Travel ban keeps Ira­nian Cana­dian from work in Halifax

Cape Breton Post - - NEWS -

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.

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