Harvard student denied entry into US due to friends’ social media posts

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A Harvard student couldn’t get into the country because his friends posted “political points of view that oppose the US.”

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The US government’s probing visa applicants’ social media profiles apparently resulted in a Harvard student being denied entry into the US on Friday. Ismail Ajjawi, who lives in Lebanon, was questioned for hours at Boston’s Logan airport and ultimately had his visa canceled after immigration officials searched his phone and laptop, according to The Harvard Crimson.

After the search, an officer questioned the 17-year-old about his friends’ social media activity and told him she’d found some “posting political points of view that oppose the US,” the student paper noted. Despite Ajjawi’s protests, the officer denied the student’s entry and let him call his parents.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) spokesperson Michael McCarthy said in an emailed statement that he couldn’t offer specific details on Ajjawi’s case due to confidentiality clauses.

“This individual was deemed inadmissible to the United States based on information discovered during the CBP inspection,” he wrote.

Ajjawi, who got a scholarship to study in the US, returned home to Lebanon over the weekend. He and the university are working to resolve the matter before classes start next Tuesday, the Crimson reported.

Harvard didn’t immediately respond to a request for further comment.