United States President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban, that came into effect on Friday, met with criticism on social media for barring the entry to grandparents. According to the new restrictions, citizens from Libya, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan will have to prove “bona fide relationship” with certain family members in the country. This, however, does not include grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles.
The National Iranian American Council launched the hashtag #GrandparentsNotTerrorists to protest the ban. “President Trump’s pathological pursuit of the Muslim ban has reached a new low by targeting grandparents of American children,” the council said in a press release. “There are one million Iranian Americans in the United States and many cannot return home to visit their loved ones…The president is supposed to protect American families, not rip them apart.”
According to the state department, only parents, in-laws, step-parents, children, spouses, sibling and half-siblings are included in “close relationships”. The state department had earlier said fiancés would be also be kept out of the purview of “close” family members, but reversed its decision hours before the ban came into effect.
Several users shared pictures of their grandparents on Twitter questioning the travel ban and its limitations.
Many users, who tweeted pictures of their grandparents, asked Trump, “Is this the face of terror?”
“This inhumane ban does nothing to add to America’s security. It only creates divisions by turning some Americans into second-class citizens simply because of their ancestry,” NIAC said.
Trump has insisted the ban is to protect the US from terrorism and to allow immigration officials to vet those entering the US more closely, but this has been seen as part of a separate agenda. While campaigning for the presidency, Trump had called for a a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims” entering the US.