Eugene Film Festival Participants from the Middle East Denied Travel Visas

Apr 27, 2017

Eight people from Middle Eastern countries have been denied visas to come to Eugene to participate in a conference and film festival next week. It’s unclear why the visas were denied since a judge has stayed President Trump’s executive order banning travelers from some Muslim majority countries.

Rick Pettigrew is Executive Director of The Archeology Legacy Institute in Eugene. His non-profit puts on the Archeology Channel Film Festival every year. He says 9 people from Egypt, Iran, and Pakistan were invited to participate, and only 1 was able to obtain a visa to come here. Pettigrew says there’s no clear reason why…
Pettigrew: “Well, We don’t have any insight into what goes on behind closed doors at the State Department or other federal agencies. It’s kind of a black box. All we have is results and the results here are very dismal. These people have to go through quite a process to get a visa.”
Pettigrew says the invited guests are filmmakers, academics and government officials. They were on the schedule to take part in the film festival which explores cultural heritage media. He says this puts a big hole in the event’s schedule and it’s distressing.