‘Banned Grandmas’ Are Taking Over Instagram to Challenge Trump
The Instagram account reveals the faces of those truly affected by the revised travel ban.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.