Tensions have blazed as an Egyptian student from California faces deportation for posting a hostile comment on Facebook against Republican Donald Trump. Egyptian student Emad Elsayed posted a picture of Trump on his Facebook page and went on to further comment on this post.
The comments was to the effect of – “If I killed this guy I wouldn’t mind serving a life sentence and the world would thank me”, according to his attorney Hani Bushra.
According his sister Ohoud, Elsayed traveled from Cairo to the United States on a student visa to attend flight-training courses at the Universal Air Academy in Los Angeles. Elsayed’s threatening post and subsequent detention came amid Trump’s anti-muslim and anti-Arab rhetoric that were quite shocking to say the least. Trump’s rampant talks included calling for a complete ban on Muslims entering the United States and repeating an old story, a myth about a U.S. general executing Muslim prisoners in the Philippines with bullets dipped in pig’s blood – an insensitive rhetoric indeed. Trump had also insisted that the Arabs in New Jersey cheered as the World Trade Center came crashing down. This and many other statements by Trump has some people cheering, while others, like Elsayed, are seething.
A document submitted by the government during the immigration hearing stated that it was Alex Khatib, owner of the flight school, who tipped off the FBI about the Facebook post on February 3. The FBI then forwarded this information to the Joint Terrorism Task Force, the Secret Service and the State Department. Elsayed attorney Bushra stated that two Secret Service agents came to the flight school and questioned Elsayed for over two hours asking about his background and his association with any terror groups. Shortly after the interrogation, Elsayed deleted the Facebook post.
“[In a signed statement Alex Khatib had said,] They told me that the State Department revoked Mr. Elsayed’s M-1 visa and that it was better for Mr. Elsayed to leave the country. They told me that there were no criminal charges to be filed against Mr. Elsayed, and that the only thing that is left is to terminate his I-20. Based on their information and their suggestion, I terminated the I-20 of Mr. Elsayed. “
Under the behest of the Secret Service agents, Khatib contacted Elsayed and asked him to come to the school. When Elsayed arrived, he was arrested by the Immigration officials.
On February 12, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) took Elsayed into custody. He was booked for allegedly violating the terms of his admission to the United States.
At his hearing, the Immigration judge ruled in favor of deporting Elsayed unless he manages to get a reinstatement of his student visa status.
The court session on March 4 saw Elsayed agreeing to willingly leave the country by July 5. Elsayed has not been charged with the crime but has had his student visa revoked by the State Government. He is currently being held at a Southern California jail.
According to usnews.com:
“[Bushra issued a statement after the hearing and he said], He’s [Elsayed] being detained, I think, primarily because he’s a Muslim and he’s a Middle Easterner. This kid is going to become a poster boy for hating America.”
Although his post was definitely a wrong move and was a poor judgment call, Trump’s rampant statements vary from largely inaccurate to grossly insensitive. Elsayed claims that he didn’t really mean it, but his immature remarks have certainly dented his chance at a good education.