When Iranian architect Milad Zabeti moved to the United States in January 2014, he was well on his way to achieving the American Dream. By 29, he had earned a master’s degree in architectural engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, held degrees from two other international universities, and was hired by the firm Cambridge Seven Associates. Zabeti was also looking forward to the day when his wife Tannaz, an Iranian architect pursuing a Ph.D. in Italy, could join him in Massachusetts.
President Donald Trump’s executive order Friday—a decree that temporarily bans citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iran—has left Zabeti, his wife, and thousands of would-be immigrants at a loss. “You invest something,” says Zabeti about his decision to move to the U.S., “your life, energy, and ideas—everything. And then one sudden decision changes things.”