Press Releases

CAIR-MI Concerned by Rushed Deportation of Iranian Student

(FARMINGTON HILLS, MI, 1/28/2020) – The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) today expressed serious concerns about an international student from Iran who was detained and deported without due process. 

Alireza Yazdani, who had a valid student visa and was enrolled as a student at Michigan State University, was detained at Detroit Metro Airport (DTW) two days ago, denied entry and has since been deported. Yazdani was reportedly pressured by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents to sign a form of abandonment of his visa which then left him with no right to legal representation or recourse to enter the country.  

SEE: Incoming MSU student from Iran stopped at DTW, deported before he could begin studies (Michigan Public Radio)

https://www.michiganradio.org/post/incoming-msu-student-iran-stopped-dtw-deported-he-could-begin-studies

“On this 3rd anniversary of President Trump’s ban of persons from certain Muslim majority countries — including Iran — from receiving visas and obtaining entry as refugees to enter America, we are seeing real time consequences to Muslims’ ability to visit family members, obtain higher education to even receive medical care,” said CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid.  “We are seriously concerned by CBP’s tactics of detaining valid visa holders and pressuring them sign forms in which they unknowingly relinquish their opportunities to have legal representation.”

Walid also stated that American Muslims irrespective of race, ethnicity and national origin continue to face harassment by federal law enforcement authorities during reentry on a regular basis. 

There has been a rising trend of CBP officers profiling and questioning Iranian-Americans and Iranians with visas when entering the country. Earlier this month, some 60 persons of Iranian descent including American citizens were held up to 11 hours and excessively questioned at a border crossing in Washington state.  

SEE: Iranians detained, asked about political views at US border (Al-Jazeera)

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/01/iranians-detained-asked-political-views-border-cair-200105234042589.html

In the past year, CAIR-MI has received numerous complaints of harassment and invasive questioning of American Muslims who returned to Michigan from Iran.

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

END

CONTACT: CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid, 248-842-1418, dwalid@cair.com; CAIR-MI Staff Attorney Amy Doukoure, 586-943-8823, adoukoure@cair.com

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