Harvard Student Barred Entry To US for Friends Social Media Posts

More and more visitors to the U.S. are being denied entry to the United States when border officials review and hold them accountable for social media posts, messages, images and video on their devices sent by other people. A 17-year old Palestinian living in Lebanon and was supposed to start at Harvard as a freshman but was denied entry to the U.S. just before the start of the school year, but instead was deported on August 23.

Tech Crunch reported that immigration officers at Boston’s Logan Airport questioned Ismail Ajjawi about his religion and religious practices, he Harvard’s newspaper The Crimson. The officers who searched his phone and computer reportedly took issue with his friends’ social media activity. Ajjawi’s visa was canceled and he was deported for his friends’ social media posts.

The State Department announced in May that on all Visa requests they will be reviewing social media as well as asking other questions during the Visa process. The State Department has updated immigrant and nonimmigrant visa application forms and that visa applicants share their social media accounts and “social identifiers” including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and require the applicant to provide any account names they may have used during the previous five years, as well as any social platforms not included in the form.

Mario Godoy and the attorneys at Immigration Simplified work with you to evaluate your immigration status and guide you in your journey to becoming a US citizen. If you need help with an immigration issue, please contact our office or call us at (312) 883-9944.

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