Protest at Boston Logan Airport, Where Northeastern Says Student From Iran Was Stopped

It's unclear why the student was denied entry, but the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is involved in the student's case

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Protesters gathered at Boston Logan International Airport Monday evening in support of an Iranian student studying at Northeastern University who the school said was denied entry into the United States when he arrived earlier in the day.

Officials at the Boston university said in a statement Monday night that they are aware the student was denied entry into the country, in contact with federal officials and working to facilitate the student's successful return to Northeastern.

Northeastern "welcomes thousands of international students and supports them with an array of resources," the university said in its statement.

While Northeastern did not identify the student in its statement, court documents identify him as Mohammad Shahab Dehghani Hossein Abadi.

It's unclear why the student was denied entry, but the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is involved in the student's case, according to an official with the prominent advocacy group, and a federal lawsuit has been filed to block the student's deportation.

Court documents show the student's removal has been stayed for 48 hours and he will remain in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. He has a hearing at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Boston federal court.

The student has a visa and was trying to return to Boston for school, said Carol Rose, executive director of ACLU Massachusetts.

She called the situation concerning, saying that the student was being held without access to lawyers.

The crowd of protesters at Logan held signs aloft showing phrases like, "Protect Iranian students" and "Stop discrimination against Iranians."

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesperson declined to discuss the situation, saying in a statement they "are not at liberty to discuss an individual’s processing due to the Privacy Act."

The CBP statement went on to say that, "Applicants must demonstrate they are admissible into the U.S. by overcoming all grounds of inadmissibility including health-related grounds, criminality, security reasons, public charge, labor certification, illegal entrants and immigration violations, documentation requirements, and miscellaneous grounds."

In August, a Palestinian student heading to Harvard University for his first year of classes was detained at Logan airport. He was granted entry after about a week.

Nia Hamm reports from Cambridge, where a 17-year-old Palestinian boy is set to begin classes after initially being denied entrance to the US.
Contact Us