Iranians in the United States say they were hoping the election of Joe Biden as president would mean that their loved ones would be allowed to come into the country after the reversal of former President Donald’s Trump’s policy to restrict travel from countries with links to terrorism.
Iran is considered by the U.S. federal government as a state sponsor of terrorism, but Biden is framing his decision as stopping a xenophobic policy targeting Muslims.
Taxpayer-funded National Public Radio (NPR) interviewed Iranian Americans who are disappointed by Biden’s failure to keep his campaign promise:
One impact of the Trump travel ban was to divide families. Eli, a 34-year-old Iranian with a green card, lives in Los Angeles. Like all the Iranians interviewed for this story, she asked that her family name not be used for fear of retaliation if she returns to Iran. Eli says of all the issues she faced moving to the U.S., the travel ban was the worst.
“The travel ban – actually, the Muslim ban, I don’t know – or Trump ban, anything you name it – affect us very widely, and it has direct effect in our life,” Eli said.
The NPR report continued:
In the spring of 2018, Eli says she applied for a visa for her husband so he could join her in the U.S. They filled out the forms, paid the fees and waited – and waited. A backlog of cases and the pandemic were contributing factors, but she says that didn’t make it any easier.
“We are waiting for his interview, like, almost one year,” Eli said. “And it’s really hard time for us.”
NPR also interviewed another Iranian American, Mahdis, who said she met her husband while visiting relatives in Iran and he remains in the country.
“We thought that after President Biden is elected, then everything is going to be OK but unfortunately, it seems not,” Mahdis said. “I voted for him because he said that he’s going to be different from the previous president, but he’s not.”
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