Since 2019, CPB officials at Logan Airport have been refusing entry to Iranian students with valid student visas


Washington (January 23, 2020) – Massachusetts Senators Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth Warren, and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) today demanded Customs and Border Protection provide answers on a pattern of targeting Iranian students for inspection and removal from the United States, and in particular, its apparent refusal to comply with an emergency federal court order to say the deportation of student Mohammad Shahab Dehghani Hossein Abadi. On January 19, Mr. Dehghani attempted to enter the United States on a valid student visa to return to classes at Northeastern University, but was instead detained, questioned, and ordered removed by CBP officials. Despite the fact that a Massachusetts district court judge granted an emergency stay of removal prior to Mr. Dehghani’s departure, CBP still went ahead and required Mr. Dehghani to board a flight and return to Iran.


Mr. Dehghani had previously undergone extensive background vetting and security checks in order to receive his student visa. In at least seven other cases, CBP has arbitrarily found Iranian students to be inadmissible and ordered them removed, despite the students having already received visas and been admitted to the United States. This latest incident involving Mr. Dehghani comes on the heels of CBP’s detention of more than sixty Iranian and Iranian-Americans in the state of Washington on January 4. 


“We are also deeply troubled by the manner in which CBP handled the detention and removal of Mr. Dehghani, especially its apparent refusal to comply with an emergency federal court order to stay his deportation,” write the lawmakers in their letter to Acting Commissioner Mark A. Moran. “Distressingly this is not the first time CBP has denied entry to foreign nationals in direct violation of the law. At minimum, we would expect CBP to have since recognized that it is not above the law and cannot defy a federal court order. It is highly concerning to us that CPB has instead decided to repeat this unlawful behavior.” 


A copy of the letter can be found HERE.