A Libyan citizen who has helped run his country's student-aid center in McLean was detained by Immigration officials last Sunday as he tried to reenter the U.S. at Dulles International Airport. Told his entry visa had been revoked, he has been jailed awaiting deportation.
The visa of Ali Ghadban was revoked, according to Verne Jarvis, a spokesman for the Immigration and Naturalization Service, on orders from the State Department under a law that permits the cancellation of visas held by persons whose entry into the United States would be "prejudicial to the interests of the U.S." A State Department spokesman could provide no more detailed information.
Ghadban, 37, is one of the four persons who run the offices of the People's Committee of Students of Libyan Aran Jamahiriya Inc., a center that administers scholarships for about 2,300 Libyan students in the U.S. Last December, 12 Libyans seized the offices for nine hours, declaring that the center was used by Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi to spy on Libyan students in this country.
Ghadban was returning from a trip home to Libya with his wife and three children when he was detained Sunday at Dulles, according to his attorney, Richard C. Shadyac.
Shadyac said his client should have been notified of the visa cancellation before he returned to the United States but that neither the INS nor the State Department did so. INS spokesman Jervis said he did not know exactly when the visa was revoked.
Ghadban was taken to the Prince William County Jail in Manassas. His wife and children were detained at a hotel at the airport Sunday night and released to Shadyac's custody Monday, Shadyac said.
The family was supposed to be deported yesterday, Shadyac said, but that was prevented by an apparent mixup involving Ghadban's passport. Jervis said the passport was sent to the regional INS commissioner in Burlington, Vt., for processing. It was supposed to be returned yesterday, but was not. Shadyac said he was told by INS officials they are not sure where the passport is.
Abulghasam Khumage, chairman of the committee that administers the student center in McLean, said the action against Ghadban "is just one of many cases of harassment Libyans are subjected to" in this country.