An attempt by the Trump administration to single out grandparents as it seeks to impose its widely denounced travel ban is hitting a snag: people love their grandparents.
When the Supreme Court partially reinstated President Donald Trump's ban last month, it included in its ruling an exemption for those who have "a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States."
"We don't recognize this country anymore, and it's a terrifying feeling."
—Elham Khatami, National Iranian American Council
The State Department later released its definition of "bona fide relationship" which, as reports quickly observed, concluded that grandparents don't qualify.
Rights groups protested the definition, arguing that it is overly restrictive and "arbitrary."
Holly Dagres, a 31-year-old Iranian-American, soon found a more effective form of dissent: Posting pictures of "banned grandmas" on Instagram. The hashtags #GrandparentsNotTerrorists and #BannedGrandmas spread rapidly and major media outlets picked up on her account, which at present includes more than a dozen pictures of grandmothers who are currently barred from reuniting with their families due to Trump's ban.
The pictures demonstrate "who [Trump's] actually keeping out," Kia Hamadanchy, a Democrat running for Congress in Orange County, California, told TIME magazine.
Trump's ban, Hamadanchy concluded, undermines the vision of America as a "shining beacon of hope for everyone."
"We don't recognize this country anymore, and it's a terrifying feeling," added Elham Khatami, the outreach director for the National Iranian American Council, whose family missed her wedding ceremony because of Trump's ban. "I feel tired of being cast aside and of being forced to prove my humanity at every turn."