​Trump’s New Travel Ban: My Family Can Now Travel 


I used to joke about Traveling While Arab. I can share many stories about when I was ‘randomly searched‘. I never thought that being profiled was that big of a deal. That changed when my dad called to ask if he could travel to Aruba under Trump’s initial executive order which restricted entry into the United States for those with visas or green cards from a list of countries that included Iraq.

I said, “Dad, you’re an American citizen with an American passport. Don’t be crazy.” Paranoid, he went as far as to ask the general counsel at his work if it was a good idea to travel. The lawyer said it would not be a problem but cautioned against traveling with an Iraqi passport.

The Iraqi passport comment was amusing. While it may be useful to have a second passport from the EU or the UK, I am confident that the overwhelming majority of Iraqi Americans are not holding dual citizenship and those that do have an Iraqi passport aren’t vacationing with it.

While my dad had nothing to fear, the same could not be said about my uncle who only has a green card. Theoretically, under Trump’s travel ban, my uncle, who has been in the US longer than I have been alive, could not have gone to Canada and returned until the moratorium was lifted.

The ‘good’ news came this week when Trump took Iraq off of the list. I put good in quotes because the ban still applies to Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, and Iran. For immigrant families who came from those countries and have prospered in the US, this ban is an insult. It is divisive. And, most importantly, it is ineffective. The leaked results from a study from the Department of Homeland Security, show that country of origin has little to do with the propensity to commit terrorist acts. Instead, it found that homegrown terrorism posed was a bigger issue. The attackers in Paris were born in Europe. The San Bernardino killer was born in the United States. And the list goes on.

Correlating country of origin with the likelihood of becoming a terrorist is as stupid as linking rap music with criminal behavior. The real problem is integration and assimilation, something that a travel ban will not promote.

Where is TPOL in this picture?
What was TPOL up to in this picture? 



    • I was born in Michigan so this didn’t affect me. It’s the implication that we aren’t American that is dangerous.

  1. It’s not just about Iraq being “off the list”. Green card holders and holders of current visas are now also exempt from the ban. Your uncle is “good to go” in two ways.

    Thanks for sharing your insight.

  2. Hi Alex, (I call you by your name like I know you…the internet, ha!)

    Im very interested to know what you reply if anything to my comment.

    I think you have a unique space here, …..a humorous fun loving take on points travel. I like it. Im older and have a kid but used to be a party animal 747 pilot for Virgin Atlantic, so your mentality takes me back to a fun time in my life. I’m 47 not dead yet!

    I’ve commented many times here, you may or may not remember. I cheered you on and even gave you crap once about AA which I guess you didn’t take too seriously.

    You once lauded Trump’s golf clubs, which I pushed back gently on. You once claimed that arrogance was pretty cool and is what got Trump where he is today. At which point I had to say that is a dangerous BS way of normalizing his despicable rhetoric and actions. I commented that you were of Iraqi descent and how much longer before you end up being discriminated against?

    It’s real now huh? Or as you correctly pointed out, a reprieve for Iraqis but not for other normal decent Americans, who happen to be from other Muslim countries. Or Mexicans, or gays, or those that care about animals, the environment, you know… the planet, and such.

    The current administration is a scary disgrace. I hope for all your humor, you will always take the situation seriously and help fight bigotry with me and others who care. I am not Muslim or affected in any way, but am also moving permanently fro the US in disgust. Yes, I am a citizen, but not one who will ever bring up my son in this bigoted hateful ridiculously backward racist shitshow.

    Where are you moving to?

    • Where to start? I’ll go backwards:

      Moving: I’m letting the readers decide: http://thepointsoflife.boardingarea.com/help-tpol-move-abroad/ But I’m moving for adventure not because of politics:

      Bigotry: My family is Chaldean, Catholic Iraqi, so I really have a unique perspective on this. I don’t think it’s gotten to the point of WW II internment camps but this ban is not a step in the right direction.

      You asked how long before I end up being discriminated against. This travel ban is not day 1 of that happening. Grade school during the Persian Gulf war was not very pleasant. I’ve learned to be tolerant of ignorant comments and that’s why I don’t go nuts when I’m randomly searched. This ban just validates that prejudices exist. They existed long before Trump became President. My hope is that good comes from this by people standing up to this stupidity and by shining a spotlight on those that support such policies. They need to be educated on why these policies are counter to everything America was built on.

  3. This travel ban stuff is just a quasi legal excuse for of discrimination and bigotry. Ironic, ain’t it, considering that Jews, Africans, Italians, Irish, Eastern Europeans, Catholics, Asians, American Indians (who were actually here first), and countless other groups faced discrimination here in the past? It seems that this somehow becomes forgotten in the rush to become the discriminator, rather than the discriminatee. Repulsive stuff, and as you said, ineffective.

  4. I’m with Andy. I get you bro. But, com’n my man. This is an f’d upnation we live in. Stand ground brother.

Leave a Reply