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The controversy surrounding deported Iranian student Shahab Dehghani has again put federal law enforcement’s treatment of non-citizens in the spotlight.

iran banner 2025565 1280This time, protestors and advocates are calling foul due to Dehghani’s largely unexplained denial into America. According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), since August there have been nearly a dozen Iranian students sent back to Iran despite valid Visas. The ACLU specifically called out President Donald Trump and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for blocking the students. “The Trump administration’s recent targeting of Iranians and Iranian Americans is shameful, and CBP must be held accountable for its actions. Shahab is only the most recent victim,” said Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts.

Rose said the student was sent back despite a federal court order prohibiting the action. He was coming to the U.S. to study at Northeastern University and arrived at Boston Logan Airport on Sunday, Jan. 19. “Customs officials detained him and questioned him for hours, abruptly revoking his student visa, which the State Department granted after a year of intense vetting,” Rose said. “As CBP tried to put Shahab on the next available flight, supporters and friends gathered at night in the arrivals hall at Logan to demand that CBP stop deporting students with valid visas while attorneys filed an emergency lawsuit to halt his removal.”

As reported by Time, a statement from CBP stated Dehghani Hossein was “deemed inadmissible,” processed and sent back to his point origin. “Every applicant for admission is subject to inspection upon arrival in the United States,” the statement said. “The issuance of a visa or participation in the visa waiver program does not guarantee entry to the United States."

“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,” said Renata Nyul, vice president for communications at Northeastern. “Only in the most extreme instances should students have their academic pursuits interrupted by government intervention.”

Amir Fakhravar, a Constitutional Law professor, writer and Senate Chairman of the National Iranian Congress raised some questions about the student and took to Twitter to offer his take on the matter.

From Twitter

Amir Fakhravar @Fakhravar

Mohammad Shahab Dehghani is not just an Iranian Student w valid F1 Visa as Elizhabeth Warm and NIAC trying to paint him. He’s an active member of Islamic regime’s militia in Iran called Basij! Question is what the hell he was doing since Nov in IRGC’s Quds territory?#DeportBasiji

“The Basij Resistance Force is a volunteer paramilitary organization operating under the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC)," according to The United States Institute of Peace. "It is an auxiliary force with many duties, especially internal security, law enforcement, special religious or political events and morals policing.”

According to Northeastern University, U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey and Reps. Joseph Kennedy III and Ayanna Pressley have all come out in support of Dehghani. “ … In the United States, nobody is above the law—not even CBP. We will continue to fight in legislatures, in courtrooms, and on the streets to defend against the whims of a racist administration, and to hold CPB and other immigration agencies accountable for their deplorable and illegal behavior,” said Rose.

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