By Jeff Todd
GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4)– Several of the brightest minds at the Colorado School of Mines say they don’t know what’s going to happen as uncertainty continues to swirl around President Donald Trump’s immigration ban.
“It’s been a nightmare,” said Zoheir Khademian, a PhD student. “We came here to make a contribution to this country. We were under the impression we can show how good we are, how hard working we are. But right now our everyday life has turned into a nightmare.”
Khademian’s wife left eight months ago for Iran to help treat her father who had cancer. With his health improving, she began the process to get a visa to come back to Colorado. Now her application is in limbo.
“I don’t see to get her back in at least one year. It’s exhausting for me. We didn’t know this ban was going to come we didn’t expect it,” Khademian said.
He’s not alone, more than a dozen Iranian-students at Mines gathered to read poetry and build their community. Many are dealing with similar issues.
“I have been here for five years with my wife and 2½ year old daughter,” said Vahab Bolvardi.
Bolvardi’s wife took their child back to Iran so she could meet her grandparents for the first time. She had to fly to Dubai to begin the visa process to come back. To make things worse, Bolvardi’s daughter needs urgent surgery for a hernia.
“The problem is we don’t know when we can do that. They got stuck there and I don’t know when I can see them in the future,” Bolvardi said.
Both men say their wives’ visa processes have been stalled. They are not some of the 60,000 visas that have been rescinded by the federal government.
Friday night, legal analysts were still dissecting competing federal court rulings about the President’s controversial Executive Order.
The students say they’re don’t know what to do, continue their lengthy and expensive education, or throw it all away to be reunited with their family.
“I want my wife back and I want to get my PHD done in two years. We didn’t know this ban was going to come we didn’t expect it,” Khademian said. “Is it uncertain? It’s next to impossible. I don’t see how I can get her back, I don’t see it at all.”
Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.