Students Stranded Overseas Due to Immigration Ban

A photo of an Immigration Ban protest taking place at an airport.

Photo courtesy of Kenneth Lu at Flickr Creative Commons.

Despite what whether you agree with the immigration ban or not, I think we can all agree that it was never intended to block college students from re-entering the U.S. But that’s precisely what happened. Dozens of international students found themselves stranded overseas when the ban was signed into law. They’re being treated like criminals, even though their only crime was visiting loved ones from their native country.

Saira Rafiee found herself in this situation. She is a Ph.D. student studying political science at City University of New York. Rafiee recently took a trip to Iran to visit family. When she tried to return to the U.S., she ended up getting detained by travel officials. After a near 18-hour ordeal, she was sent back to Iran.

Rafiee was understandably devastated. Unfortunately, there are several others just like her who are stuck in the same predicament.

“My story isn’t as painful and terrifying as many other stories I have heard these days,” Rafiee wrote in a Facebook post. “I know an Iranian student in the U.S., who was planning to go back to Iran to see her sister who has cancer probably for the last time, but had to cancel her trip because of this order.”

It’s stories like these that have several influential political figures (including those within the GOP) questioning whether the immigration ban is right. Mitch Daniels, President of Purdue University and former Republican Governor of Indiana, is just one of many conservatives who disagree with the new policy. He described it as “a bad idea, poorly implemented” and advises Trump to “promptly revoke and rethink it.”

But the Trump administration has shown no signs of repealing the new order. It’s looking like it’s going to be a long 90 days before students and immigrants can travel to the U.S. without being discriminated against.


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