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Prospective MSU student deported before leaving airport

Posted at 7:20 PM, Jan 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-28 06:16:16-05

LANSING, Mich. — FOX 47 has learned that a prospective student at Michigan State University's Agriculture and Natural Resources College was detained at Detroit Metro Airport.

Alireza Yazdani, 27, was coming to Michigan to start his semester at the university when he was detained and questioned for six hours, according to his attorneys, Bradley Maze and Ghazal Mehrani of the Law Offices of Mehrani PLLC.

Yazdani then gave up his application for admission into the U.S. voluntarily.

His lawyers are looking to see if he was pressured into giving up his application.

They told us that Yazdani had a valid Visa which was issued this month, that he applied for back in September after finding out he was admitted to MSU.

The lawyers said the reason why Yazdani was detained is not clear.

His flight back to Iran is Monday afternoon.

He could reapply for admission to the U.S. but now this is on his record, so it probably won’t ever happen, his lawyers say.

They added that they would not be surprised if this was linked to the issues the U.S. has been having with Iran.

When FOX 47 reached out to Border Patrol to confirm the situation, this is the statement they provided:

"U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers are charged with enforcing not only immigration and customs laws, but also enforce over 400 laws for 40 other agencies and have stopped thousands of violators of U.S. law. Every day across America, CBP processes more than 1 million travelers at our Nation’s Ports of Entry. Of those 1 million seeking admission, approximately 790 are refused entry daily. Every applicant for admission is subject to inspection upon arrival into the United States. The issuance of a visa or participation in the visa waiver program does not guarantee entry to the United States. On January 26, Alireza Yazdani Esfidajani applied for entry into the United States, and was later deemed inadmissible at which time he withdrew his application for admission into the United States. The traveler was not arrested, rather held until a return flight could be arranged to his place of departure. 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."

MSU Spokesperson Emily Gerkin Guerrant also released a statement to Fox 47 regarding the situation:

“Officials at Michigan State University were made aware Sunday evening of a new Iranian graduate student being detained at the Detroit airport. The student was set to start classes with MSU this month. Through the Office of International Students and Scholars, the university has worked the past 24 hours with members of our Michigan congressional delegation, other federal support agencies and the student’s lawyer to help through this difficult situation. We want international students to know we value and welcome them to our campus, and we are committed to global engagement, educating international students and collaborating with partners across the world in higher education efforts. MSU’s international students make tremendous contributions to fueling discoveries and scholarship. Global leadership can only be maintained if talented people from across the globe are encouraged to come here to study and work.”

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