On June 29, Donald Trump reinstated the travel ban – a ban that bars anyone without a “bona fide relationship” with a U.S. citizen from entering the U.S. Under these new guidelines, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins from the six countries are not considered “family” enough.
One day later came @Bannedgrandmas, an Instagram page dedicated to the most notorious subgroup of the ban – grandmas.
Ran by Holly Dagres, an Iranian-American analyst and commentator, the page posts submitted pictures of beloved mamanis, Farsi for Grandma, who can’t make it to the U.S.
“We hope through our Instagram account Banned Grandmas that we can put a human face to the Travel Ban,” Dagres said in an email to Muslim Girl. “That people will feel some empathy and maybe even call their representatives or sign a petition.”
Dagres’ own grandmother went viral after she posted a picture of her on Twitter. It was retweeted and liked hundreds of times. The response to the picture inspired Dagres’ friend to prompt her to start an Instagram page.
“The ban says “bona fide” relationship, but grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins aren’t included. So that means blood doesn’t count and therefore “bona fide” is irrelevant.” says Dagres. “Also, while it says the ban is only for 90-days, some countries like Iran don’t have relations with the U.S. so there is no way to do a background check. As a result, the ban becomes indefinite.”
The throwback captions and cheeky captions are a treat itself all while doing the important work of pointing out how ludicrous the ban is.
Trump’s ban hit at the worst possible time, summer, the time of graduations and weddings. Everyone knows grandmas love a good wedding.
As Dagres points out, most relatives are trying to get visas only to come visit for special occasions, not to stay in the US permanently. “Just like Americans, Middle Eastern and North African families value their familial ties.”
Yesterday morning, Hawaiian judge Derrick Watson ruled that grandparents are exempt from the travel ban. Watson said in his ruling, “…Grandparents are the epitome of close family members.”
The Department of Justice is poised to appeal the ruling, according to a statement released by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. And according to today’s Instagram post, families of banned grandmas everywhere will continue resisting. It’s Jeff Sessions verse our grandmas and we all know who’ll be victorious in that match up.