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Harvard Freshman Refused Entry To U.S. At Logan Airport

Rowers paddle down the Charles River near the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. in March of 2017. (Charles Krupa/AP)
Rowers paddle down the Charles River near the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. in March of 2017. (Charles Krupa/AP)

An incoming Harvard University freshman was refused entry to the United States at Boston Logan International Airport, just days before he was set to begin classes, university officials say.

The student is Ismail Ajjawi, Harvard spokesman Jonathan Swain confirmed in an email to WBUR. The Harvard Crimson first wrote about Ajjawi's blocked entrance Tuesday morning, and reported the 17-year-old is a Palestinian resident of Lebanon who was admitted to the class of 2023 under a student visa.

A U. S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman reportedly told the Crimson in a statement that the agency found Ajjawi "inadmissible," writing:

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. This individual was deemed inadmissible to the United States based on information discovered during the CBP inspection.

WBUR has reached out to CBP for comment.

Harvard's first day of classes is Tuesday, Sept. 3. Swain said the school is trying to intervene to get Ajjawi onto its Cambridge campus soon.

“The University is working closely with the student’s family and appropriate authorities to resolve this matter so that he can join his classmates in the coming days," Swain wrote.

University President Lawrence Bacow in July wrote a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan to express concerns about government's process for granting student visas, as well as broader immigration policy changes under the Trump administration.

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