Wednesday, May 5, 2021
News + Politics SFO: UPDATE: Reunited with his family and allowed to...

SFO: UPDATE: Reunited with his family and allowed to stay. Iranian man being deported as family remains in limbo


Update: He was released after family was initially informed that he’d been detained. The family is reuniting after six years: “I’m so happy my bother is with us, I’m so relieved. I can’t tell you how happy I am”
An Iranian man who landed in San Francisco early yesterday morning is now scheduled to be deported, his brother said. 

The Iranian family isn’t Muslim and fears persecution. Their names have been withheld upon request.

After landing at SFO, he was taken to a detention center where he spent the night awaiting legal intervention: “We were hoping that we would get a hearing on Monday and get this resolved but we just heard that he’s being taken to San Francisco airport for reason unknown,”  the man’s brother said.

The family hasn’t met in six years and were hoping to be reunited in the US. They are now fearful of their identity being disclosed and family facing possible persecution in Iran. 

Despite hearing that he might be deported the family is still at San Francisco airport with their attorney hoping for a way out: “We are still here, we are still waiting. We were really hoping for this reunion.” 

The mother, who is a US citizen, broke down yesterday as she heard her son had been taken to a detention center. As of now the family remains in limbo and are worried for the safety and security of their son and brother who is being deported. 

Sana Saleem
Sana Saleem is a writer with a focus on social justice and human stories. She's member board of advisory for the Courage Foundation, Edward Snowden's legal defense fund.


  1. Thank you so much for the full story. I’m glad it had a happy ending. I’m an optimistic person and believe in happy endings despite messy administrative snafus and red tape. I hope the worst is over for legal entry and green-card holders. I so appreciate that you followed this emotional story (which was used very negatively in an interchange I had with friends over the ban) to it’s good conclusion.

  2. Me too, Janet. I was researching this right now. If I get an answer, I’ll loop back here and let you know.

  3. I hope this isn’t the same family of the crying gentleman on YouTube whose brother was being deported, as certainly now everyone knows his identity after that video made the rounds. I’m trying to find out what happened to THAT brother.

  4. Does this mean that he was granted entry to the United States, despite the initial report that he was being deported to Iran after detention?

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