The Student News Site of Clemson University

The Tiger

The Tiger

The Tiger

Senator Graham working to assist Clemson grad who was detained at Dubai airport

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is involved in assisting Ms. Zinouri; he is not. The joint statement released with Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) mentioned in the article pertains solely to the Immigration Executive Order. The full statement can be read here.


Clemson University Ph.D graduate Nazanin Zinouri said she was detained Saturday at Dubai International Airport after trying to leave to return to the U.S.


Sunday evening, Sen. Graham, R-SC, tweeted that he’d made contact with Zinouri and was working to resolve her situation.

Zinouri’s situation is the result of an executive order signed by President Trump on Friday suspending immigration from seven countries (Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen) for 90 days. On Saturday evening, a federal judge in New York blocked part of the executive order, ruling that authorities could not remove individuals who had arrived in US airports after the order had been issued. The judge did not rule on the constitutionality of President Trump’s executive order.


Zinouri said in an email to the Greenville News that the ruling would not apply to her.


“Those trapped in the airports are free now. Bad news is no airline will board any Iranian on any plane heading to the U.S. So there’s still no way for me to return,” Zinouri wrote.


In a joint statement issued with Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, Graham said “it is clear from the confusion at our airports across the nation that President Trump’s executive order was not properly vetted.”


“This executive order sends a signal, intended or not, that America does not want Muslims coming into our country,” the statement said. “That is why we fear this executive order may do more to help terrorist recruitment than improve our security.”


Trump replied to Sens. Graham and McCain in a series of tweets.

Sen. Tim Scott, R-SC, has also been in contact with Zinouri.



Sen. Scott and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FL, also released a joint statement regarding President Trump’s Executive Order.



“After reviewing the recent Executive Orders, it is clear to us that some of what is being said and reported about the scope and implications of these measures is misleading. However, it is also clear that the manner in which these measures were crafted and implemented have greatly contributed to the confusion, anxiety and uncertainty of the last few days,” they said. 


On Saturday, Zinouri posted on Facebook about the ordeal. The post has received over 169,000 shares and 153,000 reactions as of Jan. 29.


“After waiting in the line to get my documents checked and after 40 minutes of questions and answers, I boarded the plane to Washington, only to have two TSA officers getting in and ask me to disembark the plane!!! Yes after almost 7 years of living the the United States, I got deported!!! [sic],” Zinouri wrote.
Zinouri’s employer has started a fund to help with her legal expenses. You can find it here.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Tiger

Your donation will support the student journalists of Clemson University . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Tiger

Comments (0)

All The Tiger Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *