Ismail Ajjawi, a 17-year-old Palestinian student living in Lebanon, had big plans to study medicine at Harvard University this fall. After landing at Logan International Airport in Boston on Friday, he refused entry to the US. This was announced this week by representatives of the University and the Associated Press. The undergraduate said the rejection had to do with politically oriented social media contributions from his friends.
Customs and Border Guard (CBP) spokesman Michael McCarthy said the decision to cancel Ajjawi's visa was based on information discovered during an inspection, but did not specify what information was involved. McCarthy added that Ajjawi was not deported, which meant he could still apply for re-entry. University spokesman Jason Newton said. AMIDEAST, a not-for-profit organization that granted a scholarship to Ajjawi, provided legal assistance.
Ajjawi told the Harvard Crimson student newspaper that federal agents detained him at the airport for eight hours, ransacked his cell phone and laptop, and asked him about his friends' social media posts.
The posts contained "political views that oppose the US," Ajjawi said in his written statement.
"I replied that I have nothing to do with such posts and hate Rabbit." or comment on it and tell her [the agent] that I should not be held responsible for what others post.
Ajjawi told The Crimson he still hopes to be among his classmates in time for the beginning of the lesson. His family lived in a camp for Palestinian refugees in the port city of Tire in southern Lebanon.
In a television Al-Araby interview aired on Friday when his son flew to the US, Bassel Ajjawi had the following message for his son: "I'm very proud of you and I hope you're a model representative of the Palestinian people abroad. " Bassel Ajjawi declined to comment on his son's testimony to the Crimson — AND DISCOVERED TAX NOTIFICATIONS WHICH SET UP NEW LEGAL QUESTIONS
The search for electronic devices and social media at border points was under past administrations However, free speech groups complain that they have been reinforced since President Trump's inauguration in 2017.
The Trump administration says the expanded search queries are crucial to preventing extremists from invading the country.
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International students and faculty members are concerned with "shifts and interruptions in previous routine immigration processes such as family visas, status renewal, or international travel permits," wrote Lawrence Bacow, president of Harvard University, in a letter to the Foreign Minister July Mike Pompeo and Acting Minister of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan.
The US State Department issued only 362,929 student visas in the 2018 financial year, a decrease of more than 43 percent from 644,233 student visas in the 2015 fiscal year.