RIT researcher stuck in Saudi Arabia due to travel ban

January 31, 2017 07:13 PM

Rochester -- A researcher at The Rochester Institute of Technology is stuck in Saudi Arabia after President Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban.

The researcher asked News10NBC not to release his name, because he is afraid of retaliation if he speaks out against the U.S. government.

This is the only person at RIT, student or staff, who is stuck out of the country that’s we know of.

"I’ve been doing this for 25 years and I've never seen anything rolled out this way and it has had a huge, human impact," said Jeff Cox, the Director of International Student Services at RIT.

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Cox is now working to try to get the researcher any resources that he needs while this 90-day travel ban in in place.

This researcher was born in Yemen and left for Saudi Arabia on Thursday for a medical conference.

Traveling abroad for these types of conferences is common practice for faculty at RIT.

“Typically they make that trip no problem, come on back they have a valid visa, they have already been vetted. They've been here doing their work for semesters, years even. and all of the sudden while people are out a conference, the rules change the rug is pulled out from under them and they are stuck,” said Cox.

The researcher isn’t the only one worried about what will happen next. Cox says international students at RIT are worried about what this means for them if they need to travel in the next 90 days.

”If something happens back home family-wise they can't go home, family funeral, wedding you are not going to be able to go or you will get stuck outside the US,” said Cox.



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