Memphis optometry student impacted by immigration order

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A Memphis woman's family is changing its plans in light of President Trump's executive order.

Chawan Rasheed was three years old when she and her parents left Iraq as refugees. They arrived in the U.S. in 1993.

“The Kurdish genocide was going on at that time,” Rasheed said.

Her parents worked 12-hour days as electronic technicians.

She went to school, learned English and had to step in to help with things like bills and hospital trips.

“When you’re a refugee, if you have kids, they have to be the parents in the family,” she said.

She’s now a student at the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis.

But the president’s executive order signed on Friday hit her family in a way she didn’t expect.

"He was planning on hopefully visiting his mother because she’s very ill. He wanted to see her one last time," she said.

She said they’re worried; even though he’s a naturalized U.S. citizen, he was born in Iraq. That’s one of the seven countries on the ban list.

“I think we’re going to hold off on seeing his mother which is very sad,” she said.

She knew he may be losing the only chance he has to see her grandmother.

She also did not think Iraq should be o nthe list.

"I understand the safety of this country but I think that’s also stereotyping. A majority of the people from there are fine. Everyone I talk to loves the United States," She said.

And in today’s political climate, she asked for compassion.

“I don’t think people realize what refugees have to go through. You're basically leaving everything, everyone you have, sometimes people dead in your family, coming somewhere in a hostile environment where you're not appreciated,” she said.

Rasheed's school, the Southern College of Optometry released the following statement to WREG:

"SCO is supportive of all its students, regardless of their country of origin. We are currently working to identify and assist any members of our campus community who are impacted by the travel ban by providing information and guidance to the appropriate service agencies and organizations."

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