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visa revoked

Egyptian student who threatened Donald Trump on Facebook agrees to leave US

Meanwhile, Michael Bloomberg has ruled out a White House bid.

AN EGYPTIAN STUDENT who was arrested after he wrote on his Facebook page that he would be willing to serve a life sentence for killing Donald Trump has agreed to leave the United States.

Immigration authorities will allow Emadeldin Elsayed (23) to return home voluntarily instead of deporting him, as long as he departs by 5 July. Elsayed has not been charged with a crime but had his visa revoked by the State Department and is being held at a southern California jail.

His lawyer, Hani Bushra, told Immigration Judge Kevin Riley in Los Angeles that he may seek another bond hearing for the aspiring pilot from Cairo because he believes Elsayed’s detention is illegal.

Bushra said after the hearing that he understands why the 3 February Facebook post led to his client being investigated. But, in the absence of criminal charges, Elsayed should be freed, the attorney said.

“He’s being detained, I think, primarily because he’s a Muslim and he’s a Middle Easterner,” Bushra said, adding that social media sites are teeming with similar comments. “This kid is going to become a poster boy for hating America.”

Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested Elsayed at his Los Angeles-area flight school on 12 February, eight days after the Secret Service interviewed him about his post on the Republican presidential frontrunner.

US officials often use immigration laws to quickly remove people from the country who are suspected of crimes rather than drag out a lengthy prosecution, former immigration special agent Claude Arnold said.

“It accomplishes the same goal: You neutralise the potential threat,” Arnold said, adding that the goal is to protect Trump and public safety.

Threatening a presidential candidate is a crime, regardless of a person’s immigration status, Arnold said.

“If you are a guest, you are more vulnerable if you do something stupid like that,” he said.

Elsayed said in a phone interview earlier this week that Trump’s comments about Muslims angered him, but he never intended to hurt anyone.

Trump has used especially tough talk on immigration during his campaign. He has vowed to build a wall along the entire Mexican border and called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the US.

Elsayed said the agent who interviewed him mentioned last year’s shooting rampage by a Muslim couple in San Bernardino and the September 11th terror attacks in 2001, which were carried out by Muslims who had sought flight training in the United States.

Elsayed said he would seek a refund of some of the $65,000 he spent to pursue his pilot’s license and try to get it elsewhere.

Immigration authorities said the flight school tipped off investigators to Elsayed’s Facebook post, Bushra said.

Alex Khatib, owner of Universal Air Academy, said he was not aware of the case until federal agents showed up to interview and later detain Elsayed.


Meanwhile, former mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg has ruled out running in the US presidential race, where Trump and the Democrat Hilary Clinton are the current frontrunners to receive their parties nominations.

bloom Michael Bloomberg MICHAEL SAWYER / AP/Press Association Images MICHAEL SAWYER / AP/Press Association Images / AP/Press Association Images

Writing on BloombergView, he said: “Over the last several months, many Americans have urged me to run for president as an independent, and some who don’t like the current candidates have said it is my patriotic duty to do so. I appreciate their appeals, and I have given the question serious consideration. The deadline to answer it is now, because of ballot access requirements.

“… when I look at the data, it’s clear to me that if I entered the race, I could not win. I believe I could win a number of diverse states — but not enough to win the 270 electoral college votes necessary to win the presidency.

As the race stands now, with Republicans in charge of both Houses, there is a good chance that my candidacy could lead to the election of Donald Trump or Senator Ted Cruz. That is not a risk I can take in good conscience.

“I have known Mr Trump casually for many years, and we have always been on friendly terms. I even agreed to appear on The Apprentice — twice. But he has run the most divisive and demagogic presidential campaign I can remember, preying on people’s prejudices and fears. Abraham Lincoln, the father of the Republican Party, appealed to our “better angels”. Trump appeals to our worst impulses.”

- with reporting by Órla Ryan

Read: Trump and Clinton still lead the race but opponents score key victories

Read: Donald Trump defends his manhood as insults fly in vicious Republican debate

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