This ‘Banned Grandmas’ Instagram Reveals The Faces Behind The Travel Ban

 
The seemingly arbitrary exclusion of grandparents from the definition of "bona fide relationship" in President Trump's travel ban has upset many.

The seemingly arbitrary exclusion of grandparents from the definition of "bona fide relationship" in President Trump's travel ban has upset many.

In the Trump administration's view, grandparents don't constitute "close family."

In the wake of President Trump’s revised travel ban being partially greenlit by the Supreme Court late last month, the effects of the “bona fide relationship” clause has immediately began to affect families.

Those who have a “bona fide relationship” are defined as having a parent, spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or sibling in the US. This means that grandparents, grandchildren, cousins, aunts and uncles from the six Muslim-majority countries on the list are being banned from visiting America, which, as you might imagine, has led to frustration for many.

In response, Iranian-American Holly Dagres, who works as an analyst and commentator on Middle Eastern affairs, tweeted a picture of her grandmother who passed away in 2013, along with the hashtag #GrandparentsNotTerrorists.

The next day, her friend then created the Banned Grandmas Instagram account, where they feature audience-submitted pictures of grandparents who are no longer allowed to visit their family in the US.

The results are heartbreaking, because whether it's your Grams, Nona, Gigi, Mawmaw, Oma, Babushka, Abuela, Babushka or Halmeoni, the role of grandparents in a family unit transcend cultural lines.

They're responsible for our existence on a very literal level, and the fact that they're not considered "close family," as the language in the ban specifies, strikes many as absurd. 

IDK about you, but this relationship looks pretty damn bonafide to me !

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@kimiacali27's grandparents are banned from the US... FOR BEING TOO GODDAMN IN LOVE AFTER ALL THESE YEARS????!??

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@sanamche is an Iranian architecture student in NY. This is her grandma. Clearly this is a ban on torshi, not terrorism.

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Darges told The Guardian her aim was to “keep the momentum and remind people that this ban is ongoing and ridiculous.”

Since launching on June 30, photos from the account have been retweeted by comedian Sarah Silverman and Jane Sanders, Bernie Sanders’ wife. 

Switching it up with a Babaei here - seems Mahsa's grandpa is only guilty of piggy backing her down the stairs.

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@hdagres is the curator of @theiranist and her late mamani would be banned from the US today.

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Yasmin's grandma is guilty of the wild belief that each meal must be accompanied by sherry and a cigarette

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“Everyone loves their grandparents and what they represent: traditions and history. I don’t think anyone has ever heard of a 95-year-old Farhad or 82-year-old Maryam committing an act of terrorism,” Dagres told The Guardian.

In October, the Supreme Court will be revisiting the ban to assess whether it is within the scope of presidential power. 

Words: Deena Drewis
Photos:  @BannedGrandmas/Instagram