A Palestinian student who had been denied entry to the United States despite holding a student visa to Harvard University was finally able to enter the country in time for the academic school year.
On August 23rd, Ismail Ajjawi, spent eight hours in Boston before he was sent back to Lebanon. Upon arrival, he faced questioning from immigration officials along with several other international students. While the other students were allowed to enter the country, Ajjawi was held back for further interrogation.
During his detainment, an officer asked him to unlock his phone and laptop and left to search them for roughly five hours. After the search, the officer questioned Ajjawi about his friend’s social media activity on his page. The 17-year-old protested that the political comments on his social media accounts were solely posted by his friends and that he never published his own political views.
The US Customs and Border Protection Agency confirmed that it had refused entry to Ajjawi, but said that they could not provide specific information for reasons of confidentiality and enforcement.