By Gardenia Zuniga
The morning of Friday Jan. 27, President Donald J. Trump outraged the world when he signed an “executive order,” banning Muslims from seven different countries to enter the United States.
“At first I couldn’t believe it but as I followed the news I realized- yes it’s serious and it’s happening,”Academy of Art University student Payam Jafari said. Jafari was one of the many students who was caught up in the muslim ban and stuck in Iran when it all began
Iran was one of the seven countries in which many students come from to study in San Francisco through the various colleges like City College, San Francisco State University (SFSU) and Academy of Art University.
The news broke out worldwide causing people to flood the major city airports and began protest at international gates. Protesters’, Muslims’ and lawyers’ gathered together to show support to those who were refused access and couldn’t make it back to the U.S.
Most students from City College and SFSU were not in Jafari’s situation since the semester had started a few weeks before but for those students at other schools in San Francisco such as Academy of Art University, school began a week after Trump’s executive order.
Just like Jafari many people from the seven affected countries were stuck in a situation where they did not know if they would be able to come back and continue their life in the states once the 90-day ban was released.
The moment the ban took effect the U.S. canceled the visas of more than 60,000 foreigners of the seven countries including Jafari’s own- Iran. Homeland security also confirmed that the ban included green card and dual citizenship holders in the ban.
“It was a bad feeling,” Jafari said. “San Francisco has been my home for last three years. I planned to do serious career stuff and all of a sudden I go home to my country to visit my family and realize, I cannot come back.”
Many people among those 60,000 were students, doctors and professors who needed to urgently get back to the country to continue their duties.
Many visa holders from the seven banned countries who were on their way when the executive order happened were detained by immigration officers who immediately stopped them from entering U.S. ground.
On Feb. 3, Federal Judge James L. Robart issued a ruling that blocked Trump’s “executive order” to ban entry from anyone who came from those seven countries. Meaning everyone, including refugees escaping the cold wars of Syria are welcomed to come to the U.S. for a better life and freedom.
Trumps ban did not last the 90 days as promised which raised a lot of outrage across the nation and around the world. Many people were affected in those eight days however once the ban was blocked, families were brought back together and students like Jafari can now finish their educational journey in the U.S.
“When I saw all the protest here in the United States at the airports, that hit me in my heart. It touched me because I saw American people fighting for others rights,” Jafari said as he described the feeling when he saw the news of the multiple protests in America.
Jafari returned to San Francisco on Feb. 5 and said that it only took him ten minutes of questioning when coming across homeland security.
He is now back at Academy of Art University to continue his last years competing his Master’s in Motion Picture in which he will graduate as a director and continue his American dream to start filming his movie upon graduation.