Nice Time! US Embassy Lets Palestinian Kid Back In For Harvard, Probably All Going To Be Fired Now
Here's the good-news update to that awful story of Trumplandia in Action! Ismail Ajjawi, the 17-year-old Palestinian refugee kid who was deported from the US in late August after a customs inspector at Logan Airport didn't like things written by Ajjawi's Facebook friends, finally made it back to the USA in time to start classes at Harvard on Tuesday.
The group that sponsored Ajjawi, Amideast,
said in a statement that the United States Embassy in Beirut reviewed Mr. Ajjawi's case and reissued a visa. Harvard officials confirmed that Mr. Ajjawi was on campus.
Ajjawi's attorney, Albert Mokhiber, thanked Harvard and Amideast for all their efforts to get the kid on campus in time for the beginning of classes.
"The anxiety was beyond belief for everybody," Mr. Mokhiber said. "Thank God it all worked out."
Mr. Ajjawi made it to Harvard on Monday in time to appear in his class photo, Mr. Mokhiber said, adding that Mr. Ajjawi was taken aside by Lawrence Bacow, the president of the university.
"I told his dad, the hard part begins today, he's at Harvard, and we had a little chuckle over that," Mr. Mokhiber said.
Hooray for a brief victory for sane people!
Ajjawi had previously arrived in the USA on August 23, when a very snoopy CBP officer at Logan demanded to inspect his computer. The kid, who says he's not political at all, waited for hours after the officer grilled him about his "religion and religious practices in Lebanon," according to the Harvard Crimson. After he'd waited five hours, he said in a written statement,
"she called me into a room, and she started screaming at me. She said that she found people posting political points of view that oppose the US on my friend[s] list." [...]
"I responded that I have no business with such posts and that I didn't like, [s]hare or comment on them and told her that I shouldn't be held responsible for what others post," he wrote. "I have no single post on my timeline discussing politics." The officer then canceled Ajjawi's visa, informed him he would be deported, and allowed him a phone call to his parents.
CBP wouldn't comment in detail on the detention and deportation, saying only that Ajjawi was deemed "inadmissible to the United States based on information discovered during the CBP inspection." Yes, you can now become an enemy of the USA by knowing people who say stuff CBP doesn't like, regardless of anything you might say. Hooray, we're now Iran!
Amideast, a US-based cultural exchange nonprofit, said in a statement that public outrage over Ajjawi's treatment helped fix the mess, as did Harvard and staff at the US Embassy in Beirut (who will probably all be fired now):
We express our gratitude to the many voices in the media and the public at large, both in the United States and abroad, who recognized the injustice of what happened to Ismail and voiced their concerns in traditional media and on social media.
Hahvahd President Bacow said Ajjawi's treatment was just the worst of a rotten run of roadblocks faced by international students under the Miller/Trump regime, though he said it more nicely than that:
"Since May, the obstacles facing individuals ensnared in the nation's visa and immigration process have only grown," he said. "Various international students and scholars eager to establish lives here on our campus find themselves the subject of scrutiny and suspicion in the name of national security, and they are reconsidering the value of joining our community in the face of disruptions and delays."
Mr. Bacow noted that he had recently traveled to Washington to share his concerns with Congress and had written a letter to the secretary of state
As of now, the "president" of the USA hasn't weighed in to explain that the Palestinian teen hates America, as proven by his failure to vote for Trump, and should be dropped into a hurricane over Alabama. But when he does, we bet he'll point out that Harvard is a joke compared to the Wharton school, where Donald Trump was named Michigan's Man of the Year for his civil rights work with Rosa Parks.
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