Trump signed an executive order on Friday afternoon, prohibiting refugees and citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the U.S. A stay on the ban, granted after an emergency hearing on Saturday night, only applied to detainees, not those whose travel to the U.S. hadn't begun yet. CUNY student Saira Rafiee, who has an F1 visa, posted on Facebook about being denied entry; here's an excerpt:
I was on a vacation, going back to my country to see my loved ones, like many other students. I was about to check in at the airport, when Donald Trump signed the EO, banning people from the above-mentioned countries from entering the US. I got on the flight to Abu Dhabi, but there at the airport was told that I would not be able to enter the US. I had to stay there for nearly 18 hours, along with 11 other Iranians, before getting on the flight back to Tehran.
I have no clue whether I would ever be able to go back to the school I like so much, or to see my dear friends there. But my story isn’t as painful and terrifying as many other stories I have heard these days. I know an Iranian student in the US, who was planning to go back to Iran to see her sister who has cancer probably for the last time, but had to cancel her trip because of this order.
A dear friend of mine, a Columbia Ph.D. student, went to Canada on Friday to be with his fiancée for the weekend, and is not able to go back to his studies and work, back to his scholarly life. I know many students who are outside the US, doing fieldwork for their dissertation, and have no clue whether they can finish their studies after studying for many years. And these stories are not even close in painfulness and horror to those of the people who are fleeing war and disastrous situations in their home countries.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams held a rally today outside Brooklyn Borough Hall in support of Rafiee and others hurt by the ban. His office notes, "Approximately 120 students from the impacted countries are enrolled in the CUNY system," and Adams is urging "all schools and colleges, both public and private, to address the concerns of students, parents, and guardians who, due to their citizenship status, are at risk from the actions of the Trump administration."
A protest in front of the Brooklyn courthouse for Saira Rafiee, a CUNY student from Iran who has been denied re-entry into the US. pic.twitter.com/3I3gs0UUID
— Talal Ansari (@TalalNAnsari) January 30, 2017
State Senator Jesse Hamilton also issued this statement: "The Trump administration's treatment of these individuals and the thousands more with similar experiences has been abominable. These individuals are not stand-ins for the nations whose passports they happen to hold, not props in a pantomime of security. These are people, fellow human beings whose experiences matter. I stand with Saira Rafiee and all those subject to this mistreatment because it is my duty to stand up against bigotry, against prejudice, and for fairness, and for justice. Our national motto, is not 'Fear the foreigner, fear the Muslim, fear the Other' as the Trump administration would have us believe. Our national motto is 'E pluribus unum' - 'Out of Many, One.'"