Harvard Freshman Deported at US Border Because of Friends’ Social Media Posts


A 17-year-old Palestinian resident of Lebanon, Ismail B. Ajjawi, was deported shortly after he arrived at Boston Airport, where he was due to start attending Harvard University the following week.

Immigration officers subjected him to hours of questioning — at one point leaving to search his phone and computer — according to a written statement by Ajjawi. According to the student, his visa was revoked because of content posted by some social media contacts.

The student alleges that immigration officers questioned him with other students first, then continued to question him alone about his religion and religious practices in Lebanon. An officer asked him to unlock his phone and laptop, and left to search them. After the search, the officer questioned him about his friends’ social media activity, allegedly “posting political points of view that oppose the US.”

Ajjawi wrote that he spent eight hours in Boston before his visa was canceled and he was required to leave.


Source: The Harvard Crimson