An Iranian doctor traveling to work with Boston Children’s Hospital has been detained at Logan Airport, the hospital announced on Tuesday.
Boston Children’s said Dr. Mohsen Dehnavi is a visiting cancer research scholar with a J-1 visa, a nonimmigrant visa issued to research scholars, professors and those pursuing work- and study-based exchange programs.
Dehnavi has been detained while traveling with his wife and three children. They are scheduled to be sent back to Iran later on Tuesday, according to the hospital.
“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 US,” Boston Children’s said in a statement. “The hospital is committed to doing its utmost to support Dr. Dehnavi and his family.”
The Supreme Court recently ruled that the Trump administration could partially enforce an executive order banning people from several majority Muslim countries, also known as the travel ban or the Muslim ban. Iran is one of the countries on that list.
The Supreme Court’s version of the travel ban said that non-U.S. citizens seeking entry from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen will still be allowed to enter the country if they have family here, work here or go to school here. Those looking for travel visas or refuge will be barred from entering the U.S.
However, a spokesperson for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement to the Boston Globe that the government can deny entry into the U.S. for many reasons, from health-related grounds to security to immigration violations.
“All travelers arriving to the United States must possess valid travel documents; however, it is important to note that issuance of a visa or a visa waiver does not guarantee entry to the United States,” the statement continued. “A [customs] officer at the port of entry will conduct an inspection to determine if the individual is eligible for admission under US immigration law.”
The ACLU of Massachusetts said that it is aware of reports from Logan Airport about “possible violations of the Supreme Court’s order on the Muslim ban.”