A Pakistani Muslim man who held his second visa to the United States has been denied entry to the country over a message he had received on a social media platform, TechCrunch reported.
US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials grilled the man, Dabeer (name has been changed to protect the identity), for more than 15 hours and then he was deported and banned from visiting the country for five years.
He had never visited America before and had come to see his cousin in Houston, Texas. He was planning to visit Disney World in Florida and New York City with his spouse and a child.
Dabeer said he was asked a wide spectrum of questions including alleged plan to extend the stay by working here.
“I told him I had no intention to work. I am quite happy back in Karachi and doing good financially,” he told TechCrunch.
“I was treated like a criminal. They made my life miserable,” he added.
The CBP officers then asked about a graphic picture of a murdered kid which was doing rounds on internet in 2009. The picture was forwarded to him by his one friend on a WhatsApp group. He told the officers that the picture was meant to warn parents about abductions in his city.
According to the report of the Department of Homeland Security obtained by Dabeer, the victim attested that he did not belong to any terrorist group or organization.
The CBP officer cancelled his visa and deported him the next day despite his saying that “You can’t control the forwarded messages”.
A spokesperson of the Customs and Border Protection department said: “CBP is responsible for ensuring the safety and admissibility of the goods and people entering the United States. Applicants must demonstrate they are admissible into the U.S. by overcoming all grounds of inadmissibility including health-related grounds, criminality, security reasons, public charge, labor certification, illegal entrants and immigration violations, documentation requirements, and miscellaneous grounds.”
Earlier, the CBP rejected the visa of a Palestinian Harvard student Ajjawi last week over the social media posts made by his friends. “He described it as one of those viral messages that you forward to your friends and family to warn parents about the dangers to their children,” according to TechCrunch.