A Greenville tech worker who had been stuck in Iran for a week returned to South Carolina on Monday, a day after a federal court temporarily blocked President Donald Trump’s immigration order barring travel from seven Mideast countries.
Nazanin Zinouri spoke with reporters shortly after landing at the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport. She had learned last week her visa was among more than 60,000 canceled under the new restrictions, which barred “green card” holders of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from traveling to the United States.
“It was a very difficult experience to go through,” she said. “So I’m thrilled that it’s over… but I’m still trying to process everything.”
Zinouri has spent the past six years living in the United States, including several years as a Clemson doctoral student before graduating in 2016. She now works for Modjoul, a data company that has offices in Greenville.
The former Clemson student said in a Facebook post that she learned about the order while visiting family in Iran. She said tried to return earlier than planned to get ahead of the changes, but was blocked from boarding a U.S.-bound flight while in Saudi Arabia. Because of her revoked work visa status, she previously told The Associated Press that she did not know when she would be able to return to South Carolina.
A federal appeals court on Sunday put a temporary restraining order on parts of the order, including the revocation of visas for “green-card” holders. The order meant Zinouri is able to stay in the United States for now, unless the court ultimately sides with the Trump Administration.
Modjoul said Sunday that Zinouri had flown into Boston. She arrived at Greenville-Spartanburg airport around 12:30 p.m. Monday, with Clemson and Modoul officials on-hand to greet her.