BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) – President Trump’s move to ban travel to and from seven Muslim-majority countries is catching a lot of push back. Some called it discrimination and even religious persecution.
And a lot of resistance is coming from right here in Indiana.
The Trump administration says the executive order signed on Friday was to keep Americans safe. They even said the countries where travel to and from is now banned, the Obama administration first identified .
The orders impact refugees and even those who’ve been here for years.
“I just felt really uncertain. I felt that this was not happening but it was,” said Babak Seradjeh.
Seradjeh is a physics professor at Indiana University. On Saturday he was making a connecting flight at Newark airport preparing for a research trip to Tel Aviv.
But instead he boarded the next flight and came back to Bloomington.
“I felt like the ground was shifting underneath me and I had to make some quick decisions,” he said.
Seradjeh is a permanent resident of the United States. But he was born in Iran. Because of the executive order signed Friday, there was no guarantee he’d be allowed back.
“I estimated that the danger of not being able to come back was real and so I stopped,” he said.
Muslim leaders say many Muslims have been stopped.
“It created a tremendous amount of chaos, it created anxiety within our community. People feel threatened, people feel unwanted and there’s no point to it,” said Hazem Bata, the Secretery General of the Islamic Society of North America.
In a follow up statement to his executive order, the president said visas would be issued again after the 90 day review.
Bata says he wasn’t surprised the order was signed.
“He said he was going to do it, he’s been saying on the campaign trail, he’s going to have a Muslim ban,” said Bata.
That ban prompted protests over the weekend. The president also suspended the refugee program. The impact was immediate on refugees seeking resettlement in Indiana
“We’re simply not sure when they’ll arrive now. We have one family that was to arrive this coming week,” said Cole Varga, the director of Exodus Refugee Immigration based in Indianapolis.
While Senator Joe Donnelly rejected the executive order, Senator Todd Young issued a statement saying he will work with the administration to keep the country safe.
As for the professor, he said the reason he left Iran was to be free and said he now feels persecuted once again.