Barred From U.S. Below Trump, Muslims Exult in Biden’s Open Door

Of 45,000 Iranians who applied for a visa waiver between January 2017 and July 2020, only 7,000 received visas, according to the Foreign Ministry. “The impact has been across the board – financial, emotional, educational, professional, romantic,” said Reza Mazaheri, a New York-based immigration attorney who represents many Iranians.

For others, the ban is a closed, tragic chapter.

Mohamed Abdelrahman, a Libyan businessman, believed he hit the jackpot in 2017 when he won a green card lottery that offered an escape route from a country in deep chaos, said his nephew Mohamed Al-Sheikh.

But the Trump ban forced Mr Abdelrahman to delay and before he could leave Libya, he suffered a stroke and died.

If there had been no ban, “his life might have been completely different,” said the 34-year-old al-Sheikh over the phone from Tripoli. “He just needed a stable place to live for the rest of his life.”

The reporting was done by Farnaz Fassihi from New York; Vivian Yee from Cairo; Ben Hubbard and Hwaida Saad from Beirut, Lebanon; Abdi Latif Dahir from Nairobi, Kenya; Ruth MacLean from Dakar, Senegal; Mohammed Abdusamee from Tripoli, Libya; Hannah Beech from Bangkok; and Saw Nang from Yangon, Myanmar.

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