Visas canceled for Muslim exchange pupils sure for Utah

Lisa R. Parker

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SANDY — A dozen Muslim overseas trade college students are just finding out they will not be coming to Utah to research this 12 months. Their host households listed here are upset and do not have an understanding of why the college student visas were pulled at the last moment.

Seventy-7 Muslim students must be boarding planes in 16 distinct Middle Eastern nations suitable about now. They are scheduled to arrive in Washington, D.C., Saturday for a 7 days of orientation. But right now, those options are in turmoil, and the host households suspect the pupils are pawns in a political payback.

Host parents David and Allisha Politis were eagerly awaiting the arrival of Ahlam Al-mutawa, a student from Bahrain, who worked to earn a foreign exchange scholarship.
Host dad and mom David and Allisha Politis have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Ahlam Al-mutawa, a scholar from Bahrain, who worked to earn a international exchange scholarship.

David and Allisha Politis of Sandy are expectant host mothers and fathers. They eagerly await the arrival of Ahlam Al-mutawa, a vibrant 15-calendar year-previous from Bahrain who worked diligently to earn a foreign exchange scholarship as a result of the Youth and Exchange Scholar program(Indeed). The younger university student went through eight steps of screening and vetting right before she was awarded the scholarship by our Point out Section.

Two times in the past, the Politis loved ones observed out the Condition Department canceled her visa along with these for other Muslim students. The family members is upset and emotional.

“I’ve obtained her room prepared,” claims Allisha Politis, as she wipes away tears. “I was really looking ahead to her coming. She feels like she’s by now a portion of our relatives, and she is not going to be equipped to occur.”

State Department canceled Ahlam Al-mutawa's visa, so her trip to Utah is now on hold.
Condition Department canceled Ahlam Al-mutawa’s visa, so her vacation to Utah is now on hold.

Ahlam would study at Alta High University, learn our culture and share her own. She’s packed to leave Bahrain Friday night, land in Washington, D.C., Saturday and occur to Utah a week later.

David Politis claimed, “It is heartbreaking to feel this is one thing which is not heading to come about.”

David and Allisha describe Ahlam as a properly-educated teen who is keen to master a lot more about the entire world and the United States. They have developed to appreciate her sense of humor as they exchanged e-mails. Ahlam wrote in her software that she also aspires to show up at in the U.S.

“I believe it is really extremely courageous,” Allisha states. “I just experience negative she won’t be able to appear. I’m hoping they function it out so she can.”

The Facet Foundation, which destinations college students in households for the Indeed Application, ran into issues in the spring. That could be the origin of the visa cancellation. The Aspect Basis was penalized by the Condition Office when various pupils final year have been positioned in lousy living problems in Pennsylvania.

The worker dependable was fired, and the software was authorized 15 % much less visas this calendar year. But, a Utah supervisor tells KSL this cancellation is a shock, and the team has received no answers from the Point out Department.

“The host households have been in tears,” says Heather Christopher, West Regional Industry Manager for the Part Basis. “The students are getting in touch with them, and me by Fb, by phone, begging for this desire to nevertheless arrive genuine.”

Other college students in the exchange application from other pieces of the planet will get there on program. That prospects the host households to suspect the cancellations have anything to do with their religion or countries of origin.

“Seventy Muslim college students are owning their visas pulled?” questioned David. “I explained, ‘Something smells fishy. Anything else is going on below. I do not know what it is, but a little something else is occurring.'”

What that is, they really don’t know. But they hope to get some answers shortly. The Middle Jap college students are shedding time to get their dreams back again on track.

At a time when the U.S. is hoping to improve relations with Center Eastern good friends, it would not make perception to the host people that they would be dealt with this way. The Politis family members is not optimistic that the learners will get their visas, but they will continue on to glance for aid from our legislators and everyone else who can support make feeling of this problem.

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