After the Travel Ban

Photo: James Cridland

On Friday, January 27, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that barred entry in the country for anyone traveling from seven countries, regardless of visa status. A number of people who were already travelling when the order was signed, were detained on arrival in the US and many more were turned away at airports around the globe.

After actions by the courts to stop the ban, some of those travelers safely arrived in the United States.

“We've had people come through they’ve come through without a problem," said Camille Mackler, Director of Legal Initiatives at the New York City Immigration Coalition. "We've had people Coming from Iraq, Iran, no problems. It's business as usual.”

They brought with them memories, and hopes for a better future.

Ali Abdullah Al Ghazali, 15

Ali left Yemen in 2015 because of the civil war there. His father, an American citizen, arranged for him to join him in New York. But Ali was turned away twice at the airport in Cairo because of the travel ban. Finally, on February 5, he was able to arrive in JFK.


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Ali Abdullah Al Ghazali at his new home in East New York. ( Photo: William Mathis)

"I liked my school in Yemen, but my whole family is here in America," Ali said. "This is my dream."

Ammar Al Najjar, 24

Ammar is orginally from Yemen, but has lived in Memphis, Tennessee on a green card since 2010. He travelled to Turkey a day before the travel ban, intending to spend three months there with his fiance and get married. But when the travel ban was revoked, he quickly booked a ticket back to the US, for fear he would not be able to if he waited any longer.

These are a couple of the items he brought back with him:


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