Dr. Mohsen Dehnavi, a cancer researcher, has been detained by CBP officials at BOS and is due to be deported back to Iran.
An Iranian academic and his young family have been detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at Boston’s Logan International Airport (BOS) and are to be deported from the country, the Washington Post reports. Both officials from CBP as well as representatives from the National Iranian American Council, a non-profit organization, have confirmed that Dr. Mohsen Dehnavi, a cancer researcher who arrived in the country earlier this week to begin research at Boston Children’s Hospital, is due to be expelled.
Dr. Dehnavi’s ordeal comes two weeks after the Trump administration received the go-ahead to enforce an adapted version of its controversial travel ban, which will see citizens from Iran as well as a handful of other Muslim-majority nations barred from the country.
The CBP did not comment on the specifics of Dr. Dehnavi’s case. In a statement, agency spokesperson Stephanie Malin said, “This individual was deemed inadmissible to the U.S. based on information discovered during the CBP inspection. As is customary with individuals denied entry to the U.S., they will depart on the next scheduled flight.”
However, authorities have said that Dr. Dehnavi’s deportation is not related to the travel ban. Officials at Boston’s Children’s Hospital have asked for his release and have provided legal aid to the family.
Rob Graham, the hospital’s spokesperson, told the paper by e-mail that, “Dr. Dehnavi is a visiting research scholar on a J-1 visa coming to Boston Children’s with his wife and three children. Boston Children’s hopes that this situation will be quickly resolved and Dr. Dehnavi and his family will be released and allowed to enter the US.”
The plight of Dr. Dehnavi was raised to the National Iranian American Council via Mohammad Rashidian, a friend who had been waiting at BOS to pick up the arriving family. Trita Parsi, president of the council, was told by Rashidian that there is an unspecified problem with Dr. Dehnavi’s documentation.
Speaking of the situation, Parsi queried this explanation, saying, “How could he get this far and be denied here? They’re not being forthcoming.”