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2 Iranian students file complaints with DHS over removal from US

2 Iranian students file complaints with DHS over removal from US
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Two Iranian students on Monday filed complaints with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), arguing they were illegally denied entry at Boston’s Logan International Airport.

Incoming Harvard University student Reihana Emami Arandi and Northeastern University student Shahab Dehghani have filed separate complaints with the DHS civil rights office, The Associated Press reported. Both said they were detained and interrogated for hours by federal officials who concluded they intended to overstay their temporary visas, which both denied.

At least eight others have been denied entry into the U.S. since August, with seven of them stopped at Logan.

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An attorney for Dehghani argued in a complaint filed Monday that he had already been admitted to the U.S. three times and that he received his most recent student visa after months of vetting by the State Department.

“This entire situation is unacceptable and was handled in an utterly unprofessional manner,” the complaint concludes, saying Dehghani was subjected to a “threatening” interrogation that emphasized his religious and political beliefs. “This behavior by members of Customs and Border Protection cannot stand.”

Arandi, a graduate student at Harvard Divinity School, said that during her eight-hour detention, officers searched her luggage and personal devices and did not allow her to make any calls, nor did they allow her to withdraw her petition to enter the country and reapply, essentially banning her from entering the country for another five years, the AP reported.

Civil rights groups have said profiling of Iranians was already a problem but has intensified since the U.S.’s killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike and Tehran’s retaliatory missile strike on an Iraqi air base housing U.S. troops.

The Hill has reached out to DHS for comment.