Travel ban keeps Iranian Canadian from work in Halifax
LOS ANGELES — An Iranian-Canadian theatre director who shuttles between L.A. and Halifax for work says he has decided to stay in the United States rather than cross the border under President Donald Trump’s travel ban.
Shahin Sayadi says he can’t risk being separated from his family in California as confusion looms about Trump’s executive order barring citizens of seven Muslimmajority countries, including Iran, from entering the country.
Sayadi moved to Los Angeles seven months ago with his wife and two children, but frequently travels back to Halifax to oversee Onelight Theatre, which he founded more than two decades ago.
Sayadi returned from Halifax last Tuesday, three days before Trump signed the executive order.
He says he’s unsure when he’ll return to Canada, where he has been a citizen for 30 years, because he’s not sure if he would be allowed back into the U.S. even though he holds a green card that allows him to live and work there.
Trump’s sweeping travel ban originally covered green card holders, but then the White House reversed course and said citizens of those nations who hold permanent U.S. residency can re-enter the country.
The measure has been stayed by several federal courts leading to inconsistent implementation of the order — leaving thousands of travellers like Sayadi in limbo.
Sayadi’s wife, Maggie Stewart, is a Canadian immigration lawyer and she says she’s seen an uptick in inquiries since the executive order was signed.