Harvard Law School’s Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program filed a lawsuit against the federal government on April 27, alleging that a new Harvard Medical School scholar was unlawfully denied the entry into the United States.
In addition to the lawsuit — which named U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas among the defendants — the Clinical Immigration and Refugee Program filed a complaint to the Department of Homeland Security. Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.
Iranian-born Maryam Shamloo, a Canadian citizen, made her first attempt to enter the United States on April 2, 2021 to begin her fellowship at Harvard Medical School on May 1. A diabetes researcher, Shamloo applied to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in July 2020 and was accepted for the two-year position from a pool of 200 applicants.
According to a press release, his attempt to enter the United States in 2021 was marked by “discriminatory and degrading treatment” by Customs and Border Control, which the lawsuit said denied entry to Shamloo. and her husband “because they were both born in Iran”.
“Ultimately, the family was denied entry due to baseless accusations that they intended to reside permanently in the United States when in fact their entire lives, including their home, property and employment, is in Canada,” the press release read.
On April 18, 2021, Shamloo attempted to enter the United States a second time without her husband and children, where she was again denied entry.
Canadian citizens are generally not required to obtain a visa to visit or study in the United States, but customs officials told Shamloo to “apply for a visa like all Iranians must do,” according to the complaint. Agents also reportedly interrogated Shamloo about her Iranian origins, asking if she had been trained as a spy and demanding that she read a document in Arabic – a language she does not speak.
Despite applying for a visa after being denied entry, Shamloo has yet to receive one, although the time the US considers an acceptable waiting period of 180 days has passed. since a long time. His visa is in an “indefinite state of administrative processing at the U.S. consulate in Calgary, Canada,” the lawsuit says.
The law school clinic called on the federal government to provide Shamloo with a visa as soon as possible.
The Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties did not immediately respond to the comments.