NIAC Calls on Authorities to Release Second Detained Iranian Citizen Holding Valid Visa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ryan Costello
Phone: 202-386-6325
Email: rcostello@niacouncil.org

The National Iranian American Council issued the following statement on the arrest of an Iranian citizen with a valid visa in Michigan:

“The National Iranian American Council calls upon authorities to release and explain the arrest and detention of Mohammad Salar Fard-Hajian, an Iranian citizen who holds a valid U.S. visa. Fard-Hajian was arrested Thursday in Dearborn, Michigan. NIAC has confirmed with the Dearborn Police Department that he was taken into custody and later released to customs officers. The department would not comment on the reason for his arrest. According to Arab American News, Fard-Hajian’s roommate believes he was arrested for failure to update his address, despite the fact authorities had his new address.”

“If these facts are true then the USCIS is treating a lawful visa holder like a criminal for what is likely a minor administrative mistake that may not even be his fault. Such heavy-handed policing does little to protect Americans, costs tax-payers unnecessarily, and terrifies the victim. NIAC insists that the USCIS immediately allow Fard-Hajian access to legal counsel, and inform his family, any employer, or educational institution he attends, of his whereabouts.”

“This news comes amidst an uptick in government harassment of visa holders and citizens entering the U.S. We are concerned this is further evidence of a discriminatory culture being promoted by Donald Trump and his administration, particularly towards people of Middle Eastern descent.”

 

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