Harvard Freshman Denied Entry Into The U.S. by Border Patrol
A 17-year-old college student set to attend Harvard this fall was deemed "inadmissible" by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol after arriving at Boston International Airport this past Friday.
Ismail Ajjawi was not allowed entry into the United States following questioning regarding his religion by agents.
Ajjawi shared that his bags were searched as well as his electronics. He was also questioned about his friends and social media accounts.
One agent told Ajjawi that she “found people posting political points of view that oppose the U.S. on my friend list.”
“I responded that I have no business with such posts and that I didn’t like, share or comment on them and told her that I shouldn’t be held responsible for what others post,” Ajjawi stated according to the New York Times.
Adding, “I have no single post on my timeline discussing politics.”
Hours later, the Palestinian freshman’s Visa was cancelled. He was sent back home to Lebanon.
Boston 25 News did reach out to CBP agents who could only share that Ajjawi was "deemed inadmissible to the United States based on information discovered during the CBP inspection.”
Several Harvard students have since spoken out about Ajjawi’s situation.
"I was really disheartened that this happened to the student because I'm sure they were really excited [they had] just gotten into Harvard,” Parastoo Massoumi, an Iranian PhD student, shared.
Joohee Baik, a Cambridge resident and student, believes Ajjawi was wrongly misjudged.
"He was judged based on the actions of others on his social media feed, so it was not taken care of the way it should've been," Baik shared.
Meanwhile, Harvard has issued a statement, sharing that they are working to help Ajjawi gain entry into the U.S. so that he can begin his classes.
"The university is working closely with the student's family and appropriate authorities to resolve this matter so that he can join his classmates in the coming days.”
Classes for the fall semester at Harvard are scheduled to begin on September 3.
Photo courtesy of CBP Photo/Steve Sapp via Flickr