Politics

Yassmin Abdel-Magied Has Been Deported From The United States

Yassmin Abdel-Magied

US Customs and Border Protection officials say Sudanese-Australian writer and activist Yassmin Abdel-Magied was refused entry to the United States because she didn’t have the right visa.

Earlier this morning, Abdel-Magied sent a flurry of tweets saying she was being deported from the US, where  she was due to speak at a writers’ festival.

This is how it unfolded on Twitter:

Abdel-Magied was due to speak in New York for the Pen World Voices Festival.

One talk is titled ‘The M Word: No Country For Young Muslim Women’, and the other is about fighting online hate.

The organisation behind the festival, Pen America, has hit out at the United States Customs and Border Patrol decision.

In a statement, US Customs and Border Protection confirmed to Junkee that Abdel-Magied was refused entry because she did not have a working visa.

“All travelers arriving to the United States must possess valid travel documents for their purpose of travel. For foreign nationals, this includes a current passport and a valid visa or visa waiver issued by the U.S. Government. It is important to note that issuance of a visa or a visa waiver does not guarantee entry to the United States. A CBP officer at the port of entry will conduct an inspection to determine if the individual is eligible for admission under U.S. immigration law and possesses valid documents for their purpose of travel,” it said in a statement.

“During the inspection, CBP officers determined this individual did not possess the appropriate visa to receive monetary compensation for the speaking engagements she had planned during her visit to the United States. As such, she was deemed inadmissible to enter the United States for her visit, but was allowed to withdraw her application for admission. The traveler is eligible to reapply for a visa for future visits.”

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Department of Foriegn Affairs and Trade told Junkee:

“We are aware of reports that an Australian has been refused entry to the United States. Like Australia, the United States administers a strict entry regime. The decision on who can enter the United States is a matter solely for the US Government.”

“The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade stands ready to offer consular assistance to any Australian citizen should they request it. Owing to privacy considerations we will not provide further comment.”

Abdel-Magied recently received a lot of right-wing criticism after announcing her new ABC show, Hijabistas!, which will air on the ABC. The show, which will look at Islamic headwear fashion in Australia, will premiere on May 1.

After the show was announced, Australian Conservatives senator Cory Bernardi said that Abdel-Magied was an “anti-Australian Islamic apologist”, and Liberal senator Eric Abetz said told The Australian that the hijab was an “oppressive symbol”.