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Here's How Trump's Ban Is Affecting People, In Their Own Words

"No one warned me when I was leaving, no one cared what will happen to my dog, or my job, or my life there."

Posted on January 30, 2017, at 2:14 p.m. ET

After President Trump's order temporarily banning refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations took effect on Friday night, countless people took to social media to share how it affected them. BuzzFeed News asked some of these people to share their stories in their own words:

"In this new situation that Trump has made, I can't fly back to San Francisco."

Payam Jafari

"I came back to Iran for this winter break to visit my family but in this new situation that Trump has made, I can't fly back to San Francisco on Feb. 5, which is my flight date.

"I'm a graduate student at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, and this coming spring semester is my last semester. I am getting my master's in filmmaking.

"I've entered the US four times in last three years without a single problem. I've lived there without getting a single ticket of any type or making problems of any form.

"This is not fair for me. Please make my voice heard."

—Payam Jafari

"After almost seven years of living the the United States, I got deported. No one warned me when I was leaving, no one cared what will happen to my dog, or my job, or my life there."

Nazanin Zinouri

"Friday started like any other normal day. I was excited about my trip to Tehran. After all, I only get to visit [my family] once a year. I was excited and anxious at the same time. I was worried about my little puppy but I couldn't wait to see my mom.

"It was an uneventful trip. I made it home on Monday, after around 28 hours, exhausted but so, so happy. We were all happy. I was going to eat lots of delicious Persian food and make tons of great memories and go back to my life in the US.

"But the happiness didn't last that long. On Wednesday, we started hearing rumors about new executive orders that will change immigration rules for some countries, including Iran. Soon we started reading drafts like everyone else. I might be banned from going back? No, that can't be true. I'm not gonna let that ruin my trip. But then it got serious so fast.

"Before I knew it, it was actually happening. Even though I didn't want to leave my family, I quickly booked a ticket to get on the next flight back. Only a few hours after the order was signed, I got to the airport, got on a plane, and made it to Dubai.

"After waiting in the line to get my documents checked and after 40 minutes of waiting, I was ready to board the plane to Washington, only to have officers ask me to leave the boarding area: 'For security reasons your boarding is denied.'

"Yes, after almost seven years of living the the United States, I got deported. No one warned me when I was leaving. No one cared what will happen to my dog, or my job, or my life there. No one told me what I should do with my car that is still parked at the airport parking, or what to do with my house and all my belongings.

"They didn't say it with words but with their actions, [I was told] that my life doesn't matter. Everything I worked for all these years doesn't matter."

Nazanin Zinouri (reproduced from Facebook with permission)

"I've never felt so trapped before in my life."

Salma Elfaki
Salma Elfaki

"My name is Salma Elfaki. I came to this country as a refugee and I am currently a green card holder. I came to the United States 17 years ago. I waited in line for my citizenship. I am currently waiting for the oath ceremony to finally become a United States citizen.

"I am from Sudan. I chose to come to America to make a better life for myself and my family.

"I am also a pediatrician. I am a small business owner. My private practice employs five women of diverse backgrounds. I am a single mother and so are most of my employees. I pay them way more than minimum wage and provide benefits such as health insurance and 401(k). I have over 4,000 patients in my practice; over 80% of them are Medicaid recipients. I am also a cancer survivor.

"All of my accomplishments — beating cancer, raising an amazing 13-year-old, starting a business, helping my community, and providing employment and a good life for all the women that I employ — would not have been possible had I not come to this country.

"I am still not a US citizen but I pay my fair share of taxes happily. My family is still overseas. I see them about once a year. Now I don't know if I will be able to see them anytime soon. They can't come here, clearly, after the executive order; and I'm afraid if I travel I wouldn't be allowed to come back home. The home that I made for myself for the past 17 years, for my patients, my 4,000 children that depend on me for their healthcare needs. I may not be able to come back to the only place that my daughter has known as her home, her friends, her school, her neighborhood.

"It is clear that the American people are not being told the truth. If indeed the reason to ban people from those countries is to prevent terrorists from entering the United States, why are folks from other countries who have committed mass murders here not on that list?

"I am not suggesting that we should profile people based on actions of a small group, but this makes no sense. This is discrimination. But you're also keeping families apart — good, hard-working people who only wanted to make a better life for themselves and others. In fact, the majority of people affected by this ban are decent, law-abiding human beings.

"I've never felt so trapped before in my life. I can't see my family for an indeterminate amount of time. If I do travel to see them, there's a risk I will not be allowed to come back here, and then what happens to my family, my patients, my employees?

"This situation should not continue. This ban is unconstitutional. America is immigrants — they built and continue to build this country. Stop dividing us.

Please. Let's build bridges not walls."

— Dr. Salma Elfaki, M.D.

"With this new immigration ban, it appears that my family will no longer be able to come to my wedding."

Marzieh Saffarian

"I am a US citizen, born and raised in the US. My father is from Iran and moved here right before the 1979 revolution. As a result of my father's Iranian citizenship, I am a dual citizen of both Iran and the United States.

"Some of my cousins that grew up in Iran have been fortunate enough to eventually get visas to study and even work here (though it is a long, grueling process, I've learned). Their parents — my aunts and uncles — are still back home in Iran.

"I am getting married this summer in Michigan, and many of my aunts and uncles had planned to come here for my wedding. With this new immigration ban, it appears that my family will no longer be able to come to my wedding. For some of my cousins, it has been years that they have gone without seeing their parents, and I was hoping this summer would be a perfect time for us all to be together. I now see that isn't the case.

"Since Iran has apparently retaliated by stating they won't allow US citizens into their country, it appears I will not be able to visit anyone in Iran either.

"With just a stroke of Donald Trump's pen, he has already put my family through a lot of turmoil and distress. I hope this ends very soon for all of my friends and family who are suffering through worse scenarios than I am."

—Marzieh Saffarian

"I've never met any of my grandparents, aunts, uncles, or even cousins. After hearing the news about the ban, I can't help but think, Will I ever be able to?"

Sabrina Khuder

Sabrina Khuder, right, and her sister.

"Both my parents came to America from Iraq over 20 years ago for my dad to be able to continue his education in the US and to start a family. They've only been back to Iraq a few times since they came to America. My mother just came back from visiting her family for the first time in over 10 years last January.

"My parents are the first of their family, and honestly probably their entire village, to start a life in America. I've never met any of my grandparents, aunts, uncles, or even cousins. After hearing the news about the ban, I can't help but think, Will I ever be able to? Will my mother and father ever be able to visit their siblings or parents in the future without fear of being denied entrance back into the US? I am an American citizen, but how hard would it be for me to go and visit my family members after this ban?

"Being in this country has offered me more opportunities than I would have ever have had back in Iraq, and it is so heartbreaking that the Muslim ban is going to prevent more young people like me experience the same things that I have fortunately been able to. The fact that America was founded on the idea that, no matter who you are, there is a place where you are welcome is just even more heartbreaking."

—Sabrina Khuder

"This idiot has threatened both my father's freedom and the entire world's refugee population."

Rahill Jamalifard

"My name is Rahill Jamalifard. I am a first-generation Iranian-American who grew up in a Muslim family in Michigan.

"My father and mother both separately arrived here during the Iranian revolution of 1979. They met at Michigan State University where they were both studying.

"We were involved in a beautifully diverse and giving community of many immigrants, who lived humbly in university housing with their families while trying to pursue an American education, my father being among them.

"I grew up in Lansing, Michigan, (a city that absorbed many refugees) and spent a lot of time in Detroit (which has the largest population of Arabs outside an Arab country). For 20 years, my father made it his personal duty to be present in his community, helping families become acquainted and feel welcomed to their new homes and lives. I grew up befriending Afghanis, Bosnians, Iraqis, Sudanese, and Albanians as a child. And now, in one fell swoop, this idiot has threatened both my father's freedom and the entire world's refugee population.

"My father, who never got his passport and has been on green card, spends days out of the week traveling to Canada for work. He also goes to spend time with the children of his sister (who he lost to a battle with cancer about two years ago), who are now living alone in Canada while both attending college. My dad has made it his duty to be as present in their lives as he can. This is his life and because of the immigration ban, my father's work is now completely halted and he cannot see our cousins.

"He is a prisoner in this country and was advised if he left it, they could not guarantee his entrance back in. Thankfully, post-9/11 my parents did foresee a time where their freedom would be threatened in this country. So, my mother got her citizenship after a long battle that included needing a lawyer, but my father never did.

"The saddest part to me is that my father came to America at the age of 16, ALONE. He is FULLY an American, he supported himself, he made a life, he provided for his three children and his wife. He is a presence in the Muslim community (I was back there last month and he had just gotten back from a meeting at our local mosque for helping new refugees).

"He is a father, a husband, an uncle to so many, a volunteer, an employer, has been a soccer coach, everything. My father shows up. He's there, he is a generous and giving man. He loves his community and feels it's his personal duty to help those less fortunate, and now his freedom is threatened.

"At first I was afraid about oversharing my personal, family information, but then I realized awareness is important. If my story can encourage solidarity and resistance, then I will scream it through a loudspeaker. This isn't just about politics anymore, it's not that we are dealing with a political obligation or responsibility, it has become a MORAL one."

—Rahill Jamalifard

If you're interested in sharing your story, please email this reporter at

Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.