Trump's anti-immigration decree raises confusion and rage among Iranians

Online Desk | February 3,2017 | 6:24 am

For the Iranians all over the world, the day of Saturday, January 28 began with confusion and incomprehension and ended with a great feeling of anger. Friday night, the time of Paris, the new American president Donald Trump signed a decree banning, for at least 90 days, the entry in the United States of the nationals of seven Muslim countries: Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan , Syria and Yemen.

This text was first interpreted as relating only to those holding a tourist visa or work visa or a student visa. But throughout the day on Saturday, an online document was created in which the Iranians having sought to fly to the United States put information about their respective experiences. The confusion grew after some people testified that they were turned away, either before their flight or on their arrival at the various American airports, even if they had a permanent Green Card.

Finally, in the afternoon of Saturday, the US Department of Homeland Security announced that, according to the decree, the citizens of these seven countries with a permanent resident card will be judged one to One by the immigration officers, thus adding to the confusion. Towards the end of the day, various media reported that citizens of these seven countries, even with a different nationality, could not apply for a visa or enter the United States if they already have one.

Already since January 2016, Iranians with, for example, a European nationality could no longer benefit from the visa-free program between the United States and Europe. So, these binationals also need to apply for a visa beforehand to American embassies before traveling to the United States, just like their fellow Iranians.

The Iranian Nazanin Zinouri, data scientist and living for seven years in the United States, told his ordeal on his Facebook page. Having left California on January 20, she was visiting her family in Iran. Anxious by the rumors about the new decree, the Iranian girl shortened her trip and returned to Dubai where she was to embark on a flight to Washington. "I was on the plane when two officers boarded and asked me to leave the plane ," she explains on her Facebook page . Yes, after seven years of living in the United States, I was expelled. No one cautioned me when I was about to go to Iran. No one asked what would happen to my work and my life here. They do not say it with words but with deeds: my life does not matter. What I have done all these years does not matter. His post was shared 105,000 times.

During the night from Saturday to Sunday, some nationals of the seven target countries remained in custody at US airports. The Daily Beast journalist, Betsy Woodruff, published on Twitter this photo of an Iranian couple with permanent resident cards in Dulles Airport, Washington.

The man, aged 88, and his wife, 83, both disabled, were released after hours of interrogation.

Since hostage-taking at the US embassy in Tehran in November 1979, a few months after the Islamic revolution, Tehran and Washington have no diplomatic relations. Yet, the Iranians constitute a great diaspora in the United States. An estimated one million Iranians live in the United States, including California. In order to obtain a US visa, Iranians are obliged to visit a third country, notably the United Arab Emirates, Dubai, or Turkey, in Istanbul. The US consulate of this Turkish city has already announced that it no longer processed visa applications from the Iranians.

An "insulting" decision

In a statement on Saturday evening, the Iranian foreign ministry said it was " insulting" Donald Trump's decision to ban Iranians from entering the United States. "While respecting the American people and distinguishing between the Americans and the hostile policies of their governments, the Islamic Republic of Iran, in order to defend the rights of its citizens, will apply reciprocity as long as these insulting restrictions Will not have been lifted. "

The head of the Iranian diplomacy, Mohammad Javad Zarif, in a series of tweets, took to this measure which was, according to him, "a wonderful gift made to the extremists and their supporters" . "Unlike the United States, our decision is not retroactive. All [US citizens] with valid visas will be welcome [in Iran], "he added .

Iranian President Hassan Rohani on Saturday morning criticized the policy of "building walls between peoples" . "We believe in peace, reconciliation, fraternity and cohabitation (...). It is as if some have forgotten that many years ago, the Berlin wall collapsed , "he said.

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