The Trump Administration’s executive order ban on travel is causing confusion and concern among some Sacramento-area residents. One woman now fears she won’t get to see her elderly father.
At the St. James Catholic Memorial Center in Davis on Sunday night, about 200 people of Christian, Jewish and Muslim backgrounds gathered at an annual event to celebrate diversity.
Among them was Reem Al Olaby. She’s a post-doctoral researcher at the UC Davis MIND Institute, working to discover how genetics and autism intertwine.
As an Egyptian-Syrian, dual-citizenship green card holder, she’s directly affected by the recent travel ban.
Al Olaby’s dad is Syrian and in his 70s. She afraid to visit him in Egypt because she may get blocked from returning to the life she’s built here in California.
She says there is confusion as to how the ban is being applied, so people like her don’t know how to plan accordingly.
“When I see others, who are also educated, they’re coming here to work and to do something and to earn and to help in the advancement of the U.S. I see the sorrow in their eyes because I feel that they don’t know what will happen next,” says Al Olaby.
She also says she worries how the ban is affecting refugees who have no other options, and believes it sends a bad message globally.
“I don’t want fear to be promoted unjustifiably, because people need to know each other before labeling each other,” says Al Olaby.
St. James says turnout for this year’s interfaith discussion was larger than in the past couple of years, and the current political climate is undeniably responsible.