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Detained Holocaust Scholar: 'US Is No Longer Quite the US'

Image: Detained Holocaust Scholar: 'US Is No Longer Quite the US'

(AP Photo/Larry MacDougal)

By    |   Monday, 27 Feb 2017 06:14 PM

A visiting scholar from France said he was detained for 10 hours by U.S. immigration officials and threatened with deportation after he arrived in Texas for a conference last week.

In an article for the Huffington Post in France, Henry Rousso, an Egyptian-born French citizen who is a pre-eminent scholar on the Holocaust, said he was held by border agents in Houston after authorities began to question his visa.

His remarks were interpreted and posted by the U.K.-based Independent.

"That is the situation today," Rousso wrote. "It is now necessary to deal with the utmost arbitrariness and incompetence on the other side of the Atlantic. I do not know what is the worst.

"What I know, having loved this country forever, is that the United States is no longer quite the United States."

The academic, who has taught at the Sorbonne in Paris and Columbia University in New York, wrote officials told him he had been selected for a "random check," though he characterized the scrutiny as not "mere coincidence."

When the immigration officer discovered he would be receiving a fee for his keynote address at Texas A&M University, he ordered him to be deported, claiming he should have a working visa rather than a tourist visa.

"I told him I don't need one, that the university took care of the formalities, as always, and especially, that I have been doing this for more than 30 years without any problem," Rousso wrote.

It did not help; the academic claimed he was then subjected to "extensive questioning," fingerprinting and a body search, before being told he would be deported on the next plane to Paris.

"When he called me with this news, he was waiting for customs officials to send him back to Paris as an illegal alien on the first flight out," Texas A&M Professor Richard Golsan told The Eagle.

Fatma Marouf, a law professor and director of the Immigrant Rights Clinic who helped spring the visiting scholar, said the scrutiny was unlike anything she had seen before, the Independent reported.

"It seems like there's much more rigidity and rigor in enforcing these immigration requirements and the technicalities of every visa," she told the Independent.

In France, presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron condemned his detention, saying there was "no excuse" for the actions of the U.S. immigration officials.

 

 

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A visiting scholar from France said he was detained for 10 hours by U.S. immigration officials and threatened with deportation after he arrived in Texas for a conference last week.
US, customs, border, protection
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2017-14-27
Monday, 27 Feb 2017 06:14 PM
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