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FEATURING NEGIN OWLIAEI – Earlier this week a 27-year old Iranian student named Alireza Yazdani arrived at Detroit Metro Airport, ready to continue his PhD at Michigan State University. But upon his arrival Customs and Border Patrol authorities questioned him. The interrogation lasted six hours after which a weary Yazdani simply gave up and allowed authorities to send him back home. He is one of dozens of documented cases of Iranians with legitimate reasons for traveling to the US and valid travel papers being turned away. Since the US provoked a near-war with the Iranian regime in early January, cases like Yazdani’s are piling up and civil rights advocates are deeply concerned.

Meanwhile the House of Representatives on Thursday voted to sharply constrain the Trump administration from waging a war on Iran without Congressional approval. They also repealed the 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUFM) passed in the wake of the 9-11 attacks. Trump has threatened to veto both measures.

Negin Owliaei, researcher and editor at, a project of the Institute for Policy Studies. She previously worked as a journalist and digital producer at Al Jazeera Media Network.

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