Harvard Student Ismail Ajjawi Previously Denied Entry Into US Finally Arrives At University

2 months ago

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The Harvard University spokeswoman Rachael Dane announced that student who was previously denied entry to the United States is now on campus for the school's 2019 academic year, CNN reports. Previously, Ismail Ajjawi, 17, was "deemed inadmissible to the United States based on information discovered during the CBP inspection." Finally, September 2, Ajjawi was admitted into the US as an F1 visa student.  The Typical Student team learned more about the situation. 

 

All Is Well That Ends Well

 

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Albert Mokhiber, the attorney for Ismail Ajjawi's case, thanked Harvard, the nonprofit organization AMIDEAST, the US Embassy in Beirut and the "outpouring of international media and popular support." Ajjawi had been awarded a scholarship by the AMIDEAST but was initially denied entry into the US.  

Ajjawi said he was detained for eight hours before being turned away, The Harvard Crimson reported. While Ajjawi was in detention, an immigration official allegedly searched his phone and laptop for five hours. Allegedly, Ajjawi was asked questions about his friends' social media activities. Allegedly, there have been "political points of view that oppose the US" expressed by users he follows on social media.

After Ajjawi was released from detention, his student visa was revoked and he was sent back to Lebanon, The Harvard Crimson reports.

 

The Development Of The Situation

 

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Over a month after the incident, Harvard's President, Lawrence Bacow, addressed the Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan with an open letter. Bacow expressed his deep concern over the immigration policies implemented by the administration and their negative effect on Harvard's academic programs. In July, Bacow wrote as follows: "Students report difficulties getting initial visas - from delays to denials." He added that they "are not just participants in the life of the university; they are essential to it."

Bacow called the visa and immigration policies as "unpredictable and uncertain."

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