By Tank Murdoch
(TNS) An Iranian ‘student’ who was denied a U.S. visa this week and deported amid an outcry from Left-wing groups and Democrats actually has ties to known terrorist group Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps once commanded by Qasem Soleimani.
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As Fox News reported, Mohammad Shahab Dehghani Hossein was denied entry to the U.S. and detained on Sunday after arriving on a student visa at Boston Logan International Airport.
Leftist activists were outraged at his detention, flooding the airport to demand his release.
In addition, the network noted that Northeastern University, where Dehghani was enrolled, objected as did the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
Democrats, including 2020 presidential contender Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, also chimed in to defend Dehghani before knowing the full story about him and instinctively distrusting DHS and U.S. intelligence services.
“Shahab Dehghani is an Iranian student with a valid F1 visa, returning to finish his education. CBP already held him overnight,” she tweeted. “His deportation must be halted, and we must fight the Trump administration’s xenophobic policies.”
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. https://t.co/ZCKVo5fwvM
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) January 21, 2022
A Massachusetts district court judge granted Dehghani a stay from deportation, but Customs and Border Protection (CBP) deported him minutes later — a DHS official told Fox News Wednesday that he had already been put on the plane when the stay was issued.
In a statement Tuesday, CBP said that “the issuance of a visa … does not guarantee entry to the United States” and said that Dehghani had been “deemed inadmissible and processed for expedited removal and return to his place of departure.
“During today’s hearing, the court ruled that the matter is now moot as the subject was never admitted into the United States, the subject is no longer in custody, and the court does not have jurisdiction to order his return,” the statement said.
A CBP spokesperson said that the agency was not at liberty to discuss an individual’s case due to the Privacy Act, but noted that “CBP officers are charged with enforcing not only immigration and customs laws, but they also enforce over 400 laws for 40 other agencies and have stopped thousands of violators of U.S. law. “
Nevertheless, the outrage from the Left was fierce.
Massachusetts Democrats Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, along with Warren, penned a furious letter Thursday to Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan about an alleged “pattern” of Trump administration officials targeting Iranian students for additional inspections — particularly the Dehghani case.
They chastised CBP’s “outrageous” actions in the matter, noting in particular that he was deported minutes after the stay was issued. “This is shameful, irresponsible, and completely unacceptable,” they wrote.
DHS officials who spoke to the network said the matter was far more complicated that Democrats were indicating. The official told Fox News that Dehghani’s family has links to the IRGC — of which Gen. Soleimani, who was recently killed in a controversial U.S. strike, was a member — and to Hezbollah.
The claim, first reported by WBUR News, focuses on his family’s association with a company sanctioned by the U.S. for its terror ties.
“That company was sanctioned by the Obama administration in 2010, when the Treasury Department identified the company as having been used by the IRGC to support terrorist activities outside of Iran — namely in support of Hezbollah,” the network reported.
The DHS official told the network that U.S. intelligence also had information that Dehghani had recently traveled to Iraq, though it wasn’t clear why he may have been there.
Also, a government official told The New York Times that Dehghani was the administrator of a YouTube channel called “Islamic Pulse,” which called for reprisals against the U.S. for Soleimani’s death.
“For many, such ties would be a slam dunk for denying a foreign national entry into the U.S., particularly given the ongoing concerns about reprisal attacks from Iran as well as concerns about sleeper agents from groups such as Hezbollah within the U.S.,” Fox News added.
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