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Filtering by Tag: #travelban


Caroline Slusarczyk

ITN Productions

ITN Productions

A Syrian refugee, Hala Kamil, who’s family was featured in an Oscar-nominated short plans to attend the awards ceremony to spread a message about the Syrian refugees’ plight.  The short documentary film, “Watani: My Homeland,” follows Kamil and her four children as they escape from Aleppo after her husband, Abu Ali Slaibeh, was captured by Islamic State militants in 2013.  The film, directed by Marcel Mettelsiefen, documents the family’s journey to a Turkish refugee camp and later, Germany.

Kamil was originally unable to attend the Oscars ceremony due to Donald Trump’s travel ban, which is currently halted.  Upon hearing the news that she can now go, Kamil wrote a statement in response.   Kamil stated: “When I heard that I might have the opportunity of attending the Oscars to represent ‘Watani: My Homeland,’ I felt incredibly proud and happy but bittersweet.”  Kamil said she and her husband used to enjoy the Academy Awards together: “Abu Ali and I would stay up late every year to watch the Oscars live on television.  Sipping coffee together as we always did, we’d try to recall the names of all the famous actors and actresses as they graced the red carpet, in complete awe of this huge event.”

Kamil explained that she wants to use her time at the Oscars to help spread a message throughout the world about refugees, especially from Syria.  Kamil wrote:  “I want to tell the world about a small country called Syria, a country that has been burnt alive, its people torn up from the soil they once thrived on.  All this destruction and displacement needs the concerted effort of the whole world working together, to help these people back to their roots, the roots they hold so dear.  We need people to understand that we are not terrorists despite what the media and the politicians might say, all we are is human.”

You can read Kamil’s full statement here, and watch the moving trailer for “Watani: My Homeland” below.


Ya Know You Wanna!


Caroline Slusarczyk

Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images

Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images

On Thursday, a federal appeals court ruled against reinstating Donald Trump’s immigration ban.  The panel of three California-based judges refused to lift the block from a previous lower court ruling.  Trump’s executive order, signed in January, barred Syrian refugees and immigrants from the Muslim-majority countries of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the U.S.

The federal appeals court ruling did not sit well with Trump, who tweeted in response:

On Friday, Trump announced the White House will come up with new security measures next week and continue trying to lift the court's block on his order.  At a news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump said, "We will be doing something very rapidly having to do with additional security for our country.  You will be seeing that sometime next week."

Hollywood celebrities took to Twitter to share their thoughts on the court’s decision and react to Trump’s response tweet.  THE WANNA has compiled a list of celeb tweets below.

Uzo Aduba

Stephen King

Trevor Noah

Stephen Colbert

Patton Oswalt

Chrissy Teigen


Seth Rogen

Josh Gad

Michael Moore

Debra Messing


Ya Know You Wanna!


Caroline Slusarczyk



On Wednesday, the United Talent Agency announced they canceled their annual Academy Awards party to protest Trump’s travel ban.  Instead, the UTA will donate $250,000 to the American Civil Liberties Union and the International Rescue Committee, as well as host a rally to support immigration.  The rally will take place on February 24th, two days before the Oscars, to “express the creative communities' growing concern with anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States.”  The UTA said the rally will aim to combat the “potential chilling effect on the global exchange of ideas and freedom of expression.”

UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer said in a letter to agency employees: “This is a moment that demands our generosity, awareness, and restlessness.  Our world is a better place for the free exchange of artists, ideas, and creative expression.  If our nation ceases to be the place where artists the world over can come to express themselves freely, then we cease, in my opinion, to be America.”

Trump’s travel ban affected the UTA personally since they represent Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, who is nominated this year in the Best Foreign Language Film category for “The Salesman.”  Farhadi has chosen to boycott the Oscars this year in protest of Trump’s order.  When contacted by the UTA about their decision, he responded with a text saying he was “honored and in tears.”


Ya Know You Wanna!


Caroline Slusarczyk



On Wednesday, Donald Trump criticized the Federal Appeals Court judges who will decide whether to reinstate Trump’s executive order on immigration.  The three judges are Judge William Canby, Judge Richard Clifton and Judge Michelle Friedland, from the California-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Trump spoke in front of the Major Cities Chiefs Association in Washington, D.C., and said of the Federal Appeals Court: “I don’t want to call a court biased, so I won’t call it biased.  Courts seem to be so political and it would be so great for our justice system if they could read a statement and do what’s right.”

Trump also read out a section of U.S. immigration law that he felt backed his immigration order, and insisted that the President has the authority to decide who enters the country.  Trump said that even “a bad high school student” could understand the immigration language and agree to reinstate his travel ban.  Trump continued, “I think it’s sad, I think it’s a sad day.  I think our security is at risk today.  And it will be at risk until such time that we are entitled and get what we are entitled to as citizens of this country.  We want security.”

Last Friday, Trump’s travel ban, which bars refugees from entering the U.S., and stops immigration from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen was halted by US District Judge James Robart.  Trump tweeted over the weekend in response to the ruling:


Ya Know You Wanna!