Iranian student admitted to US university deported

An Iranian student admitted to Northeastern University was reportedly deported Monday night despite an emergency stay granted by a Massachusetts district judge.

Mohammad Shahab Dehghani Hossein was detained at Boston Logan International Airport and faced immediate removal from the U.S. when he arrived Sunday, according to an emergency petition filed by his lawyer Kerry Doyle in Massachusetts district court. 

He was deported Monday night despite an emergency stay granted by Judge Allison D. Burroughs, which ordered that Dehghani’s removal be stayed for 48 hours or until further notice, CNN reported. 

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Dehghani’s attorneys argue the 24-year-old student’s “expedited removal is a result of additional scrutiny targeting Iranian citizens” and is not “based in legitimate concerns of Plaintiff's admissibility to the United States.”

“It is unclear why Defendants would now decide, after conducting a full visa issuance process, that Plaintiff's student visa should be revoked,” Doyle said in the filing.

Dehghani was issued a student visa last week by the State Department after he applied for one in 2018 and went through the application process. But he was taken into secondary inspection and refused entry when he tried entering the U.S. on Saturday, according to the court document. 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) revoked Dehghani’s student visa and issued an expedited removal, according to the filing. 

CBP and the Department of Homeland Security are listed as defendants. 

A spokesperson for CBP was not immediately available for comment when contacted by The Hill. 

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The agency told CNN in a statement it could not discuss individual proceedings. 

"CBP officers are charged with enforcing not only immigration and customs laws, but they also enforce over 400 laws for 40 other agencies and have stopped thousands of violators of US law," CBP said in a statement to CNN. 
 
"Applicants must demonstrate they are admissible into the US by overcoming all grounds of inadmissibility including health-related grounds, criminality, security reasons, public charge, labor certification, illegal entrants and immigration violations, documentation requirements, and miscellaneous grounds."

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Massachusetts condemned CBP's removal of Dehghani and is leading protests outside the courthouse where a hearing for Dehghani’s case is taking place Tuesday morning. 

“Given the Trump administration’s xenophobic policies and Logan Airport’s troubling practice of sending students back to Iran, we are deeply concerned that Shahab was detained,” ACLU of Massachusetts Executive Director Carol Rose said in a statement. 

“The ACLU supports the attorneys Kerry Doyle and Susan Church in their emergency lawsuit, and are working closely with them to ensure due process and justice for students with valid visas to come study in Massachusetts.” 

Northeastern University said it is aware of the situation and is working with officials to “facilitate a successful return to Northeastern” for the admitted student. 

“Northeastern welcomes thousands of international students and supports them with an array of resources,” a Northeastern spokesperson said in a statement. “We have been in touch with federal officials to learn more about this case and to provide our student with the appropriate assistance to facilitate a successful return to Northeastern.”

The spokesperson later added that 24 hours after learning the student was deported, the school "still [has] not received a satisfactory explanation from Customs and Border Protection for this action."

"We believe that a clear explanation is needed, especially because the deportation took place after a 48-hour extension was granted by a federal judge. Only in the most extreme instances should students have their academic pursuits interrupted by government intervention," the spokesperson said.

--This report was updated on Jan. 22 at 6:58 a.m.