Iranian Americans feel stuck, confused, afraid of travel ban

Supporters cheer as an Iranian citizen with a valid U.S. visa arrives at Los Angeles International Airport Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017. An Iranian man turned away from Los Angeles International Airport under President Donald Trump’s executive order barring people from seven Muslim-majority nations has arrived back in the U.S. under a federal judge’s order. A federal judge on Sunday ordered U.S. authorities bring him back. He was among hundreds detained or turned away from airports after the ban was implemented. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

IRVINE, Calif. (AP) — The travel ban on refugees and citizens of seven countries has rattled many immigrant families, but its effects are perhaps most widespread among the Iranian-American community.

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates there are nearly 370,000 Iranian immigrants living in the United States.

And while Tehran and Washington have a lengthy history of friction, personal ties between residents of the two countries have held strong.

Many Iranian Americans travel back to visit family or bring aging parents to join them in the U.S.

Iranian American supermarket supervisor Alan Tahmasebi says he and his wife have spent more than $7,000 on green card applications for their parents.

A federal judge has temporarily blocked the ban following a lawsuit by Washington state and Minnesota that said Trump’s order is causing significant harm to residents and effectively mandates discrimination.

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