Flight Student Facing Deportation Over Trump Post
A commercial flight school student from Egypt is in jail in California after he posted what immigration officials perceive as a threat to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. It appears the Immigration and Customs Enforcement department is intent on deporting Emadeldin Elsayed for the Facebook post even though there was not enough evidence to charge him criminally. In the post, Elsayed said he would be willing to go to prison for life for killing Trump and the world would thank him for it. Elsayed and his lawyer Hani Bushra both have said the post was dumb and Elsayed said he regretted hitting the button as soon as he did it. He said he was reacting to Trump's proposal to ban Muslims from the U.S. temporarily. "It's just a stupid post. You can find thousands of these every hour on Facebook and the media," he told The Associated Press in a phone interview from jail. "I don't know why would they think I am a threat to the national security of the United States just because of a stupid post."
It apparently took the Secret Service and immigration officials more than a week to determine it was more serious than a "stupid post." He was interviewed by the Secret Service shortly after he put up the post and eight days later they returned to tell him that while he didn't break the law, his visa to attend flight school was being revoked. He said the agent who interviewed him spoke about the mass killing in nearby San Bernardino by a Muslim couple and the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. Elsayed will appear at an immigration hearing to discover his fate but it appears Customs and Immigration has already determined the outcome. The department issued a statement saying the student pilot violated "the terms of his admission to the United States." Elsayed said that if he's deported he'll seek a refund of the $65,000 he paid Universal Air Academy and get his training elsewhere. Universal Air Academy owner Alex Khatib said he'd welcome Elsayed back. "He is honestly a good student," Khatib said. "He seemed to be a good guy."