WASHINGTON—The worst thing that happened this week did not happen here. (And the bookies take a bath.) The worst thing that happened this week happened in Boston, as the Boston Globe reported.
Mohammad Shahab Dehghani Hossein Abadi, a 24-year-old undergraduate student, had been detained by Customs and Border Protection at Logan after arriving Sunday. Dehghani Hossein Abadi’s lawyers filed an emergency petition to block his removal Monday night, and Judge Allison D. Burroughs ordered a 48-hour stay. But before a hearing took place, Dehghani Hossein Abadi was flown to France — in defiance of the judge’s order.
I mean, what the unshirted hell is going on here? CBP can just ignore court orders whenever it pleases? What does CBP think it is, the president*?
At the scheduled hearing Tuesday morning, Judge Richard Stearns said the case was now moot, since the student was already out of the country. “There seems to be some history of CBP ignoring district court orders, which should concern the court,” Doyle said during the hearing. She asked that Dehghani Hossein Abadi be returned to the United States, but the judge said there was little he could do to compel immigration officials now that the student was gone. “I don’t think they’re going to listen to me,” Stearns said.
That’s a federal judge there, throwing up his hands in the face of a lawless federal agency. This would not be a good thing even if the chief executive were not a criminal maniac. The Executive Branch of the government is going to have to be sand-blasted to clean it up when and if these people finally leave.
Emami Arandi said she received little information about why she was turned away, except a suggestion that she wanted to stay in the United States, not simply study here. Emani Arandi said she was eager to earn her religious studies master’s at Harvard and had turned down other programs and quit her engineering job before she came to the United States.
But when she got to Logan, she was treated as “suspect not like a student.” In addition to questions about her travel and work history, customs officials also asked her about the Quran she was carrying and political questions, such as what she thought about the recent explosion of oil fields in Saudi Arabia. When she went to the bathroom, two female government officials accompanied her, Emani Arandi said.
She was also not allowed to call Harvard for assistance, she said. “I couldn’t imagine such a thing could happen to me,” said Emani Arandi, who is back in Iran and has asked a US district court judge to review the customs decision. “I couldn’t imagine unfair behavior would happen to somebody who is coming to study.”
I can. But I’m an old cynic.
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