An Iranian cancer researcher was held at a Boston airport and denied entry to the United States along with his wife and three children.
Dr. Mohsen Dehnavi, 32, and his family were detained on Tuesday at Logan International Airport after traveling to Boston on a visiting work visa, according to the Boston Globe. The family was detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for over 24 hours before being sent back to Iran.
Dehnavi and his family came over on a J-1 Visa, which, if approved, allows the holder to participate in an exchange visitor program in the United States.
The decision was made only two weeks after the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump Administration’s executive order banning specific people from six Muslim-Majority countries could be partially enforced. Though the CBP said the detention and their return were unrelated to the travel ban.
“This individual was deemed inadmissible to the US based on information discovered during the [customs] inspection for reasons unrelated to the Executive Order,” said the CBP.
They further stated that for an applicant to be admissible to the US, they must pass criteria ranging from “health-related grounds” to “labor certification.” During the course of the CBP’s inspection, Dehvani and his family didn’t meet the criteria required to be admitted into the country.
The Boston Children’s Hospital, where Dehvani was set to visit as a research scholar, released a statement which mentioned their hope that whatever problem Dehvani and his family were having would be resolved.
Another Boston Hospital researcher and friend of Dehvani went on the record to say that he didn’t understand the what the actual “source of the problem” was, according to STAT. He was told that the family would be returning to Iran to fill out additional paperwork.
Susan Church, the chair of the New England chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, further explained that the family’s non-admittance wasn’t travel ban related. Though she did say that it is probably over “something much more stupid than that,” according to Reuters. Opponents of the President’s executive order have expressed their concerns with it violating the U.S. Constitution’s free expression of religion.
Dehvani has not commented on the situation that occurred, but his brother had reportedly told Mehr news agency, a semi-official publication, that the problem had to do with his academic paperwork, which the Guardian reported.
[Featured Image by Elise Amendola/AP Photo]