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Nasim Pedrad Opens Up About Her Immigrant Experience, Calls the Travel Ban “Un-American”

Nasim Pedrad was a guest on Conan recently, where she opened up about her immigrant experience and called President Trump’s travel ban “misguided” and “un-American.”

Pedrad, who was the first female Middle Eastern cast member of SNL, was born in Iran and grew up in Irvine, California. Although her father had been able to go straight to America, Pedrad and her mother went to Germany to wait for their U.S. visas. As a result, the actress says, she didn’t meet her father until she was three years old at the airport. When looking at the photo together, she jokes, “He’s trying to hug me and I’m, like, ‘You’re a stranger! Please step away!” As Conan points out, there’s a lot that those born in the United States can take for granted when you’re “immersed in the culture from day one.”

When Conan says she probably has strong feelings about what’s happening now, Pedrad says, “It’s obviously a very complicated matter, but I personally feel like it’s an executive order that’s misguided and un-American and a lot of people would argue, not the right way to protect our country.” The New Girl actress goes on to talk about how she and her siblings wanted to be American and imitated Sylvester Stallone in Rocky, and how she appreciated her Iranian background more as she got older.

Pedrad’s story is one many immigrants might be familiar with, as the process of coming to the United States often means waiting and living separate from parents, siblings, and other relatives until they can arrive. While the process has never been perfect, Trump’s “Travel Ban” (or, more accurately, a Muslim ban), his revised executive order, and policies that could separate mothers and children are hurting Americans more than they are helping them. Stories of immigrants like Pedrad and her family give a look into the challenges many immigrants already face, and how these policies are only going to make things more devastating for people who are fleeing violence or looking for a better life.

(featured image via screencap)

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