It’s back to the books for Iranian-born Vahideh Rasekhi, a doctoral student who’s “grateful” for her return to Stony Brook University after being detained at Kennedy Airport for more than a day under the Trump administration’s order barring non-U.S. citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries.
“I had recently traveled to Iran to visit my family and it was such a blessing to be able to visit with them again,” Rasekhi, the president of the campus’ Graduate Student Organization, said in a statement Tuesday.
“I am now requesting that you honor my privacy while I return to my dissertation research,” she said in the brief statement.
Iran is one of the seven countries.
The sixth-year doctoral student in the linguistics department declined to be interviewed, but issued the statement through the university.
She offered her “sincerest thanks and appreciation” to friends, supporters, elected officials, university officials, and the host of attorneys and groups that helped get her and other detainees released from Kennedy Airport Sunday.
President Donald Trump late Friday imposed the travel ban, which White House officials called “extreme vetting” to prevent the entry of terrorists. Critics have labeled the move unconstitutional and discriminatory, and several legal challenges have been mounted.
In her statement, Rasekhi said she came to this nation as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of California, Santa Barbara, then attended California State University in Fresno, where she got her master’s in linguistics. Seven years ago, she arrived at Stony Brook University.
Once she was released, Rasekhi said outside Kennedy’s Terminal 4 that she had been “super scared” that she would eventually be deported.
Several other Long Islanders, including people with permanent resident status, are stuck abroad due to Trump’s executive order.