Iranian cancer specialist detained at United States airport despite holding visa


Dr Mohsen Dehnavi, who was travelling with his wife and three children to MA to conduct postdoctoral research at Boston Children's Hospital, was detained at the airport and put on a return flight to Iran.

Dehnavi has been detained while traveling with his wife and three children.

Mohsen Dehnavi, his wife and three children were put on a return flight at about 9 p.m. after being detained late on Monday at Logan International Airport, the Boston Globe said, citing Stephanie Malin, a spokeswoman for US Customs and Border Patrol.

On Tuesday, the MA chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union tweeted out that it was "hearing reports from Logan Airport about possible violations of the Supreme Court's order on the Muslim ban".

The hospital said it has "limited information" about the details of Dehnavi's detention, but the news comes just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would allow a limited version of President Donald Trump's executive order banning citizens of six Muslim-majority nations from entering the country to take effect. It's not clear why Dehnavi and his family are being detained, the hospital said.

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"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 USA", hospital spokesman Rob Graham said in a statement yesterday.

"This individual was deemed inadmissible to the United States based on information discovered during the CBP inspection". Boston Children's Hospital is also providing its support and looking for ways to provide officials with evidence of Dehnavi's professional experience.

She noted that visa applicants "bear the burden of proof to establish that they are clearly eligible to enter the United States" and can be denied entry for a number of reasons, including health-related grounds, criminality and security reasons.

Advocacy groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Iranian American Council, have suggested that the Dehnavi family's detention may be in violation of the Supreme Court order. "If it is a minor paperwork issue, then something needs to be told to the family so they can resolve it".

Gregory Romanovsky, chair of the American Immigration Lawyer's Association, told NBC Boston that the detainment of the Dehnavi family shows an "overzealous enforcement" of immigration laws.