I’m an asylee from Iran. My father passed away right around the time the travel ban was issued. I hadn’t seen my father for 7 years and I didn’t get to say goodbye. My refugee travel documents would be expired in 2 months, so no country accepted to issue a visa for me. A refugee travel document is valid for a year but most countries require a passport to be valid for at least 6 months after the date of the intended travel. So every 6 months, I need to renew the damn document and wait four months for it to come. There was the ban, so the USCIS did not issue me a travel document to see my grieving family until weeks later. It took a couple of days for refugees to be exempted from the ban, my mom begged me not to leave the US. I guess after losing a husband, she could not bear losing a daughter. A year has passed but I’m still crushed by guilt. Before losing his speech, my father told me he would sit with me on the terrace and talk politics “when I returned home.” My dad is dead and I do not know where is home anymore.

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Anahita and her father

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