An Iranian scientist who lives in Switzerland is suing US President Donald Trump and top officials of two federal agencies, in a direct challenge to Trump’s ban on visitors from some Muslim-majority countries.
Her lawsuit comes just as the recently departed United States ambassador to Switzerland, Suzi LeVine, took to Facebook to ridicule Trump’s immigration crackdown – and to assert that “extraordinary amounts of vetting” already occurs with Iranians and others headed to the US.
LeVine said her views were reinforced by observing Switzerland’s special role as protector of US interests in Iran. Trump’s most controversial executive order on January 27 banned Syrian refugees and immigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States.
The scientist, Samira Asgari, filed suit in a US federal court in Massachusetts on Thursday, seeking to compel the Trump administration to allow her to fill the post she was offered at a Harvard Medical School lab.
Asgari twice tried to fly to the United States to take the new job she was offered.
An Iranian national, Asgari holds a doctorate degree from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), where she had been working as a research biologist. She is an expert in genomics, infectious diseases, and computational biology, and won a Swiss National Science Foundation grant in October 2016.