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Iranian Student Deported From Logan Airport Despite Federal Court Order

Iranian Student Deported From Boston Despite Court Order; Federal Judge Dismisses Case” by Shannon Dooling, WBUR News, January 21, 2020

Last night, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials deported Mohammad Shahab Dehghani Hossein Abadi, a 24-year-old Iranian student, despite a federal court order temporarily blocking his removal. When Abadi arrived at Logan International Airport bearing a valid F-1 student visa, he was held for secondary screening by CBP officials and denied access to counsel. As demonstrators gathered at the Boston-area airport and lawyers rushed to court to challenge Abadi’s detention and impending removal, the scene evoked the nationwide airport protests that erupted in response to the Trump administration’s first Muslim ban in 2017.

In court this morning, U.S. District Judge Richard Stearns decided that the motion to stay Abadi’s deportation was rendered moot by his deportation and suggested that a motion challenging the government’s failure to honor the emergency stay be brought before the judge who issued the stay. CBP’s failure to abide by the court order, which resulted in Abadi’s illegal deportation, is yet another example of the Trump administration’s lack of commitment to upholding the rule of law. And while the administration regularly heaps criticism on legitimate court rulings, federal agencies directly disobeying lawful court orders indicates a troubling disrespect for the U.S. immigration system and the erosion of due process.

For more on how to reframe the immigration debate, see CAP’s report: “Restoring the Rule of Law Through a Fair, Humane, and Workable Immigration System.”