Last week, we received word that the U.S. government is denying a dying Iranian sociologist, father and husband to U.S. citizens, the chance to come to the U.S. for life-saving medical treatment.
His U.S. citizen children sponsored him for an immigrant visa in 2003, which was finally denied in March 2012, after a period of 9 years. Following that denial, his wife and children filed for “humanitarian parole” to bring him into the country, which was also denied. After the parole request was denied and Dr. Sarvestani developed a pelvic tumor, another request for parole was filed with the USCIS. The U.S. government won’t state why his case has been continuously denied, and why Dr. Sarvestani cannot join his family in the United States.
On top of the cancers, Dr. Sarvestani is an amputee and suffers blood clotting. His last hope is to come to the U.S. to seek medical treatment, where doctors say he could receive potentially life-saving treatment. Without producing a shred of evidence, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is alleging that Dr. Rahmatollah Sarvestani, a gentleman and scholar, is subject to a bar “relating to espionage or sabotage.”
Dr. Sarvestani is an honorable, upstanding member of society. He studied at University of Akron, in Ohio in the 1970s. Two of his daughters were born in the U.S., and his wife currently resides in the U.S.
Additionally, Dr. Sarvestani has no criminal record and no history of espionage or terrorism related activities. In fact, he has been an open critic of the Iranian government, and he is criticized by many in Iran for being pro-Western. Given his excellent service and track record, denying him humanitarian parole in the U.S. so that he can seek medical treatment, is downright mean and vindictive. It is against the spirit of the holidays and antithetical to what we should be as a country.