Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


Iranian Student Returns To LAX After Forced Deportation Under Trump's Ban

Stories like these are only possible with your help!
Your donation today keeps LAist independent, ready to meet the needs of our city, and paywall free. Thank you for your partnership, we can't do this without you.

A little before 1 p.m. Sunday, Sara Yarjani, a graduate student at the California Institute for Human Science in Encinitas, California, and an Iranian citizen, returned to LAX after being refused entry into the country last week. Yarjani, who holds a student visa to the U.S., previously arrived at the airport on Janaury 27, just hours after President Donald Trump's travel ban on immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries—including Iran—went into effect. According to the L.A. Times, Yarjani is a permanent resident of Austria and has lived outside of Iran for most of the last 20 years. She had been visiting family in Vienna over her winter break.

After landing on January 27, she was detained for 23 hours by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, long enough for a federal judge in Brooklyn to rule an emergency stay on the travel ban.

"She was removed nearly two hours after a federal court in New York ordered that the government halt all removals immediately," a press release by the ACLU of Southern California notes. "CBP officers removed Yarjani in violation of the court order, despite the fact that Yarjani pled that it was now against the law to put her on the plane."

According to the L.A. Times, armed CBP agents placed Yarjani on a flight back out of the United States. Once on the plane, Yarjani adds that she burst into tears.

Support for LAist comes from

“For the first time I felt safe,” she said. “I suddenly realized how scared I was.”

Then, on February 3, a federal judge in Seattle ordered a halt on Trump's travel ban.

U.S. District Judge James Robart sided with Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson in granting a temporary restraining order on the ban's enforcement on a nationwide basis.

“The Constitution prevailed today,” Ferguson said of the ruling. “No one is above the law — not even the president.”

According to the ACLU, Yarjani arrived via Air Berlin to LAX's Tom Bradley International Terminal, where her sister, various immigration advocates and lawyers, and others greeted her.

Support for LAist comes from