Passengers from affected countries in travel ban arrive at DIA

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DENVER — Travelers began arriving at Denver International Airport on Sunday from the seven countries previously impacted by President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration.

Many have spent years trying to move to the United States, and they were worried the ban would be reinstated before they arrived in Colorado.

That led to some tense moments at the airport.

“The uncertainty has been devastating for a lot of families waiting years and years for their families to join them here in the United States,” said Camila Palmer, an immigration attorney with Elkind, Alterman and Harston.

Farzaneh Kalanifar’s elderly parents have spent the past two years trying to legally immigrate to the United States from Iran.

A few weeks ago they were finally given a green light, right as Trump’s executive order was being proposed.

“It was really hard,” Kalanifar said. “Maybe as an adult I can handle it, but I was worried about my son. When I saw him I hugged him and he cried and said, ‘Mommy, I can’t believe it.’ He was happy they had a ticket and were coming.”

However, Kalanifar’s fears came true. The family’s joy was short-lived. Just minutes after learning the good news, the president signed the executive order and her parents were told to stay home.

“I saw him. He was screaming and crying loudly,” she said, referring to her 10 year-old son. “He went upstairs and shut the door and that was the hardest part for me as a mom.”

That sadness then turned back to joy late last week when a federal judge halted the ban.

On Sunday afternoon, Kalanifar’s parents finally arrived in Denver. It was the first time Kalanifar’s mother had seen her 20 month-old grandson.

“I don’t know how to explain how I feel,” Kalanifar said. “We’ve been waiting for this moment for years.”

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