Congressman Jim McGovern

Representing the 2nd District of Massachussetts
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McGovern Guest for Trump Speech is Top Ranked Transplant Surgeon Worried About Muslim Ban’s Impact on His Family

Feb 28, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) announced that his guest for tonight’s address by President Trump to a joint session of Congress will be Dr. Babak Movahedi, a nationally-ranked transplant surgeon at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Massachusetts, who was born in Iran and is worried about how Trump’s Muslim Ban will impact his family.

Dr. Movahedi and his family left Iran as a refugee when he was 14-years-old, traveling to Belgium to escape the war between Iraq and Iran. Dr. Movahedi was granted asylum in Belgium where he went on to complete medical school and receive his PhD and surgeon training.

“Tonight I want President Trump to see that America’s diversity is our greatest strength. Dr. Movahedi is a shining example of America’s promise and the incredible contributions immigrants make to our country,” Congressman McGovern said. “Dr. Movahedi is a nationally-ranked surgeon helping to save lives every day. America has a proud history of protecting religious freedom and opening the doors to all who are seeking a better life. President Trump’s inhumane Muslim ban tramples on that history and marginalizes members of our communities. Dr. Movahedi and so many others are now afraid to visit their family overseas because they worry they may be denied re-entry when they return. America is stronger because of our diversity and tonight I will proudly stand with Dr. Movahedi to deliver that message to President Trump.”

“I am honored to join my representative, Congressman McGovern, at tonight’s joint session of Congress,” Dr. Movahedi said. “America has given my family so much and I am so grateful for the opportunities we have to serve our community. This is our home and I could not imagine raising our family anywhere else. I am deeply concerned about President Trump’s policy and the impact it could have on my family. My message to President Trump tonight is that it is not where you are born that defines you, but what you do with the opportunities you are given. That is why I love this country.”

Dr. Movahedi and his Belgian-born wife and two children came to Boston in 2008 so he could complete a two-year post-doctoral research fellowship in transplant immunology at Beth Israel Deconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School. Subsequently, he did a transplant fellowship at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Massachusetts. He and his family loved America so much that they decided to stay. His wife and children are now U.S. citizens. In 2012, Dr. Movahedi joined the faculty at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He cares for patients with end-stage liver or kidney disease in need of an organ transplant. He is also involved in resident and medical student teaching and clinical research.

Dr. Movahedi has a green card and intends to pursue citizenship when the 5-year wait period is up. Dr. Movahedi is very worried about Trump’s Muslim ban and the impact it could have on him personally and his Iranian-born family in Belgium.