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‘Banned Grandmas’ Are Taking Over Instagram to Challenge Trump

When Holly Dagres curated photos for her friend’s Instagram account, Banned Grandmas, she had no idea her photos would start a trend.

Now, the account has captured nationwide attention by showing one of the consequences of US President Donald Trump’s travel ban.

Take Action: Reverse President Trump’s Executive Order to Ban Refugees

The Instagram account features what its name promises: banned grandparents.

But these aren’t people banned from somewhere for doing something wrong. Instead, they’re people barred from entering the US because they’re from one of the six Muslim-majority countries affected by the Trump administration’s revised executive order — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The Supreme Court allowed part of President Trump’s revised travel ban against six Muslim-majority countries to go into effect for 90 days on June 29, exempting only those with “a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”

The ruling was immediately met with outrage by people who claim it unfairly discriminates against people and creates an arbitrary distinction.

While opponents of the ban say this provision protects the majority of people seeking to come to the US for employment or to visit a relative, it does not protect every relative. Grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles and cousins from the six countries are banned from entering the US under the travel ban, according to State Department guidelines.

Read More: John Oliver Explains How Trump’s Travel Ban Hurts Refugees

To show solidarity with those affected by the travel ban, Dagres, a 31 year-old Iranian-American, tweeted a picture of herself with her Iranian grandmother with the hashtag #GrandparentsNotTerrorists. The tweet received over 2,000 likes, so Dagres’ friend set up the Instagram account “Banned Grandmas” to keep the momentum moving forward.

@hdagres is the curator of @theiranist and her Mamani is newly banned from the US.

A post shared by Banned Grandmas (@bannedgrandmas) on

Since then, they’ve featured more than 20 images of grandparents from the six affected countries.

“The travel ban is absurd and unjustified on so many levels,” Dagres told the Guardian. “This concept of ‘bona fide relationship’ is bogus.”

Many people agree with her. Since the Instagram account’s launch on June 30, the hashtags #GrandparentsNotTerrorists and #BannedGrandmas spread across Instagram. The campaign has caught the eye of political figures and influencers, including Sen. Bernie Sander’s wife Jane Sanders, US comedian Sarah Silverman, and Democratic congressional candidate Kia Hamadanchy.

The pictures demonstrate "who [Trump's] actually keeping out," Hamadanchy toldTIME magazine.

Read More: Trump’s Travel Ban Takes Effect Tonight: Here’s Who’s Excluded

Maman Saideh won't be in NYC for Asal's graduation from Columbia University - via @maya_1957

A post shared by Banned Grandmas (@bannedgrandmas) on

Like earlier versions of the executive order, this measure may also get fully or partially blocked by lower courts.

The state of Hawaii took the case to court last week to ask that grandparents be exempt from the ban, but a US judge ruled against the state.

Whatever the outcome, the travel ban will get a final reckoning in October when the Supreme Court decides if the executive order is legal.

By then, the ban on grandmas will be over. 

Yasmin's grandma is guilty of the wild belief that each meal must be accompanied by sherry and a cigarette

A post shared by Banned Grandmas (@bannedgrandmas) on