Local Doctor’s Sister Must Wait to Enter US after 90-Day Ban

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EDINBURG – A Rio Grande Valley doctor’s sister managed to leave Syria and was expecting to make her way to the United States. After President Donald Trump’s executive order, that will not be happening for her.

Dr. Monzer Yazji’s sister escaped Syria after being persecuted by the Assad Regime. She was temporarily in Dubai awaiting U.S. documentation. But on Friday,Trump’s order suspended immigration from seven countries - Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya and Yemen.

“We’re heartbroken, my brother and me, all of us. We have one sister, she cannot join the family in the United States and she cannot be back home,” he said.

Dr. Yazji’s sister was supposed to receive a stamp on her passport allowing her entry into the U.S. When she arrived to the U.S. Embassy on Friday, they told her she had to wait 90 days.

“She cannot go back to Syria. She cannot come here. And also she cannot live in Dubai because also they are limited. Therefore, actually, she has really no official place for her to stay,” he said.

Dr. Yazji said he escaped Syria because of the oppression. He fears the U.S. is leaning towards that path.

“I love this country because it’s multicultural, multi-religious, everything. And it’s open to all the world to come and participate in building this country. And when we hear anything to break this principle, it really affects all us and Americans also,” he said.

Syria still holds a place in the doctor’s heart. He travels there every few weeks to render medical aid.

He asked his lawyers whether or not he will be safe to return following his upcoming scheduled trip. They don’t have a clear answer.

“And they said, yes, you should be able to, but we’re not 100 percent,” he recalled.

Dr. Yazji said he won’t step foot outside the country until someone can guarantee that his U.S. citizenship will be honored upon returning to the states. That means his efforts abroad might come to a halt.

Dr. Yazji said two of his nephews are also in limbo. They’re U.S. permanent residents but were receiving further education in Syria. He hopes the situation will get cleared up so his family can be reunited again.


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