Wichita State student from Iran reacts to travel ban decision

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – For many, the holidays are a time to enjoy with family and friends.

But one group of people may not have that option after a Supreme Court ruling.

The court is allowing complete enforcement of President Trump’s travel restrictions involving eight countries: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Somalia and Yemen.

Farshad Mashhadi is a computer science Ph.D student at Wichita State. He moved here from Iran on a student visa last year.

And, he’s one of several students on campus, affected by the most recent travel ban.

“Every country has the right to protect its people from any kind of dangers,” said Mashhadi. “And, it’s not limited to America. But, what I know is that mostly the students are getting affected by these policies.”

Mashhadi has a single-entry visa, which means if he leaves to visit his family and tries to come back to the U.S, he would need to apply for another visa.

“Yeah, obviously it’s hard for me to handle that,” he said. “But, I mean I don’t have any other options. I’ve worked for this opportunity to come here. The risk is too high.”

Immigration attorney Chris O’Hara says under the travel ban, guidelines are different for each of the eight countries involved and the status of each person.

“It affects based on what status someone has here in the United States or the permission they’ve been able to enter the United States with, if they leave if they’re in the country, then it could affect their ability to come back,” he said.

For that reason, Mashhadi says he may not see his family in Iran for another four or five years, while he works on finishing school.

“My sister was coming here last year with her husband,” he said. “It was right after the first travel ban that she got her visa rejected.”

A Wichita State spokesperson says there are 51 students at the university who could be affected by the travel ban.  38 are from Iran.


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