Dr. Rahmatollah Sedigh Sarvestani is dying. The Iranian sociologist, husband and father to U.S. citizens, suffers from prostate cancer and a pelvic tumor. With his kidneys failing after chemotherapy, doctors in Tehran have stopped treating him.
His last hope is to come to the U.S. to seek medical treatment, where doctors say he could receive potentially life-saving 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. When queried, a consular officer quoted an INA section "relating to espionage or sabotage" with no further explanation.
This was utterly shocking as Dr. Sarvestani has no criminal record and no history of espionage. In fact, he has been regularly criticized as pro-Western academic in Iran. In order to "spy on the U.S.," he would need to be able to talk or move. Dr. Sarvestani has cancer and a pelvic tumor, and the U.S. is his last resort for medical treatment. This Thanksgiving, call on USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas to reunite Dr. Sarvestani with his family, and grant him a new lease on life.