RNA - Three more Iranian students attending New England colleges have filed civil rights complaints with the US Department of Homeland Security, stating that they were mistreated and illegally denied entry into the country.
Pegah Karimi said in her complaint filed earlier this month that she was denied entry at Boston’s Logan International Airport in August despite having a student visa to attend graduate school at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester.
Mohammad Moradi said in his separate complaint filed this month that he had a student visa to pursue a doctorate degree at Northeastern in Boston, adding that he was denied entry in October as he returned from a conference in Paris, where he presented an academic paper.
Moradi noted that officials denied him entry even though he’d been admitted to the US three times prior that year, including after two brief trips to Canada to visit relatives.
Behzad Rezaei has also stated in his complaint that he had a student visa to pursue a doctorate degree at Worcester Polytechnic Institute but was denied entry in August.
Homeland Security spokespeople didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.
Ali Rahnama, legislative counsel for the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans, has claimed that at least 17 Iranian students have been deported from the US since August.
During interviews with CNN, several deported students and their attorneys detailed their experiences at US airports, describing what they said were hours of questioning that left them feeling exhausted and confused.
It's not only Iranians who've been affected. Some students from other countries have also been turned back in recent months, Hartle stated, such as a group of Chinese students who were heading to Arizona State University in September. US-China relations have worsened during Trump's presidency over several issues, including Iran's Nuclear Deal which Washington, in May 2018, announced its withdrawal from, trade realation, and Uighur Muslims.
Tensions around Iran have been rising since President Donald Trump torpedoed the landmark 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed sweeping sanctions targeting large swathes of Iran’s economy.
The conflict between Washington and Tehran hit record highs after an intruding American spy drone was shot down by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in Iranian sky.
The latest conflict which concerned several leaders in the Middle East and whole the world came in early January, when the US assassinated IRGC Qods Force Commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad. The Pentagon's operation brought the United States and Iran to the brink of war, with Tehran retaliating by launching missiles at military bases in Iraq housing American troops, wounding more than 100 American military servicemen and warning of further strikes against the Unted States. Iranian officials have branded the assassination an “act of international terrorism”.