Texas Student From Jordan Freed From Immigration Detention

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
February 9, 2017 Updated: February 9, 2017

A Jordanian teenager returned to his home near Houston on Wednesday after being detained for more than a week following a White House executive order curbing immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Mohammad Abu Khadra, 16, flew into Houston and was picked up by his brother, Rami. The two live in Katy, where Mohammad attends school at Katy High.

The teen was attempting to return to Houston on Jan. 28 when he was detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Houston Chronicle reported (http://bit.ly/2k8tDx4 ). He was held there for two days before security officials decided to send him to an immigration detention facility for juveniles in Chicago.

Mohammad learned Tuesday that he would be returned the next day to Houston.

“I have a 16-year-old myself at home, I couldn’t imagine if something like that happened to my son,” attorney Ali Zakaria, who is representing Mohammad’s family, told the newspaper. “It’s a happy day and we want to let it sink in so they can enjoy the moment now. Then we’ll come up with legal strategy and address legal issues at that time.”

Mohammad’s case is pending in an immigration court.

Jordan is not on the list of countries included in Trump’s order. Zakaria previously said it appeared officials were tagging travelers from other Muslim-majority countries for secondary security screenings.

Zakaria said Mohammad may have revealed shortly after he was first detained that he was enrolled at a public high school, which is a violation of his tourist visa.

The teen was among dozens of visa holders and immigrants who were detained at U.S. airports after President Donald Trump signed the order prohibiting citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the United States for 90 days. The order also indefinitely barred all Syrian refugees from entering the United States and suspended all refugee admissions for 120 days.