International students and professors who had been denied entry into the United States last weekend due to President Trump’s travel ban began returning on Friday afternoon to Logan International Airport, where they were met by a crowd of well-wishers after making it through customs.
Banah Alhanfy of Iraq was the first passenger from a banned nation who reemerged at the airport shortly before 2 p.m. She fell into arms of her family members, from whom she’d been split by the travel ban.
It was not immediately clear exactly how the immigrants returning to Boston had been cleared for travel. Lawyers challenging the Trump administration’s travel ban in US District Court in Boston Friday morning had yet to receive a ruling.
Alhanfy said her visa had been issued later than those of her relatives and that they had arrived in the United States ahead of her. She was barred from her original flight in Iraq due to the travel ban, but changed her destination to Turkey and traveled to Germany, she said.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute student Behnam Partopour was met at the airport by WPI President Laurie Leshin and US Representative James McGovern, a Worcester Democrat, as well as his friend Ehsan Keyvani, who held a sign that read, “Let him come home.”
“I’ve lived in Worcester more than two years. It is my second home,” Partopour said.
Partopour, who flew on Lufthansa Flight 422 from Frankfurt and landed at Logan shortly after 1 p.m., left Logan wearing a blue blazer and Chuck Taylors and carrying a pink rose.
McGovern said he was “glad he is home. I’m offended he had to go though what he had to go through.”
Also returning Friday was Niki Mossafer Rahmati, a junior mechanical engineering student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who is from Iran. Rahmati had been trying to return to MIT after spending winter break in Iran, but she was blocked from boarding her connecting flight from Qatar to the United States last weekend.
Lawful immigrants with valid visas should have been allowed to enter the United States freely in recent days since a judge had imposed a seven-day restraining order on the travel ban. However, many had been unable to travel because their visas had been revoked by the State Department, the Globe reported on Thursday.