Three Iranian couples recount heartbreak of Trump’s travel ban

Al-Monitor- Happy endings are seeming harder to find with President Donald Trump in office, but one potentially heartbreaking story did wind up having a good outcome at Boston’s Logan International Airport. When Poorya Kamali, a 28-year-old studying for a doctorate in chemistry, learned of Trump’s Jan. 27 executive order to ban the entry of citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, his wife, Fatemeh Safaee, had begun her trip back to the United States from their native Iran. Safaee is a holder of an F-2 visa, which allows spouses of student visa holders to enter the United States. Kamali and Safaee had spent Christmas break in Iran with family; he had returned earlier to begin his semester at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.

“Airport authorities denied her transit in Frankfurt [Germany],” Kamali told Al-Monitor. “They didn’t let her board the flight to Chicago. They sent her back to Iran.”

Needless to say, Kamali was devastated. When he initially shared his story, he wasn’t sure he was going to see his wife anytime soon. He said, “I’ve thought about quitting my studies and leaving this country. I can’t be here without her.”

Then two federal judges in Massachusetts, Judge Allison Burroughs and Magistrate Judge Judith Dein, imposed a seven-day restraining order on the entry ban. Subsequently, German airliner Lufthansa issued an announcement allowing all travelers with passports from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen with valid travel documents to board flights to Boston. Kamali saw the opening and instantly booked a ticket for Safaee to fly from Tehran to Boston via Munich. Then he drove for 17 hours from Lexington to Boston to reunite with his wife.
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