A patch on the uniform of a U.S. Border Patrol agent at a highway checkpoint on August 1, 2018 in West Enfield, Maine.
  • An Iranian university student planning to attend Northeastern University was detained at a Boston airport by immigration officials Monday night.
  • Mohammad Shahab Dehghani Hossein, 24, was approved for a visa by the State Department but now faces deportation, the Boston Globe reported.
  • In the wake of escalating tensions with Iran, dozens of Iranian Americans have been detained by US Customs and Border Protection.
  • Presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Joe Kennedy weighed in on the case, calling for Dehghani's release.
  • For more stories go to the Business Insider South Africa homepage


The deportation of an Iranian university student by immigration officials has ignited outrage from local community members and politicians on Capitol Hill.

Mohammad Shahab Dehghani Hossein, a 24-year-old Iranian national, was detained at Boston's Logan International Airport by US border patrol agents Monday night, the Boston Globe first reported. Although a judge temporarily halted Dehghani's deportation, he was removed from the US anyway.

Dehghani planned to attend Northeastern University to study economics and was granted an F1 student visa to attend the university in the spring semester, according to Dehghani's attorneys. His lawyers filed an emergency petition to halt his deportation and grant him permission to attend the university, arguing the Iranian national had every right to be in the country.

According to a legal filing obtained by the Boston Globe, Dehghani submitted a visa application in 2018 after being admitted to Northeastern for the 2018 - 2019 academic year. After an extensive background check that took nearly a year, the State Department issued the Iranian student a visa last week.

Dehghani's attorneys argued in a legal filing obtained by the Globe that he "does not pose any threat of terrorist activity and has no criminal record in any country. It is unclear why [Customs and Border Protection] would now decide, after conducting a full visa issuance process, that Plaintiff's student visa should be revoked." US Customs and Border Protection agents allegedly refused to let the attorneys speak to Dehghani after he was detained. The agency did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

The Iranian student's detainment ignited swift public outcry and drew more than 50 protesters, including Iranian Americans, who demanded his release.

Massachusetts politicians, including presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, also called for the student's release.

"Shahab Dehghani is an Iranian student with a valid F1 visa, returning to finish his education. CBP already held him overnight. His deportation must be halted, and we must fight the Trump administration's xenophobic policies," Warren tweeted Monday evening.

Rep. Joe Kennedy III also took to Twitter to protest Dehghani's deportation, adding that "this president treats every immigrant as a terrorist-that's not what this nation was founded upon."

Dehghani isn't the only Iranian national to be detained by CBP. Following the assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani that brought the US to the brink of war, 60 Iranians and Iranian-Americans were detained by CBP and held without explanation - CBP initially denied the accusations.

Although the two countries stepped away from more military attacks after an Iranian missile strike, concerns remain about the possible domestic ripple effects of US-Iran tensions.

Dehghani and his attorneys were granted a stay of removal Monday night and were supposed to go before a judge at a US District Court in Boston Tuesday morning to determine his status. However, Monday evening CBP put him on a plane back to Iran. Dehghani's attorneys did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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