32 year-old Hesam Moazzami was excited to see his parents. He had been living in the states for 7 years and he wanted to show his parents the life he'd built for himself. Then, when the Trump administration issued an executive order barring refugees and people for 7 Muslim-majority nations from entering the states, the family's plans for the future went dark.
Hesam tells Offramp producer Taylor Orci that his mother, 65 and his father, 72 were stopped at a U.S. customs checkpoint in Abu Dabi and told they weren't allowed to go any further. His father, in the early stages of both Parkinson's and Alzheimer's was detained along with his wife with"only with one blanket and some water" at the airport.
"They kept them there for 20 hours. In the meantime, someone that spoke a different dialogue of Farsi... they came and said 'There's a paper you need to sign,' the way it was represented was it's towards their benefit-- if they sign this moving forward their process would be easier." Moazzami told his lawyer that what they signed was allegedly a withdrawal of application of admission to US to obtain their residency.
He told Offramp producer Taylor Orci about, after already undergoing a vetting process that took upwards of 10 months, what it took in the oncoming weeks to get his parents into the country.
Watch below: Hasam and his sister reuniting with their parents. Video courtesy of the Immigrant Defenders Law Center.