Friday, December 14, 2012

Iranian Denied Entry for Cancer Treatment

From ProPublica:

ProPublica's Cora Currier reports the U.S. has denied Iranian sociologist Dr. Rahmatollah Sedigh Sarvestani permission to come here from Iran in order to get potentially live-saving medical treatment for prostate cancer and a pelvic tumor. 

"His wife and several children live in the U.S., and the family had applied for humanitarian parole on his behalf - a temporary travel permit granted in extraordinary circumstances," writes Currier.  The parole is discretionary, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) did not provide an explanation for the denial (nor is it required to).  Last March, Sarvestani was denied a visa on the basis of "espionage or sabotage," but it's almost impossible to refute the charges since the allegations are unknown.

Currier adds, "Sarvestani's family supposes the charges date back to his student days, but it is impossible to say what more recent information the U.S. may have. Sarvestani says that he received no indication of the security concerns from his consular office when his initial application was approved or during the years of waiting."

Sarvestani told Currier he is in constant pain, has trouble sleeping and has fallen in the street several times.  His family is considering his treatment options, but because some of Sarvestani's children are U.S. citizens, his lawyer believes it might be possible to get standing in federal court.  "In such cases, the government can be compelled to show that it had a 'facially legitimate' reason to deny the visa - something beyond just citing the category under which it was denied."

Read the full story here.  We hope you'll take a look and share it with your readers.

Best,

Mike Webb
ProPublica

kbh

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