It’s morning on the East Coast, but it’s late afternoon in Iran, and Mohsen Hosseini is en route to the airport for a flight to the United States — or so he hopes.
Over the weekend, even with a federal judge’s order in hand saying valid visa holders, like himself, from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen were allowed on planes landing at Logan in Boston, it didn’t work. The airline said it knew nothing about the document and was following President Trump’s immigration order.
When Hosseini gets to Imam Khomeini International airport Monday, with that judge’s order in hand, he’s not going to be too selective about the flight itself.
“I’ll try all of the airlines,” he told us in a phone interview Sunday night. “It’s not important what airlines.”
If an airline will issue him a boarding pass, he’ll buy a ticket on the spot.
The delay did give Hosseini a few more hours with his new wife. The PhD student left his research in Amherst over the school break to get married. His wife works in a biomedical lab in Iran. She was scheduled for a visa interview with U.S. officials. That was canceled Friday.
Hosseini said getting his wife here, or at least seeing her again soon, “is my second problem.”
“Because we should treat one problem first and then to the second problem,” he said.
Even during what must be a personal crisis of sorts, Hosseini sounds like an engineer just trying to solve an issue.
“We talk with each other, and if she cannot come with me,” he said, “she [will] wait for me,” until his studies are done.
Hosseini’s F1 student visa is good until September 2018. But he does have about 3-and-a-half years of work ahead of him. He’s nervous, he said, about what could happen at the airport Monday.
“I dont’ know what will happen for me, at all,” he said. “I [may] come back to the United States, or not. What should I do if I cannot?”
His main reason for coming to the U.S., Hosseini said, is the quality of education. With an American degree, he can land a job as faculty at a university in Iran.
It’s also the quality of life here. It’s better than other countries. At least until now, he said.