The Slatest

Read These Stories About People Affected by Trump’s Immigration Order


A woman greets her mother after she arrived from Dubai on Emirates Flight 203 at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on Saturday.









Andrew Kelly/Reuters

President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration, which, suspends the arrival of visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days and bars all refugees from entering the country for four months, caused chaos and confusion across the world on Saturday. The stories of those affected by the measure illustrates how Trump’s order was more broad than many were expecting.

Here are just a few examples of the lives that have been shaken up by a stroke of Trump’s pen:

—Hameed Khalid Darweesh, who worked as an interpreter for the U.S. government in Iraq, was detained for nearly 19 hours at JFK International Airport in New York before he was released. He broke down in tears in front of reporters as he spoke about what happened. “What I do for this country? They put the cuffs on,” Darweesh said. “You know how many soldiers I touch by this hand?”

—Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi was being held at JFK after he arrived in the U.S. to join his wife, who had worked for a U.S. contractor and now lives in Houston. They have a child together. The wife of the 33-year-old refugee worked as an accountant for a U.S. military contractor for two years, and the family has been repeatedly targeted for collaborating with the United States, according to a lawsuit filed Saturday.

—Qassim Rawi, a 69-year-old Iraqi who wanted to visit his grandchildren in Los Angeles was barred from boarding a flight in Doha, Qatar. His son, Mohammed Rawi, worked for the Los Angeles Times’ Baghdad bureau during the Iraq War and is now a U.S. citizen.

—Nazanin Zinouri, who graduated with a Ph.D. in industrial engineering from Clemson University in South Carolina, was removed from her flight. Zinouri, who won the university’s Janine Anthony Bowen Graduate Fellow award, was in Iran visiting family when she heard about Trump’s immigration order. “Before I knew it, it was actually happening. Even though I didn’t want to leave my family, I quickly booked a ticket to get on the next flight back,” she wrote on Facebook. And although she managed to make it to Dubai, that is when Transportation Security Administration officers forced her off the plane. “No one warned me when I was leaving, no one cared what will happen to my dog or my job or my life there,” she said. “No one told me what I should do with my car that is still parked at the airport parking. Or what to do with my house and all my belongings. They didn’t say it with words but with their actions, that my life doesn’t matter. Everything I worked for all these years doesn’t matter.”

—Ali Abdi, an Iranian Ph.D. anthropology student, wrote on Facebook that he is in Dubai and currently stuck in limbo. He can’t go to Iran because he has been outspoken about human rights abuses in that country, can’t stay in Dubai because his visa is about to run out, and can’t go back to the United States. “The language of the racist executive order he just signed is ambiguous, but it is likely to prevent permanent residents like me from returning to the country where I am a student, where I have to defend my thesis,” Abdi wrote on Facebook.

—A Sudanese Ph.D. student at Stanford University who has held a green card for 22 years was detained for five hours at an airport in New York, said Houston-based lawyer Mana Yegani.

—Shadi Heidarifar, a philosophy student admitted to New York University, now doesn’t know if she’ll be able to attend. “Now my entire future is destroyed in one second,” she told the New York Times.

—A Syrian family of six—made up of two parents and four children aged 6 through 15—were scheduled to fly from a refugee camp in Turkey on Monday to Cleveland. “Those plans had to be scrapped,” reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The family has been living in the refugee camp since 2014.

—An Iranian who is studying in California and was home for a visit says her ticket has been canceled due to Trump’s order. “I had a ticket for Turkish Airlines on February 4, but it has been cancelled,” the woman told Agence France-Presse. “I’ve informed the university officials by mail and they were surprised. They are going to send me a letter so I can try fly from Europe.”

—Hamaseh Tayari, a U.K. resident who has an Iranian passport, was set to fly back to her home in Glasgow from Costa Rica on Saturday but was barred from boarding her flight because she had a layover in New York. “I am destroyed,” she told the Guardian. “I did not know that I could cry for so long. It feels like the beginning of the end. How this is possible? I am really afraid about what is going on.”

—The husband of an Iraqi Kurdish woman, whose family arrived in the United States in 1996 as refugees because her father was a security guard for the Americans, can’t go back with her to the United States. The pair have two children who are U.S. citizens and they were planning on moving to the United States in February after the husband was granted a visa. “When or if the ban is removed my husband’s visa will expire which means he will probably have to through the whole process once again,” she wrote in a message to the New York Times’ Thomas Erdbirnk.

—Seyed Soheil Saeedi Saravi, a young scientist from Iran, was set to go to Boston to study cardiovascular medicine at Harvard but his visa has been suspended.

—Around 100 Google employees are affected by the ban, CEO Sundai Pichar said in a memo to employees on Friday.

Know of anyone affected by Trump’s order? Let us know at

*This post has been updated with new information since it was first published.