Barred From U.S. Under Trump, Muslims Exult in Biden’s Open Door


Of 45,000 Iranians who applied for visa waivers between January 2017 and July 2020, only 7,000 were granted visas, according to the State Department. “The impact was across the board — financially, emotionally, educationally, professionally, romantically,” said Reza Mazaheri, a New York-based immigration attorney who represents many Iranians.

For others, the ban is a closed, tragic chapter.

Mohamed Abdelrahman, a Libyan businessman, thought he hit the jackpot in 2017 when he won a green card lottery, offering an escape route from a country that was plunging deep into chaos, said his nephew, Mohamed Al-Sheikh.

But the Trump ban forced Mr. Abdelrahman to delay and, before he could leave Libya, he suffered a stroke and died.

If there had been no ban, “his life might have been completely different,” said Mr. al-Sheikh, 34, speaking by phone from Tripoli. “He just needed a stable place to live for the rest of his life.”

Reporting was contributed by Farnaz Fassihi from New York; Vivian Yee from Cairo; Ben Hubbard and Hwaida Saad from Beirut, Lebanon; Abdi Latif Dahir from Nairobi, Kenya; Ruth MacLean from Dakar, Senegal; Mohammed Abdusamee from Tripoli, Libya; Hannah Beech from Bangkok; and Saw Nang from Yangon, Myanmar.


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