A young Harvard Freshman was detained at Boston Logan International Airport on Friday and was sent back to Lebanon over a few social media posts that his friend had put up on social media.
The 17-year-old Palestinian, identified as Ismail Ajjawi, was detained by immigration officials for eight hours during which they searched his belongings along with his phone and computer, revoked his visa and sent him back to Lebanon. The reason why he was detained was that the official "found people posting political points of view that oppose the U.S.," Ajjawi said in a statement. He added that she couldn't find any posts by Ajjawi himself, The Washington Post reports.
"After the 5 hours ended, she called me into a room, and she started screaming at me. She said that she found people posting political points of view that oppose the US on my friend[s] list," Ajjawi wrote.
He added, "I responded that I have no business with such posts and that I didn't like, share or comment on them and told her that I shouldn't be held responsible for what others post."
Jonathan Swain, a Harvard spokesperson said in an emailed statement, "The University is working closely with the student's family and appropriate authorities to resolve this matters so that he can join his classmates in the coming days."
As the university is now working towards bringing Ajjawi back to the US, Harvard President, Lawrence Bacow showed concern over the development regarding student visas and student work visas.
"Students report difficulties getting initial visas - from delays to denials. Scholars have experienced postponements and disruptions for what have previously been routine immigration processes such as family visas, renewals of status, or clearance for international travel."
Bacow went on to say, "This year graduates across Harvard have seen significant delays in receiving Optional Practical Training approvals. This has hindered or endangered their post-graduate work and, in some cases, their medical residencies."