A Clemson graduate who can’t return to her Upstate home because of President Trump’s travel ban has had her visa to enter the country revoked.
Nazanin Zinouri, an Iranian citizen who has lived in the United States for seven years, is among thousands of U.S. residents holding non-permanent resident visas who have had their documents canceled. The documents were canceled as part of a travel ban targeting seven Muslim-majority Middle Eastern nations.
As many as 100,000 visa holders were reported affected, the Justice Department said in response to a lawsuit brought by two Yemeni men who had their U.S. resident visas confiscated after they landed at a Washington, D.C., airport last Saturday, as reported by the Washington Post. The men then were put on a flight to Ethiopia.
The State Department revised that number down to 60,000 later Friday, saying the higher figure, mentioned in court, included diplomatic and other visas that were exempted from the travel ban.
A flurry of court rulings, issued after Trump signed the executive order, has exempted green card holders from the travel ban. While not U.S. citizens, those foreign nationals have a permanent right to remain in – and re-enter – the United States.
But those with non-permanent visas — which allow someone to live, work and study in the U.S. temporarily, including Zinouri – were not so lucky.
Zinouri graduated with a doctorate in industrial engineering from Clemson University in 2016.
She was working for an Upstate technology firm when she took an ill-timed trip home to Iran to visit family in Tehran in January. Trump ordered a 90-day suspension of immigration and travel from Iran while Zinouri was away, and she was taken off her flight in Dubai while attempting to return to South Carolina.
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham’s office, which has been working to get Zinouri back into the country, confirmed Zinouri was among the thousands whose visas have been revoked by Trump’s order. A Graham spokesman said Friday the Upstate Republican’s office is continuing to explore options to allow Zinouri to return to the United States.