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Aussie Muslim Activist Blocked from Entering US

MINNEAPOLIS – Invited to speak at a New York event, Australian Muslim author and TV personality Yassmin Abdel-Magied has been denied entry into the US.

“I’m currently at the border and they’ve said I’m being deported,” Abdel-Magied wrote on Twitter, ), The Guardian reported.

“This should be fun. What are my rights?”

Abdel-Magied was due to speak at the PEN World Voices festival in New York, but she was denied entry at Minneapolis airport.

She live-tweeted her short stay in the US, before she was put on a plane bound for Amsterdam.

She was advertising on twitter her appearance at the NY festival, speaking on a panel titled “The M Word: No country for young Muslim women”.

Abdel-Magied then tweeted: “They’ve taken my phone, canceled my visa and are deporting me. Will follow up on messages once I understand what’s going on.”

Abdel–Magied wrote that within a few minutes of looking at her case, the border security officer told her she was being sent back.

US authorities said she didn’t hold the right visa, but noted she was welcome to apply to return to the country.

“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,” said a spokesperson from the US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP).

“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.”

Chief executive of PEN America Suzanne Nossel said she was dismayed by Abdel-Magied’s sudden deportation.

“The very purpose of the PEN World Voices Festival, founded after 9/11 to sustain the connectedness between the US and the wider world, is in jeopardy at a time when efforts at visa bans and tightened immigration restrictions threaten to choke off vital channels of dialogue that are protected under the First Amendment right to receive and impart information through in-person cultural exchange.”

Nossel said Abdel-Magied was traveling on her Australian passport.

“We understand that Yassmin was traveling on a type of visa that she had used in the past for similar trips without issue. We call on Customs and Border Patrol to admit her to the US so that she can take her rightful place in the urgent international conversation to take place at the festival next week.”