ACLU of Massachusetts Statement on Iranian Student Removed from U.S.

January 21, 2020 1:00 pm

Media Contact
125 Broad Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
United States

BOSTON — Shahab Dehghani, a student at Northeastern University, attempted to return to the United States on Sunday. At Boston Logan Airport, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) detained him, refused to admit him to the U.S. on his student visa, and insisted that he leave the country on the next available flight.

Last night, dozens of supporters showed up at the airport — alongside the ACLU of Massachusetts — and attorneys filed an emergency lawsuit.

A federal judge last night ordered that Dehghani remain in the U.S for 48 hours pending a court hearing, which was set for Tuesday morning. Instead, CBP removed him from the country on Monday night, contrary to the court order.

Since August 2019, at least 10 students have been sent back to Iran upon arriving at U.S. airports. Seven of those 10 students had flown into Logan Airport.

Carol Rose, executive director at the ACLU of Massachusetts, today released the following statement in response:

“In America, nobody is above the law — including Customs and Border Protection officials. Given the Trump administration’s xenophobic policies and CBP’s troubling practice at Logan Airport of sending students with valid visas back to Iran, it is shameful that the government defied a federal court order and deported Shahab without due process. We are looking at all options to hold CBP accountable for wrongfully deporting Iranians and other students who hold valid visas.”

By completing this form, I agree to receive occasional emails per the terms of the ACLU’s privacy policy.

The Latest in Immigrants' Rights

ACLU's Vision

The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.

Learn More About Immigrants' Rights

Immigration Rights issue image

The fundamental constitutional protections of due process and equal protection embodied in our Constitution and Bill of Rights apply to every person, regardless of immigration status.