After a federal court unanimously ruled from a three judge panel that President Donald Trump’s travel ban will remain blocked, numerous people with family in the seven previously banned countries took a sigh of relief, including Black-ish actress Yara Shahidi, whose grandmother couldn’t come visit due to the unrest.
“I have family that’s already in the states, and I have family in Iran. That was my early birthday present,” Shahidi said of the most recent court ruling blocking Trump’s travel ban.
Speaking to PEOPLE at the Essence Black Women In Music event in Los Angeles Thursday night, the actress added: “Fortunately, none of my family was traveling. It did affect the fact that my joon joon [grandmother] was possibly coming. That’s kind of been halted until we assess what’s happening.”
Shahidi is half African-American and half Iranian and she identifies equally with both. “Farsi was my first language,” she said. “I grew up in Minnesota with a lot of my Iranian family, and a lot of my black family. We rotated Thanksgiving. So one Thanksgiving I’d be eating Koresht (Persian stew), the other one it’d be sweet potato pie.”
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The hardest part of all of this for the actress is that the situation remains in flux.
“What’s been so crazy about it is it’s all happening so rapidly. There hasn’t been any time to adjust to what the climate is,” Shahidi said.
“It goes from, ‘it’s happening,’ to ‘no, it’s postponed,’ to, ‘oh, it’s temporarily postponed,’ to ‘how temporary is the postponement? When are we going to get rid of it?’ So I feel like it’s just hard to adjust and keep up.”