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Stony Brook student released after being detained at JFK under Trump’s refugee travel ban

Posted at 9:09 AM, Jan 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-29 15:54:39-05

QUEENS — A Stony Brook Ph.D student has been released Sunday after being detained at John F. Kennedy Airport under President Donald Trump’s executive order limiting the number of refugees entering the U.S.

Vahideh Rasekhi was released around 3 p.m. after being held at JFK for almost 24 hours, according to journalist Bahman Kalbasi, who tweeted about Rasekhi’s ordeal throughout the weekend.

Rasekhi was ordered to be deported Saturday, but Kalbasi said lawyers were able to get her plane pulled back. Rasekhi was able to exit the plane, but was held inside the airport.

The Stony Brook Graduate Student Organization released a statement Saturday night in support of Rasekhi, and condemned Trump’s executive order. Rasekhi is the student group’s president.

SUNY Board Chairman H. Carl McCall released a statement Sunday regarding supporting the thousands of international students within the system.

“SUNY leadership and university police will do all we can, within the law, to support any students, faculty, and staff affected by the Executive Order. In the meantime, we recommend suspending travel plans to the countries included, and urge individuals affected to keep in contact with their campus Office of International Student and Scholar Services,” the statement read.

Kalbasi tweeted Saturday evening that Rasekhi was reportedly going to be deported to Istanbul, despite the stay order granted by a Brooklyn federal judge that prevented deportation of those detained at airports across the U.S. after Trump’s order kicked in Friday.

Kalbasi tweeted again Sunday morning and said although Rasekhi wasn’t deported to Istanbul, she was being held at JFK.

According to the Stony Brook Statesman, Rasekhi spent winter break in Iran before returning to the U.S. Saturday. She is a Ph.D student in the Stony Brook Department of Linguistics.