According to the paper, at least 16 Iranian students have been turned back since August, despite having valid visas which they had obtained after a notoriously grueling, months-long vetting process.
When the students reached American airports, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers disagreed and sent them home, some with a five-year ban on reapplying to return to the United States, it said.
Most say they were not told why they were deemed "inadmissible" — a broad label that customs officers have wide discretion to apply.
"What the students do know is that, at a time of rising diplomatic tensions between the United States and Iran, their plans for the future seem to have evaporated,” the paper said.
Amin, 34, entering a Ph.D program at the University of Florida, was turned away January 1 at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta.