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New England News

Trump Travel Ban Brings Despair To Iranian Woman Living In Western Mass.

VidaTayebati.jpg
WAMC
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     The new immigration ban is directly impacting many people, including a Greenfield, Massachusetts resident who was looking forward to a visit from her parents.

     Iranian-born Vida Tayebati was looking forward to seeing her parents for the first time in two years, but with a stroke of a pen a week ago President Donald Trump effectively canceled the family reunion and instilled fear about the future.

    " The life we have started now is in limbo and we don't know what is going to happen," said  Tayebati, 29.

     Her parents followed a lengthy process to get permission to visit her including a trip to a U.S. embassy in Turkey for an interview. They received visas two weeks before the president signed the executive order halting all travel to the United States from Iran and six other Muslim-majority countries for 90 days.

     "You have this hope of seeing your family and overnight it was taken away," Tayebati said in interview Thursday.

     Unless the immigration ban is lifted, her parents’ visas will expire by the time the moratorium on travel is scheduled to end.

     "They are also shocked and deeply hurt," she said. " I think they still have a bit of hope that it will change."

     After getting a bachelor’s degree at a university in Iran, Tayebati came to the U.S. about four years ago and earned an MFA in theater at a school in California.  She formed a theater company with a classmate from Denmark and one from Gill, Ma.

      Like many in her generation who were born after Iran’s Islamic Revolution, she said she was attracted to the United States because of its diversity and promise of individual freedoms.

     " I am constantly thinking about thousands of people who are in pain and shock because so many Iranians came to the U.S. and settled in the U.S. after being rejected by the Iranian government. Now they can not go home," said Tayebati.  " For me, I feel like I lost my second home."

     For now Tayebati must remain in the United States.  She can’t even risk traveling to Canada, where she has a sister.  In October, she will try to extend her visa, if she can.

     She said she is encouraged by the large rallies opposing the immigration ban and hopes the ACLU and other attorneys can get it overturned.

    " I am faithful about that," said Tayebati.

                   

    

  

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