Dutch-Iranians launch petition against Trump's entry ban

United States flag and eagle (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/CGP Grey)United States flag and eagle (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/CGP Grey)

A group of Dutch-Iranians launched a petition against American President Donald Trump's decree banning Iranians, and people from six other Muslim countries, from entering the United States. The petition, which demands that Iranians not be banned from the U.S., will be handed in at the Embassy of the United States in the Netherlands. "We also demand that the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the Dutch Parliament defend our rights, as the citizens of this country." the petition reads.

"Hereby, we as Iranian students and Iranian-Dutch nationals residing in the Netherlands would like to assert our deepest concerns about the discriminatory regulations which ban Iranians from entering the US. Sadly we also understood today that Iranians with Dutch nationality are also banned from entering the US." the petition reads. 

On Friday Trump announced that he is closing the American borders to asylum seekers and other people from Libya, Sudan, Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Somalia and Syria. The announcement resulted in protests around the world, including at Schiphol airport, over the weekend. Six Iranian people were stuck in a departure lounge at the Amsterdam airport from Saturday. They were traveling from Iran to the United States when Trump closed the borders. When they tried to get onto their next flight at Schiphol, they were told they could go no further. They can also not leave the airport because they don't have a visa for the Schengen area. KLM is flying them back to Iran today. 

A Dutch-Iranian university student, who initially came to the Netherlands as a refugee, calls Trump's decision to close the American borders to Iranians "an insult to a peaceful community that has contributed to the United States in many ways", the student said to NL Times. The student, asked to only be known as Sam, helped set up the petition because he had to cancel his plans to visit family in the United States. 

"We have nothing against President Trump. He was elected by the majority of people in the U.S. That is democracy." Sam said to NL Times. "But if they have disputes with the Iranian regime, why are we, regular people, the victims again?" 

Another Dutch-Iranian student, Sara Mir from Den Bosch, is also facing the possibility that a trip she planned to New York with fellow students will no longer happen for her. "I'm going to the consulate in Amsterdam on Tuesday, because I want to find out the real reason I'm not allowed in America anymore. I haven't gotten a real explanation yet, I'm just referred to a link of the embassy's website", the 22-year-old student said to Omroep Brabant. "I paid 160 euros for a visa, so I hope that something comes fom it. Let 'America' look at individual cases rather than putting everyone from a particular origin in one box. I've fortunately never experienced it before, but this is pure racism. It hurts."