wedding, we can’t plan our future.
TAIF: There’s no sense of certainty that says green card holders, legal immigrants, students, folks with visas, are completely safe and they shouldn’t be worried. No one has said that. No one has said that these people should not be worried and they have all the right to come in or leave the country as long as they are legal.
HOOMAN: I came here because I believe in the education system and the graduate program that I applied for. It’s not easy to understand how you can one day wake up and see your future gone.
TAIF: I felt like I was welcomed, I was safe. I never felt that I am being discriminated against so publicly. And all of that is kind of gone. I turn on the news or I check the news online and everything that I see is attacks on me and my people. I used to feel a lot safer before than I do now.
EMLY: I really want to make Marwan feel comfortable here. This isn’t just my home, it’s not just my family, this is our family and this is our community. We met in Turkey a couple years ago. He’s amazing (laughs), he’s my better half. He balances me. The other day when I talked to my mom about the whole situation she asked if Marwan even still wanted to come here
NAGHMEH: It hurts when you have someone like this administration coming in saying that no, your country — we don’t trust it. You’re not allowed here. It’s everyday checking the news, makes you feel like, you do your best to go to work, you do your best to enjoy what you can, but there’s always that feeling in that back of your mind of, it could happen, something else could happen today. Like, everything might just change right now.
HOOMAN: Its not easy to get over the fact that I am being seen as a terrorist, or my friends are being seen as suspects.
TAIF: I don’t feel like right now this is just an attack on Muslims, its an attack on everyone. I don’t think its time for people to really give up and do nothing and I think everyone should right now play a role in what’s going on right now.
NAGHMEH: We’re not just going to tuck away because this ban completely is going to make us be fearful of living in America. No, we’re going to be louder and express about it…
NEDA: or fearful of like saying ya know, certain things. And you’re like no, I’m going to be as honest as I can. For people to get that, build that courage and say, hey I have a voice too and I have a particularly different story and here it is.
TAIF: To me this is tough, but in comparison to what I’ve been through, it’s really just another hiccup. I’ve struggled so much for the past 8–10 years of our lives and it’s not time to give up.