US officials say Yassmin Abdel-Magied deported for not having correct visa

Author and TV personality blocked from entering America where she was due to speak at an event in New York

Australian author and TV personality Yassmin Abdel-Magied has been deported from the US because she didnt hold the right visa, US authorities have said, but noted she was welcome to apply to return to the country.

Abdel-Magied was due to speak at the PEN World Voices festival in New York, but she was denied entry to the country at Minneapolis airport. She was put on a plane bound for Amsterdam.

A spokesperson from the US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) said Abdel-Magied was as all international travellers are assessed for entry into the country.

During the inspection, CBP officers determined this individual did not possess the appropriate visa to receive monetary compensation for the speaking engagements she had planned during her visit to the United States.

As such, she was deemed inadmissible to enter the United States for her visit, but was allowed to withdraw her application for admission. The traveler is eligible to reapply for a visa for future visits.

Abdel-Magied live-tweeted her brief stay on US soil.

She was advertising on twitter her appearance at the NY festival, speaking on a panel titled The M Word: No country for young Muslim women.

But her first tweet offered the caveat: If they will let me in. Im currently at the border and theyve said Im being deported. This should be fun. What are my rights?

Yassmin Abdel-Magied (@yassmin_a)

Oh, and they still have my passport. Apparently I cant be trusted with it until Im in a foreign country because, as Officer Blees said, planes get turned away back way too often and then…

April 12, 2018

Abdel-Magied then tweeted: Theyve taken my phone, cancelled my visa and are deporting me. Will follow up on messages once I understand whats going on.

Yassmin Abdel-Magied (@yassmin_a)

** if they will let me in. Im currently at the border and theyve said Im being deported. This should be fun. What are my rights ? https://t.co/fv12WoSSwf

April 11, 2018

Yassmin Abdel-Magied (@yassmin_a)

Theyve taken my phone, cancelled my visa and are deporting me. Will follow up on messages once I understand whats going on. https://t.co/uT61v8cZXG

April 11, 2018

AbdelMagied wrote that within a few minutes of looking at her case, the border security officer told her she was being sent back.

Sudanese-born Abdel-Magied is a mechanical engineer and rose to prominence as the founder of the Youth Without Borders organisation. She was named the 2007 young Australian Muslim of the year.

She has been an prominent advocate for Muslim women, but attracted controversy in Australia over an Anzac Day tweet juxtaposing attitudes towards the Anzac legend with Australian and international policies towards refugees.

She is based in London.

The Guardian has attempted to speak directly with Abdel-Magied.

Chief executive of PEN America Suzanne Nossel said she was dismayed by Abdel-Magieds sudden deportation.

The very purpose of the PEN World Voices Festival, founded after 9/11 to sustain the connectedness between the US and the wider world, is in jeopardy at a time when efforts at visa bans and tightened immigration restrictions threaten to choke off vital channels of dialogue that are protected under the First Amendment right to receive and impart information through in-person cultural exchange.

Nossel said Abdel-Magied was travelling on her Australian passport.

We understand that Yassmin was traveling on a type of visa that she had used in the past for similar trips without issue. We call on Customs and Border Patrol to admit her to the US so that she can take her rightful place in the urgent international conversation to take place at the festival next week.

A spokeswoman for the department of foreign affairs and trade said it was aware an Australian citizen had been refused entry to the US.

Like Australia, the United States administers a strict entry regime. The decision on who can enter the United States is a matter solely for the US Government.

Australias citizenship and multicultural affairs minister, Alan Tudge, said similarly, US visas were a decision for the American government.

I just dont know the details underpinning this and whether or not it was that she had a tourist visa, that perhaps there was evidence she was planning to do other things other than being a tourist there.

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