Statement from professors Mazdak Tootkaboni and Arghavan Louhghalam

These faculty members are scholars in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

We are happy and relieved to be home and back to work, doing what we love doing, educating the next generation of civil engineers and research. We have always felt welcomed in America, a country with a vibrant academic community and a place where the quest for science and innovation has been fueled by a diverse and colorful influx of creative and compassionate minds.

We want to thank all of our colleagues at UMass and throughout the higher education community for their support and encouragement. Though our four-hour detention at Logan Airport was disheartening and stressful at times, we are grateful to the federal officers for their kind and humane treatment of the people caught off-guard in the middle of fast-paced developments over the past few days. We also appreciate the media for respecting our privacy.

It is our hope that the national dialogue, ignited by our experience and that of many other immigrants who yearn only to pursue the American dream, results in laws and polices grounded in humanity.

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