US deports Iranian student amid protests

The case of Iranian student Hossein Abadi marks the tenth such deportation in less than a year. The news of his deportation led to a protest at the international terminal of the Logan airport in Boston

January 23, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch
Iranian student deported from US
Protests against the deportation of Hossein Abadi at Logan Airport, Boston, US. (Photo: Sarah Bentancourt, Commonwealth)

US officials deported an Iranian student on January 21, Monday, citing security reasons. The student, Mohammad Shahab Dehgani Hossein Abadi, 24, was enrolled in Northeast University and was granted a US student visa just a week ago. Officials in the US Customs and Border Protection allege that some of Abadi’s family members are related to Hezbollah, which is designated as a terrorist organization by the US. Abadi was detained for almost 12 hours at the airport before finally being deported. The news of his deportation led to a protest at the international terminal of the Logan airport in Boston. Abadi has denied the allegations of his family’s links with Hezbollah. 

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) had filed a petition in an American district court to stop the Iranian’s deportation. Massachusetts executive director of the ACLU Carol Rose argued that Abadi was deported without due process by defying “a federal court order,” said Al Jazeera.

The deportation of Hossein Abadi is not an isolated incident. According to the ACLU, his case marks the tenth such deportation since August 2019, and reveals the xenophobic policies adopted by the Trump administration. Such deportations also expose the hypocritical stand of the US on Iran. Trump had recently tried to portray himself as a protector of the Iranian people against the Iranian state, during demonstrations against the downing of a Ukrainian airplane in Iran earlier this month. He had even tweeted in Persian and expressed his concerns about the alleged state repression in the country.  

Since coming to power in 2017, Trump’s government has tried to stop immigrants from seven countries, including Iran. Speaking to the press at Davos where he is attending the annual World Economic Forum summit, Trump talked about his administration’s plan to take further action in this direction. His government has tried to restrict immigration from Latin American countries as well, and is attempting to forcefully deport undocumented migrants, some of whom have been living in the country for decades.