New York Post: A Fulbright Scholar from Long Island spent more than 25 hours detained at JFK Airport — and was put on a plane twice under threat of being deported back to Iran — before finally being released Sunday.
Stony Brook University linguistics student Vahideh Rasekhi was just one of scores of people across the country targeted by President Trump’s ban on immigrants from seven Muslim countries.
At JFK alone, there were 48 people detained as of Sunday, with 30 eventually freed and two deported, said lawyers at the airport. Sixteen people were still being held.
“I’m exhausted,’’ said Rasekhi, who has lived in the US for about 12 years and was returning from visiting her family in Iran, after being released.
“It’s so embarrassing.’’
A noted Syrian musician who lives in Brooklyn and recently toured with cellist Yo-Yo-Ma said he is now worried about trying to return home to the US.
Kinan Azmeh, a clarinet player who received a green card three years ago for demonstrating “extraordinary” abilities in science, business or art, said his tour is set to end in Beirut this week.
“I have my apartment [in Brooklyn]. You know, 16 years is not a short time, you accumulate lots of stuff. But what is not replaceable is all the friends who are incredibly supportive,” the 40-year-old told AP.
The Iraqi mother of an active-duty US serviceman had her own horror story: She was held at Kennedy for 30 hours over the weekend before being released.
Her son “was sleeping at the airport waiting for her to be freed,’’ said his lawyer Kayla Green, who went to the airport to represent detainees pro bono.
US Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn), who was at the airport meeting with federal officials and lawyers representing the detainees, said the unidentified woman has a legal visa to be here.
“The visa was signed off on by the government,” he said. There was “no reason for her to be detained.”
She was supposed to travel to the US two weeks ago — but had to postpone the trip because her husband died.
“They were both supposed to come, and then [the solider’s] father unfortunately passed,’’ Green said. “When [his mom] arrived was exactly when the order was enacted.” >>>