Feds Kick Incoming Harvard Freshman Out of the Country Because of His Friend's Social Media Posts

Authorities questioned Ismael Ajjawi for eight hours at Logan Airport. Then they revoked his student visa.


Ismail Ajjawi flew to the U.S. from his native Lebanon last week. He had gained admission to Harvard University, and was excited to begin classes.

When he arrived at Logan Airport in Boston, a U.S. Customs and Border Protect agent detained him for eight hours.

"She called me into a room, and she started screaming at me," Ajjawi later told The Harvard Crimson. "She said that she found people posting political points of view that oppose the US on my friend[s] list."

Ajjawi protested that he was not responsible for his friends' political opinions—and noted that he had not liked or shared them.

"I have no single post on my timeline discussing politics," he said.

The officer was unmoved. She canceled Ajjawi's visa and put him on a plane back to Lebanon.

Harvard's administration is justifiably outraged, and it is working with Ajjawi and a team of lawyers to remedy the situation. They hope to have him back in the U.S. by September 3, the first day of fall classes.

It's a terrible situation, and it at least partly reflects the Trump administration's warped immigration priorities. In 2018, the State Department issued just 362,929 student visas, a 43 percent drop since 2015, according to Fox News.

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  1. We need more Lebanese immigrants to take the Harvard slots Americans don’t want to.

    1. We’d be better off if we sent Harvard students to Lebanon. The Harvard faculty should be sent to Venezuela.

      1. +100

      2. +1,000,000 🙂

        1. The resentment toward betters can be powerful, especially among the white-grievance clingers.

          1. You are boring, and an asshole.

            1. Don’t forget that Kirkland is not a human intelligence, but a jar of gall bladders of failed dictators that has somehow gained sentience. Unusual situation aside, still an asshole.

              Fun fact: despite his small stature, Napoleon’s gall bladder is actually the largest in the jar.

              1. So did it grow an asshole? Or among the like of gall bladders was one of more assholes already present? Or both?

                1. No, no anuses in the jar. The prevailing theory is that the jar retains some personality traits of the various failed dictators whose gall bladders comprise its contents.

                  For example, Che Guevara habitually called people with whom he had no prior contact half-educated bigots and was also known to be a raging asshole as evidenced by his personally executing defenseless prisoners without trial.

                  Needless to say, Che is one of the 23 known owners of the organs that inhabit the jar. There are 4 whose origin has yet to be determined.

                  1. This reads like a Borges short story, while at the same time being more than likely 100% true.
                    well done.

              2. “Fun fact: despite his small stature, Napoleon’s”

                Napoleon wasn’t short, he was of marginally above average height for the day.

                The myth of his short stature comes from the fact that he predates global standardization of feet and inches. British units for feet and inches were slightly shorter than their French Equivalents.

                The British press at the time had a field day reporting on Napoleon’s height from french sources, either forgetting or maliciously ignoring the need for unit conversion, thus leaving the British public with a mistaken impression that Napoleon was of below average height.

                1. That still doesn’t explain the massive size of his gall bladder. It is twice as big as Mussolini’s.

              3. This is the greatest conversation that’s ever occurred on Reason.

          2. – 1,000,000

          3. Hi, gecko!

          4. Arty, I have no betters. No man may be my equal. I have inside me blood of kings.

            Take me to the future of you all.

            1. There can be only one.

              1. Duncan or Conner?

          5. YAWN!!! How about some new material, Bro????

    2. “It’s a terrible situation, and it at least partly reflects the Trump administration’s warped immigration priorities. In 2018, the State Department issued just 362,929 student visas, a 43 percent drop since 2015, according to Fox News.”

      An opinion, not based on facts. Robby should just say ‘Orange man bad’, as that is the whole point of this article.

      1. To be fair, the opinion seems to rely on the facts in the second sentence you quoted. Unfortunately for the validity of the opinion, looking at the year being compared to (2015), Fox seems to be catering to the “keep the dirty furriners out” crowd and give credit for the drop to Trump. From 2015 to 2016, the number dropped from 644,233 to 472,728, which means that 61% of the drop happened before Trump was even *elected*. Maybe the remainder is Trump-related, but it might also be a continuation of whatever caused the drop between 2015 and 2016.

    3. I accidentally hit the stupid flag button on somebody’s post and I’m sorry.

      1. I think we all have at least once lately. It really needs a confirm button, like we used to have.

        1. I hated the flag button. But found I flagged Hihn (and his multiple socks) I didn’t have to read his drivel after I refreshed. So it isn’t entirely useless. Just mostly useless.

      2. It would be an improvement if it was a stupid flag, as in ‘flag this post as retarded’. Instead of being removed, it would put a brightly colored box around it, for better visibility.

        1. And if they did that automatically yo every Hihn/Hihn-sock post. It should be easy for the algorithm to detect. Just look for non-sequitor remarks with random capitalizations, bolding, left-right=π or whatever and grandiose claims of victory.

    4. Oh Dear! Did Harvard give Ismail Ajjawi Kyle Kashuv’s spot when Harvard went digging for Kyles previous tweets?

    5. Very clever. Don’t you think it is wrong to keep someone out of the country just because he has a friend who expressed some opposition to U.S. foreign policy? Something Americans are free to express anytime, anywhere? Don’t we still support the letter and the spirit of the First Amendment, as “the friend and well-wisher to the freedom” of all? And even if the U.S. administration doesn’t (which it appears not to), it surely is appropriate for a libertarian magazine to support such freedom of speech, wouldn’t you think?

      1. Do keep in mind we’re only hearing his side of this, because as a general rule, the reason somebody is excluded is considered private information, so the border people can’t comment on it.

  2. Definitely not the full story. Also, why the fuck are we giving top slots to people who most likely will not stay in the US? Why are we financing our own brain drain?

    1. That’s Harvard’s call. The view of half-educated bigots probably do not interest Harvard. Try Bob Jones, Hillsdale, or Ouachita Baptist.

      1. That’s the harvard that restricted asian applicants isnt it? Not bigotry?

        1. Isn’t Lebanon technically in Asia?

          1. Yes, and Afrikaners are African.

            1. And automatically American if they have dark skin. As I am told they are not black, but in fact ‘African American’. Even if they’ve never been here.

      2. The low IQ simian spawn of H0M0Erectus has spoken. We get it u hate crackas the feeling is mutual angry ape.

    2. I do agree that there is no way this is the full story.

    3. You aren’t financing it. So why do you care? Harvard is a private university, and foreign students do NOT get federal funds, so it’s no skin off your back. “We” are not financing anything.

      1. Oh, the white supremacists care . . . intensely.

      2. But the college does get federal funds. Even though they shouldn’t. In fact, Harvard’s endowment is around $40 billion. Given what huge Marxist progtards their professors and administration are, maybe Trump should some of it off of them.

      3. Nice semantics. The federal funding Harvard receives factors into its budget and enables them to take foreign students in the first place. We are indirectly financing brain drain.

    4. Why are “we” treating higher education as if the public has some collective right to decide who is admitted and who is not?

      1. why do you keep posting like you are on a website devoted to free minds and free markets? individuals doing their thing? fuck em

        this website is where we get together to glorify the collective action of government and suck the executive branch’s tiny cock.

        you must be new

      2. Because when your private institutions whore out limited resources to people who won’t contribute back to them, we’re well within our rights to criticize them to hell and back. Bonus points when that private institution isn’t actually private and greatly benefits from the public whose country that institution operates within.

      3. We’re not. The people, through our democratic republican institutions, enjoy the right to decide who is or is not admitted to our country. Who Harvard admits to their school is their business. Two separate matters.

    5. What makes you think he’s going back?

  3. Friends don’t let friends attend Harvard.

    1. Decent people don’t let right-wing bigots stay competitive in the culture war . . . and that is what this is about.

      1. Really? You’ve examined the government’s files on this case, interviewed the people mentioned in the files to get their perspective, etc., etc.?

        Or – and forgive me for even assuming this about you – are you simply posting one of your copy-and-paste phrases about clingers, etc. without regard for the specific context?

        1. You need to ask?

      2. Rev, you wouldn’t know what a decent person was if they hit you with a truck.

  4. Wow, such in-depth reporting. The actions of one person reflect an entire administration? Is there more to this story or is this CNN, “We only give you the headline”?

    1. “While escorting an old lady across the street and saving some sick puppies, he was greeted at the airport gates by Trump himself. Trump then slapped him and called him a ‘homo’.”

      There, I fixed it for you, Robby.

      1. Your selective reporting bias is showing. The full quote is, “Go back to where you came from homo.” With such shoddy reporting you’re gonna make Robby/Reason look bad.

  5. So a wall is not necessary?

  6. Reason Last 2 years : “we should let anybody in who wants to come in but vet them.”

    Reason now : “hey, dont vet them!”

    1. lmao. Strawmen are so funny looking.

      1. Hint: you’re relying solely on the biased viewpoint of the student denied entry and his family.

        1. Hint, you’re relying on you’re racism

    2. I don’t see the article above as “hey, don’t vet them”. I see the article above as “that’s what the hell you think counts as vetting?!?”

      With that interpretation, I have to agree with the author. Tarring someone because they have asshole friends who say stupid things is not a standard that I think any of us want to see get started. I have enough trouble controlling the stupid things I say. No way do I want to be held hostage to my “friends” lack of self-control.

      1. The article that relief simply on the view of the detained students report of why he was stopped?

        I’m sure you can link me to the full report procured by the interested agencies since it is missing from the article.

        1. Or we could remember that government works for us and that government has the burden of defending its own actions to its citizens. Transparency is an essential value in a democratic republic. (Yes, there are exceptions where national security is implicated. There are no signs that’s applicable here.) So can you point to a published report rebutting the detained student’s report?

          I’m okay with qualifiers that we’ve only heard one side of the story so far. I’m a lot less okay with implications that we should completely ignore such reports or that we should trust the government blindly.

        2. Cough cough not the whole story cause my racism and violence!

    3. More like don’t vet their friends comments.

      But we will see where this goes, right now we only have the one side of the argument.

      1. You have also seen the entire investigation report?

      2. And we know how accurate the hot take, orange man bad take is. Forget the poor Covington Kids and the multiple stories about how it’s Mueller Time.

        1. BTW, just the one story on Comey? Really?

          1. They got the both sides argument done in the headline. Only one needed.

            1. But where is the story telling us how this proves Trump is guilty of interfering with an investigation into a crime that didn’t occur?

              1. And how this proves how much of a libertarian hero Amash is?

                1. Where does Bill Weld fit into this?

  7. My nephew [another “Ivy Leaguer”] travels a lot; once while going through customs some food he declared was confiscated, including a sausage he really wanted. He got angry and remarked to the agent that he should have just kept his mouth shut and not said anything.

    Some months later he was travelling international again when the agent who pulled him up on file asked, “are you the sausage smuggler?”

    I know, sounds like a Ron “Tater Salad” White skit.

    1. Wow, I get asked about my college nickname, too!

    2. The sausage thing is actually a resu

      USDA does not allow travelers to bring back most cattle, swine, sheep or goat meat or meat products from countries affected with certain serious livestock diseases:

      Foot-and-mouth disease
      Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE)
      Swine vesicular disease
      Classical swine fever
      African swine fever

      To find out a country’s status for these diseases, visit our animal disease status page.

      Commercially-packaged and labelled, cooked, shelf-stable meat items in unopened packages from affected countries are allowed, with one exception. Sheep and goat meat/products cannot enter from BSE-affected countries. View a list of these countries.

      1. Yeah, one of our German employees had a friend toss some sausage in a crate of machinery being sent here from our corporate headquarters in Germany. (Don’t really blame him, that German sausage is GOOD.)

        You wouldn’t believe the fuss, and how hard it was to get the machinery itself freed up. You’d have thought he’d tried smuggling in a nuclear bomb.

  8. The Chinese social credit system penalizes people for what their friends post online. I don’t think that’s something you want to import from China.

  9. “It’s a terrible situation, and it at least partly reflects the Trump administration’s warped immigration priorities.”

    I said this about Boehm’s free trade arguments, and I’ll say it again here about immigration: When we bring Trump into a discussion unnecessarily, it makes it appear that we only support free trade or immigration (or any other issue) because we’re against Trump.

    I’d support a constitutional open immigration treaty with Mexico–even if Trump supported it. I’d support open trade with China–even if Trump supported it. Where Trump stands on any issue will never have anything to do with where I stand that issue or why. If you can’t support or oppose something without bringing Trump into it somehow, you’re probably hurting your own cause–or you’re being disingenuous.

    If the object is to persuade more Americans to support more student visas, you should probably avoid alienating marginal Trump supporters for no good reason–especially if you intend to continue to support more student visas long after Trump has left office. On the other hand, if your main objective is to use student visas as a convenient excuse to hurt Trump’s chances of reelection, then you should probably look at the ethics of using foreign students like toilet paper.

    As a free trade supporter and open border treaty with Mexico supporter, I certainly don’t appreciate seeing my issues treated that way.

    1. Politics is a dirty game and Trump makes an easy target. When he’s passed from the scene in a couple of years, any Republican associated closely with him will continue to be stigmatized and mocked as a Trump stooge.

      1. You’d think so, but neocons (man, was THAT a failed ideology) seem to have done quite well for themselves.

        1. Neocons are not an easy target. They are bipartisan and don’t have an easily recognizable figurehead.

          1. Bill Kristol.

            There, not that hard.

            And he is doing well for himself in spite of being an abject failure, repeatedly.

            1. “Bill Kristol. ”

              Isn’t he a writer or TV personality? Trump makes a much better target, believe me. Trump is the president, and everyone knows that. Kristol isn’t even a politician.

      2. Which really won’t matter, because it’s not like they’re going to get a worse bunk in the camps on that account, or miss out on the ‘de-lousing shower’. The “R” entitles you to the full treatment, regardless of details.

        Look, every current Republican President is literally Hitler, then becomes retroactively not so bad (But still bad, of course!) when the next one is elected, so that the new one can be contrasted unfavorably with him. There really isn’t any way for Republicans to be liked by Democrats, and no point in trying. It’s not anything they’re doing that makes them hated, it’s that they’re not Democrats.

        I remember what they said about Reagan at the time. Then Bush. Then the next Bush. They were all monsters while they were in office. Democrats were saying horrifying things about them, as bad as anything they say about Trump now.

        For the left, there’s only them, and monsters. So there’s no point in trying to suck up to them.

        1. “Which really won’t matter, because it’s not like they’re going to get a worse bunk in the camps on that account, or miss out on the ‘de-lousing shower’. The “R” entitles you to the full treatment, regardless of details.”

          We Republicans like to fantasize that we’re Jews in concentration camps, for some reason.

  10. Honestly, I don’t see the issue here. SCOTUS has decided this question. CBP has an absolute right to search anything they wish, detain anyone entering the country at the border, for as long as they deem necessary. They can summarily deny entry to anyone. That was the case here.

    This kid associated himself with the wrong people. Too bad for him. I think he is learning a tough lesson very early. There is a wonderful Spanish idiom for this, loosely translated: Tell me with whom you are, and I will tell you what you are. I don’t buy Reason’s ‘just a poor innocent kid being picked on by America’ story slant for one minute. Maybe foreigners coming here to our country should give some thought to who they choose to associate with. Because we are going to be looking at it. As we should.

    1. “There’s nothing wrong with guilt by association!”

      1. He wasn’t thrown in jail, Pedo Jeffy. They just didn’t let him stay here. Maybe they will find out he likes to violently rape children. Then his cause is one you can really get behind. As your stupid Canadian ass is obsessed with bringing more pedophiles to America.

    2. Perhaps our reason-based, first-tier schools should start refusing to admit people who associate with half-educated bigots, superstitious slack-jaws, white supremacists, Republicans, homeschooled rubes, and the like?

      Nah, probably not.

      1. “Perhaps our reason-based, first-tier schools should start refusing to admit people who associate with half-educated bigots, superstitious slack-jaws, white supremacists, Republicans, homeschooled rubes, and the like?”

        Didn’t make it? They decided they didn’t want asshole bigots?
        Fuck off.

    3. “I don’t buy Reason’s ‘just a poor innocent kid being picked on by America’ story slant for one minute.”

      What was it about the Facebook postings that you found so incriminating?

      1. What was it about the Facebook postings that you found so incriminating?

        Facebook postings = Russian propaganda, duh.

        1. What have you got against Russian propaganda? How is it incriminating? Trump has been remarkably tolerant on the issues of Russia, for example pleading with the G6 leaders to let Russia return to the international talk shop.

          1. Reason assures me free trade with China, Iran, North Korea and Cuba will lead to the end of tyranny in those countries so why not include Russia in that too? Or are you still pushing the Russa-Hoax?

            1. ” so why not include Russia in that too? Or are you still pushing the Russa-Hoax?”

              Western nations aside from the US still want to punish Russia for annexing the Crimea.

      2. Holy shit are the open border assholes in full retard mode for this thread. You arguing that the biased story from the student is the sole true version of events. Investigatory reports havent been released.

    4. Even if the CBP have the constitutional and legal power to do something that does not mean that it is not wrong.

  11. “It’s a terrible situation, and it at least partly reflects the Trump administration’s warped immigration priorities.”

    Claiming facts not in evidence.

    1. There are no facts in evidence outside of the denial of a visa. Everything else in this story is assertion from the student on why he was denied.

      This article is almost as bad as the idiotic cancer Visa story from yesterday.

  12. “Hey! They can’t do that to our students. Only WE can do that to our students!”

    1. +1000.

      Although they usually wait for an unsupported rape claim first.

  13. “She said that she found people posting political points of view that oppose the US on my friend[s] list.”

    So, his friends are already at Harvard?

    1. It would be hilarious if the disturbing posts came not from foreigners with September 11thy names, but rich white progressive kids professing allegiance to Antifa. I could actually see that.

      1. That would be simultaneously hilarious and narrative destroying. They wouldn’t be able to memory hole the story quick enough.

  14. “It’s a terrible situation, and it at least partly reflects the Trump administration’s warped immigration priorities.”

    Because nothing like this has ever happened before. Right?

    1. And I totally bet it happened exactly as described here.

      Robby, have you not yet learned to do a bit of research before just reciting pablum you agree with?

      1. He went to Columbia, so no.

  15. I do not know this freshman 17 yo. Like most people his age he likely has only a vague idea.

    From what has been said about him he has excelled in studies and has earned a slot at Harvard intending to go into medicine.

    I have no idea why he is blocked from that.

    I have worked with people from all over the world.

    Give the young man a chance.

    1. Now do kashuv for consistency.

      1. Why wouldn’t he?

        1. Because he is rarely consistent.

      2. Also, Kashuv’s dis-admission was Harvard’s choice, not the government’s.

        1. And just like harvard is allowed to choose who is allowed entry into their institutions… the U.S. government is allowed to choose who is allowed entry into their country. This isnt a novel idea.

          So what exactly is your argument?

      3. Cmon Jesse

        I do not know this kiddo. Said that.

        So he is tradeoff for kashuv?

        Gimmie a break. You cannot trade one for another on political crap. You and I do not own this kiddo.

        I do not care if this person is going to Harvard or Missouri State.

        It is not up to either of us.

  16. The Trump administration’s immigration priorities are actually pretty straightforward. Their goal is to keep foreigners out of the country as much as they can, and in this case a foreigner was kept out of the country. Mission accomplished.

  17. I’m wondering how many people who’ve been bounced from the border over the last– I’ll be conservative and say fifteen years, but weren’t going to Harvard while Trump was president. If the answer is “a lot” and we consider this a human tragedy, then we need to take a look at our entire immigration system. The problem I have with these stories is more and more, I smell a policy which probably has a long continuity among several administrations, but is only getting sunlight now, because Trump.

    Maybe that’s ok. Maybe the press goes to sleep for four to eight years at a time while a sympathetic figure is in the white house. Maybe that’s something our democracy has to live with. But all too often, when someone scratches the grime on American policy with enough vigor to break through to previous administrations (and no, I’m not just trying to beat up on Obama) Bush administrations, Clinton administrations and sometimes even Reagan administrations are found below the surface.

    1. Yeah, I don’t know that this is Trump’s fault. Immigration policy, as well as enforcement (well really a lot of LE in the US) has been a disaster for a long time.

      1. Only 1 million+ per year get in!
        The horror!

        1. That’s only the size of a major city in the country. It needs to be the size of NYC yearly.

          1. It just needs to be decided by the market, that’s all. A lot of those 1 million are family preference. I’d be ok with an extra visa class where someone could pledge money or get a surety bond that the immigrant won’t commit a felony or take welfare or something, so that there is more skin in the game.

            1. Decided by the market. So who represents the market?

              1. Who represents the market in deciding how to set the price of gasoline?

            2. It just needs to be decided by the market

              That was outlawed by the 13th Amendment.

    2. I’m continually amazed at how many of the “Trump administration bad” stories wind up having a punchline of “this is a continuation of policies from the Obama/Bush/Clinton/Bush/Reagan presidency.”

  18. Good thing he isn’t a white supremacist, then who at Reason would stick up for him?

    1. Only the nazis and white supremacists. Side note: There are no “racists” any more because that slur stopped working.

  19. Really, Robby?

    “She said that she found people posting political points of view that oppose the US on my friend[s] list.”

    That is your best journalistic summary of an 8 hour interview?
    There was not another single thing covered in that conversation that was in the slightest bit negative?

    1. The problem here is we may never know what happened in that interview. If you’ve ever dealt with customs in any country, you can spend an awful long time in a room over some official’s “hunch” while they sift through your background and ask you a bunch of circular questions trying to figure out if there’s anything that disqualifies you from entering. It’s possible nothing of any value was learned. But even if there were, I’ll bet BP won’t tell you what it was, so all we end up with is a one-sided story which may or may not be true.

      1. See, to me, there is no issue at all. The CBP can turn any foreign national away at the border, before they enter. That is the law. A law SCOTUS ultimately decided was perfectly constitutional. What’s the problem? I just don’t see it.

        1. The law is the problem. It should be changed.

            1. Because a single person shouldn’t have such un-appealable authority in a republic?

              1. But there is an appeal process. Which he is undergoing, he just can’t enter until after the appeal is done.

          1. The law in every country in the world is the problem? Do you know how fucking stupid you sound?

            1. I mean, there’s nothing about “everyone else does it” that makes it right. When the US was created, nearly everywhere was a monarchy–did that make the US “fucking stupid?”

              1. No, but acting as if this is uniquely evil to the US is just as intellectually dishonest.

                1. Well, in other threads you tell us to mind our own business, and I am a natural-born US citizen…

      2. Back in 1999, while entering Canada at the Carway AB border crossing my wife (then girlfriend) and I were pulled inside for a twenty+ minute interrogation. We were separated, and I got the bad cop while she got the good cop. I’m reasonably certain they thought I was running girls to Bountiful BC (a polygamist Mormon sect town.)

        Would have been laughable but we had dinner reservations in Calgary.

  20. If u think for a second this poor victim didn’t share the same views u need your head examined. Better safe than sorry. The Harvard SJW powers that be can spend shekels & time getting this m00slime martyr back in their leftist indoctrination facility. At the same time shunning Asians w/ more exemplary curriculum vitae

    1. Go back to The Federalist.

    2. Back in 2010-2013 when I used FB for a bit, there were all sorts of political shit on my wall or feed or whatever that I didn’t even remotely agree with. So what?

      1. I don’t much like the entire ‘tone’ of ‘jester’s post, but, Juice, am guessing (based on population & overall freedom of movement, w/ only presented facts), that this kid is coming from a far more homogeneous locale in SW Asia. The kind of place that Arty would love, where men w/ masks kidnap or kill 1’s family if there’s a chance you oppose them, and talk about it in terms of advancing society for the faithful. And, potentially, he chose to not share/like opinions exactly so he could make the argument he did. But, I have no way of knowing.

        1. Also, not 1 ‘Call me Ismael’ joke? What the hells?

  21. Harvard has not expressed “outrage.” It has indicated it is working with Ajjawi and the immigration service.

    This article depends for its report entirely on Ajjawi’s statements, which have been neither confirmed nor supported by evidence.

    Ajjawi’s version of this story is inherently implausible. His claim that an immigration officer simply began “screaming” at him is almost certainly a lie, as just one example.

    From the immigration service actions, its confirmation of determination Ajjawi’s inadmissibility and the inherently implausible nature of Ajjawi’s recounting, it is obvious that Ajjawi lied in material respects to obtain his visa, lied to immigration officers during his point of entry examination, is now lying to the media, and will not soon be returning to the United States or Harvard.

    This article is bad and inaccurate reporting, tendentious and highly unprofessional. Reason should remove it.

    1. “”I have no single post on my timeline discussing politics,” he said.”

      And he likely was confident of his, having scrubbed his timeline a month earlier.

      I’m with you; My default assumption in cases like this is that Reason is omitting materially important details that might get in the way of the narrative.

      In this case, the State Department’s version of events:

      “A State Department official declined to comment specifically on Ajjawi’s case as visa records are confidential under U.S. law. U. S. Customs and Border Protection spokesperson Michael S. McCarthy wrote in an emailed statement that CBP found Ajjawi “inadmissible” to the country.

      “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,” McCarthy wrote. “This individual was deemed inadmissible to the United States based on information discovered during the CBP inspection.””

      1. Ah, miscellaneous grounds. That explains everything.

        1. He was just really interested in technology so he took apart a clock radio and put it in a suitcase to show his teacher.

          1. He didnt even take it apart. He just removed the cover. Literally did nothing else. Clock boy is not the next Tesla.

            1. More like the next Edison. Claims other people’s work as his own.

        2. The key part is, “A State Department official declined to comment specifically on Ajjawi’s case as visa records are confidential under U.S. law.”

          We’ve only got the kid’s version of events, and barring his authorizing the government to release the reason for his rejection, we’re only going to get his version of events.

          But that’s no reason to assume he’s giving us the straight story.

  22. Harvard will go to bat for this likely terrorist, but not the Weinstein lawyer guy?

    1. Weinstein lawyer guy money is not Lebanese oil tycoon money. If anyone thinks this kids family isn’t loaded, they are nuts. You don’t get into Harvard from Lebanon on a scholarship.

      And Harvard could use a new Religions of the World wing for the library.

  23. I’m confident that this churnalistic pile of dog crap is 100% accurate and complete.

    Reason circa 2019: recirculating and summarizing “Orange Man bad” headlines that have nothing to do with Orange Man cuz why not…

  24. Maybe its for the best.
    The sooner Mr. Ismail Ajjawi learns the Union of Soviet Socialist Slaves States of America doesn’t tolerate freedom of association or speech, the better.

    1. This may shock the uneducated such as yourself… the 1a doesnt apply to foreign nationals not in this country.

      1. You’re right. It applies to Congress and the laws it makes. Those laws cannot abridge the freedom of speech, etc.

        1. The question is does the 1A apply to those entering into the US? Is there a reason a government could wish to keep people who are not citizens/legal residents out because of their beliefs? I am not certain if the courts have addressed this or not.

          1. They have addressed it many times.

            Most recently the banning of Cat Steven’s was upheld as the courts stated he had no right to entry and the country could bar him based on speech.

            This isnt new.

            1. Like I said I wasn’t sure.

        2. Not sure if you missed my actual point. The USSC has fully allowed the U.S. to bar foreign nationals entry into the country solely on the basis of speech by those individuals elsewhere. The 1a does not apply to foreign nationals not within the borders of this country.

          This isnt new. It is well known and has been in practice from the country’s inception.

          The fact that there is a contingent of ignorant open border idiots who refuse to do any basic historical legal research screaming and crying over a biased assertion of denial doesnt change facts.

          Now do you want to try to make an intelligent comment?

  25. She canceled Ajjawi’s visa and put him on a plane back to Lebanon.

    Why does a lone customs agent have to power to do this?

    1. She is a woman. You got a problem with that?

    2. Why does a lone customs agent have to power to do this?


      It is egregious that all the people here chanting “rule of law” are endorsing a blatant example of “rule by a (wo)man!”

      1. Was it a lone agent? Or is there a possibility that the story isn’t being reported accurately? And is based upon a single source, namely the one who is accusing them of wrong doing? So we should not have healthy skepticism but instead immediately believe a biased source?

        1. In general, single agents do have that authority. I think that’s really messed up.

          1. How else would they work it? Destain them if there is a suspicion and have a review board look it over? Or just no enforcement?

            1. Well, the student has an F1 visa presumably (what college kids and grad students usually have). The security/whatever review should have happened at visa issuance time–I mean, they even do an interview. The only thing that CBP should be concerned with is:

              1) whether the individual has the proper visa or passport
              2) whether the individual is bringing in materials that require a tariff application or are prohibited.

              Both of those can be ascertained relatively quickly and professionally. The decision to admit should have been* done at the time of F1 approval.

              * I am aware that is not how it works right now. But I am saying this is how it should work. I do not believe that in a free country, one individual should have un-appealable authority like that.

              1. Since we don’t know for sure exac5 what happened, there may be a lot more reason than what the kid is claiming. It’s possible he was flagged by intelligence after the visa was given and CBP reviewed it and found reason to suspend it. If given new information, can they revoke a visa after it’s issued?

                1. Absolutely they can. Heck, they can revoke it after you’re in the country, and deport you.

    3. That’s their literal job. Next question?

      1. And we are saying that should change. Is it really that difficult to comprehend?

        1. Who is we? And change how? What is your solution? If we find out he really is linked to Hezbollah or Hamas (he is actually Palestinian so I am just positing here) would you still blame the line agent, or was it possible she was doing exactly what you would expect border patrol to do?

  26. The headline and the entire premise of the story is conjecture. We know what one 17 year old Lebanese kid told The Harvard Crimson; a kid who has every reason to make himself look good and stay in the school’s good graces. That’s it. We don’t have any statement from customs refuting or corroborating the basis of the action. He has no track record, no history in the United States yet, and it is entirely possible that an innocent mistake has delayed his entry. We don’t know what he said or how he acted during 8 hours of interviewing. We just don’t know.

    I must have missed the part in the article that shows how this “at least partly reflects the Trump administration’s warped immigration priorities.” How does one random occurrence reflect anything? Why is it assumed that immigration priorities are “warped?” I thought “Reason” was supposed to be levelheaded, thoughtful and, you know, Reasonable.

  27. Has anyone seen what these allegedly offensive posts are?

    Remember: this is the same Harvard that revoked a young man’s acceptance because of an allegedly-racist tweet the kid posted when he was 14 or so. I’m sure Harvard would want to be consistent and hold this gentleman’s to the same exacting standard.

    1. “I’m sure Harvard would want to be consistent . . . ”

      You don’t actually know a lot about Harvard, do you?

      1. And you don’t actually know a lot about sarcasm, do you?

  28. We don’t know why this student has his visa revoked.
    All we know is what he said. It’s dishonest to represent that as being beyond question.

    1. Open border acolytes dont care about your facts.

  29. This is actually a great example of the lack of professionalism of the CBP (starting with the screaming at him instead of calmly asking). Basically the same kind of bully tactics as we see from other law enforcement, but for some reason the crowd here thinks it’s great.

    Note that this complaint is separate from what the law should be: I’m asking that the well-paid and ultra-job-secure CBP officers act with some amount of professionalism.

    1. Seems like a great example of gullibility

    2. Do you believe everything a 17 year old tells you? Are you now convinced the earth is doomed because of Greta?

      1. No, I’ve just experienced it myself, as have my friends.

      2. I mean, are you really surprised that American law enforcement agents are douchebags? It’s not like it’s an implausible story! And as I just said, it absolutely does happen. Lots of CBP are total unprofessional dicks because they are unaccountable. It’s not a good look for people arriving in the US.

        1. Oh so guilt by association then?

          1. Nope, as I said (and you could try to read), it’s happened to me and my friends on multiple occasions (the unprofessional behavior). That’s why I think this account is plausible My point in the comment you replied to is that it is not surprising to hear that law enforcement behaved unprofessionally in this country.

            1. No, you are presenting anecdotes and then drawing the conclusion that because of your bad experiences this condemns all of CBP. What I stated is exactly what you are doing. Growing up as a white kid on the reservation I had a lot of bad experiences with Native Americans would I be justified in assuming all Native Americans are assholes then?

            2. You also pretty much denigrated all law enforcement with the statement “are you really surprised that American law enforcement agents are douchebags?” I tend to judge individuals as individuals and I also wait until both sides have presented there case before drawing a conclusion.

            3. I would also state you suffer from confirmation bias. Maybe this case is as you view it, but the evidence is not complete enough to say one way or the other.

              1. Sure, there’s uncertainty. But think of it like this: I have a prior that comes from experience, as well as one that comes from the simple fact that lack of accountability usually leads to incompetence. That doesn’t mean it _has to_ be that way, just that it’s more believable that it is. I’ve heard one side of this story, and combined with the aforementioned information, that currently sways me to believe it. Sure, if there is something credible to the contrary, I would change my mind.

  30. Or it seems most posters are stating that the only story we have is the kid’s story and we have no way of verifying it veracity. Is it possible that you so dislike police and the CBP that you cannot comprehend that they may not be as guilty as a single biased source claims? Have we not learned over the past ten years or so that the hot take is usually wrong?

    1. Covington is literally a nazi school whose headmaster is zombie hitler. Stop letting facts get in the way.

    2. Nope, my point is that this is a routine occurrence. American CBP is notoriously unprofessional. Note that this is not a commentary on the immigration law, just a note that if I behaved at my job like they do at theirs, I’d be fired.

      1. And I’ve known lots of CBP that are professionals. Are they notoriously unprofessional or is that per chance a mischaracterization? You are condemning 60,000 + agents based upon your experiences.

        1. How about just giving them accountability? You know, treat their clients (at least US citizens) with respect, just like anyone in the private sector has to treat their clients. If it’s really so few that are bad, then only a few will be terminated.

  31. When the first words out of your mouth are lies, everything else you say is suspect at best

    Ismail Ajjawi flew to the U.S. from his native Lebanon last week.

    Ismail Ajjawi is Palestinian. He lives in a refugee camp in Tyre.

    1. That might not be a (total) lie. It is entirely possible he was born in Lebanon to non-Lebanese parents. But is misleading to represent his nativity – ie. place of birth – without clarifying his actual nationality.

  32. Lemme tell ya something: I was denied entry into U.K. and held in custody for 12 hours, based on nothing more than my supposed acquaintance with individuals considered pariahs by the British state. After several rounds of questioning, our passports were marked in red ink “denied” and we were summarily shipped back to the U.S. Fact, and I’m sure the Rev. would have approved.

    1. Obviously Trump’s fault to.

    2. So, just out of curiosity, how do the airlines handle that? Financially, I mean. Bill you for the flight on the basis of it being expedited, swallow the flight as a cost of doing business, something in between?

      1. We had already paid for a round trip ticket, so they just changed the return date based on British customs requirement.

    3. ” individuals considered pariahs by the British state.”

      Mark Steyn, or Michael Savage?

      Boy, Reason sure freaked out over their mistreatment.

      1. The acquaintances were Brits whose politica l leanings are considered outside that which is allowable.

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