Roya Arabloodariche was home visiting her family in Iran and was scheduled to return to New York on Sunday to rejoin her husband at Columbia University, where he is getting his PhD. But when the 29-year-old woman arrived Saturday at Iran’s Isfahan International Airport, Turkish Airlines refused to issue her a boarding passes.
“I talked to the agents in the office, and they told me I can’t take the plane because they have received an email regarding this,” she said from her parent’s home in Esfahan. “I asked them to show me the message, but they said it is a secret and they are not allowed.”
Arabloodariche was one of many people around the world whose lives were thrown into turmoil this weekend by President Trump’s executive order banning refugees, migrants and others from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States.
She had been in the United States for two years on a visa granted because she is a dependent of her husband, Mohammadreza Bolandnazar.
“I expected something crazy to happen,” Bolandnazar said Sunday from New York City. “But not this crazy. There is no hope that the ban will end in 90 days. As long as Trump is president, there is no hope.”
He said his wife will remain with her parents, regardless of what happens with the ban. And he is contemplating joining her there, no matter what that means for his graduate studies. The couple has been married five years.
“I will return to Iran. I will quit my program. I don’t care anymore,” he said. “My priority is my family. My wife and my parents. At the very end is my education.”
Bolandnazar, 29, had returned to New York last week after visiting family for the holidays in Iran. But his wife extended her stay. She is an electrical engineer who was hoping to get a green card so she could work in the United States.
“If she started working, she would not be able to go home for long visits, so we thought she should stay longer,” he said. “We had hired an attorney to change the status of the visa, but there is no point anymore.”