From Iran to LA: Families Express Concern Over Trump's Immigration Actions | NBC Southern California

From Iran to LA: Families Express Concern Over Trump's Immigration Actions

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    President Donald Trump's immigration actions and travel bans are stirring up fear in the Los Angeles community known as Tehrangeles. Christine Kim reports for the NBC4 News at 11 on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017. (Published Monday, Jan. 30, 2017)

    Los Angeles has one of the largest populations of immigrants from Iran, with estimates ranging from 300,000 to 500,000 people. And for the people in LA's Persian Square, President Donald Trump's travel ban and immigration actions are stirring up fear that their families will be torn apart.

    One of those people who could be potentially affected is Aida Elyasian. Elyasian owns Shaherzad, a family-owned restaurant located in what is known as Tehrangeles. The restaurant serves cuisine typically found in Iran.

    "It's what smells like home, what reminds us every day what we came from and what we're here for," she said.

    Elyasian is now an American citizen although she grew up in Iran during the revolution. She said she feels the fear amongst the local Iranian community with Trump's travel ban.

    "There are people who are very much worried."

    Some are even putting plans to visit loved ones on Iran on hold for fear that if they leave the United States, they may not be allowed to come back.

    "It's very personal because I'm the daughter of immigrants who came from Iran," Elyasian said.

    The Matuszewski family faces a similar plight. They are worried their little ones may never be able to see their relatives abroad.

    "We are a country founded on the freedom of religion and our forefathers were fleeing persecution of their religion and now here we are as a country fighting that same threat, but within our own country."

    Through the chaos and confusion, Elyasian told NBC4 she sees America's melting pot. 

    "I'm proud to be an American, but I'm also proud of where I came from."

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