Stas Gayshan, of Wayland, Massachusetts, is expressing anger and shock over President Trump’s executive order temporarily banning travel from seven majority-Muslim nations and halting a Syrian refugee program, among other measures.
I’m thrilled by the people who think this is an affront to American values, and I’m very saddened by the people who have been quiet. I’m going to look to figure out what’s keeping them that way.
Gayshan, who is managing director of the Cambridge Innovation Center, immigrated to the U.S with his family in 1992, when he was just ten years old, as a refugee from Uzbekistan.
"It’s unbelievable that a country that has opened its doors to so many people in the past would all of a sudden shut the doors and leave so many people stranded all over the world," he told WGBH News' "Morning Edition" on Thursday.
“I’m thrilled by the people who think this is an affront to American values, and I’m very saddened by the people who have been quiet. I’m going to look to figure out what’s keeping them that way.”
Gayshan says 1992 was a rough time in the former Soviet Union. He and his family were originally Ukranian Jewish refugees from the Nazis during World War II, he says. They sought safety in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan in the 1940s. When tensions flared up again in the 1990s, he and his family came to the U.S. and were welcomed with open arms.
If President Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban was in effect when Gayshan immigrated to the U.S., he says they would never have been able to come into the country because they only had 94 days to leave Uzbekistan from the time their documents were granted, according to Gayshan.
Uzbekistan is not on the list of seven countries affected by the current travel ban.
To listen to the entire interview with Stas Gayshan and WGBH News' Bob Seay, click on the audio file above.