LANSING, Mich. – An Iranian student traveling to East Lansing, Michigan, to start his first week at Michigan State University was forced by federal agents to return to his home country.
Alireza Yazdani Esfidajani, 27, was detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at Detroit Metro Airport on Sunday afternoon. He was placed on a flight back to Tehran on Monday afternoon.
Esfidajani was accepted as a Michigan State graduate student and scheduled to start this week, university spokesperson Emily Guerrant said. He was to officially enroll when he arrived on campus.
He has a valid student visa and planned to pursue a Ph.D. at Michigan State, his attorney Ghazal Nicole Mehrani said. Sunday was his first time in the USA. He spent it in CBP custody, partially at Monroe County's jail, where he was held from about 1 a.m. to noon Monday.
A visa does not guarantee entry to the USA, according to an emailed statement from a CBP spokesperson.