As It Happens

Iranian student grateful to return to U.S. after federal judge halts travel ban

When a federal judge in the U.S. offers a temporary reprieve from the travel ban, Sara Yarjani is able to return to the country where she live and studies — just a week after she was turned back at the Los Angeles airport.
Iranian student Sara Yarjani, right, was expelled shortly after President Donald Trump's executive order. She has now returned to the U.S., after a judge temporarily halted the travel ban. (Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times/AP)

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It's been a long 10 days for Sara Yarjani.

The Iranian graduate student was mid-air, en route to the United States when President Donald Trump signed an executive order blocking entry to people of her nationality.

Yarjani has a valid student visa. But when she landed in Los Angeles, she was detained and then sent back to Austria, where she had been visiting family.

I am still so shaky and tired because the last couple of nights has been completely sleepless.- Sara Yarjani
Then, on Sunday, a federal judge lifted the so-called travel ban — temporarily, at least. Yarjani hopped on a plane once again.
California student Sara Yarjani, right, is welcomed by her sister Sahar Muranovic at Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday. (Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times/AP)

"I was still very concerned and uncertain about what was going to happen when I landed yesterday," Yarjani tells As It Happens guest host Helen Mann. "I am still so shaky and tired because the last couple of nights has been completely sleepless. The night when I found out, I was up all night trying to find out if the ruling would make a difference on me arriving."

Despite her ordeal and all the uncertainty that remains, Yarjani insists she wants to stay in the United States.

"I personally feel grateful to everyone who allows me to be back here to continue this education and what I'm studying is holistic health, which has to do with helping people with healing," Yarjani explains.

"So ultimately what I'm studying is aimed at serving people and that's what I feel that I want to do with my life. That's why this study matters to me and that's why I cared about coming back."

For more on this story, listen to our full interview with Sara Yarjani.


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