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The victim –

  • Name: Alaa Alsaabee
  • Country of Citizenship: Syria
  • Gender: Male
  • Education: graduated from Near East University (located in North Cyprus)


His Dream –

To earn a master’s degree in engineering at Wayne State University, located in Detroit, Michigan

What Happened?

He had an interview scheduled for his student visa in late January.   However, the interview was canceled after President Donald Trump’s Jan. 27 executive order.  This order temporarily banned entry of citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Syria.

After massive protests and court rulings that blocked the executive order, Alsaabee landed a student visa and was on a plane to Detroit in February this year. “But after a 28-hour journey, he was detained in Washington for 18 hours and then sent back to Cyprus, where he had been studying at Near East University.

Victimized by U.S. Visa Officials’ Mistake

According to the U.S. immigration regulations, a visa for an international student can be issued 30 days or less from the start of an applicant’s academic program.

Alsaabee was issued a visa in February, but his program at Wayne State in graduate engineering doesn’t start until May 8.

That is to say that Alsaabee arrived the United States too early for his degree program.  If his program starts May 8, the earliest date he can enter the U.S. is April 8.

About Wayne State University

International students make up 7 percent of Wayne State’s 27,000 students. While applicants are down, “it’s too soon to link the drop to the travel ban,” said Ahmad Ezzeddine, associate vice president for educational outreach and international programs.  (source: The Detroit News)

What’s Next for the Student?

He will come back to the U.S. in April and will study at Wayne State University.

Click HERE to read more report on Alsaabee in an article entitled “Travel ban impacts students, university experience,” published by The Detroit News.