Student faces deportation over alleged Facebook post threatening Donald Trump
(KTLA) -- A former Los Angeles-area flight school student from Egypt faces a deportation hearing this Friday after allegedly writing a Facebook post saying he was willing to serve a life sentence for killing Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, according to his attorney.
Emad Elsayed, a 23-year-old former student at El Monte's Universal Air Academy, was detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials on Feb. 12, less than two weeks after allegedly saying he would be willing to serve a life sentence for killing Trump, and that the world would thank him, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The comments came after Trump called for the banning of all Muslims from entering the country.
Although Elsayed has not been charged with a crime, customs officials said he violated the terms of his admission to the U.S., according to his attorney.
"It seems like the government was not able to get a criminal charge to stick on him, so they used the immigration process to have him leave the country," attorney Hani Bushra told the Associated Press. "The rhetoric is particularly high in this election, and I just feel he got caught up in the middle."
Elsayed's student visa was revoked after the flight school withdrew its support of his visa, leading to the loss of his immigration status, the attorney told the Times.
The Egyptian student was terminated from the flight school at the government's request, and the owner has since expressed his willingness to re-enroll him, Bushra said.
But the judge has focused on Elsayed not currently having valid immigration status, "and found that he should be removed from the country unless we get a reinstatement from (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) of his student status," the attorney stated on Facebook.
The judge also agreed with the government's assessment that Elsayed posed a danger to the community and denied him bond, according to Bushra.
"We have a hearing on March 4 to see if we can work out some kind of deal for Emad to be released in exchange for him to get some time to gather his stuff, get his affairs in order and leave the country," Bushra said.
Elsayed, in his defense, said he did not mean any harm and immediately regretted the post.
"It's just a stupid post. You can find thousands of these every hour on Facebook and the media," he told the AP in a phone interview from a jail in Orange. "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."
If allowed, Elsayed told the AP he hopes to remain in the U.S. and continue studying to become a pilot. Otherwise he planned to seek a refund for the $65,000 he has spent on his education.
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