Donald Trump has promised to ban Muslims from entering the United States, and he’s promised to deport as many illegal immigrants as authorities can find, but his mere presence in the race has given him a small head start on both fronts. After threatening to kill the Republican frontrunner on Facebook, Egyptian immigrant Emad El-Din Ali Mohamed Nasr El Sayed could be headed home to Cairo.
“I am willing to kill Donald Trump and serve a life sentence,” El Sayed wrote in February. “The whole world would thank me for doing that.”
El Sayed was arrested on February 12 and charged with making an illegal threat. However, federal authorities soon dropped the charges and decided to pursue deportation instead. This is where the story gets sticky, because authorities aren’t basing the deportation proceedings on the threat, but rather on a violation of El Sayed’s student visa. Because he was not enrolled in the Universal Air Academy, the flight school he was attending in Los Angeles, prosecutors said he no longer had cause to be in the U.S.
The controversy stems from El Sayed’s attorneys, who claim that the only reason their client wasn’t enrolled was because federal officials pressured the flight school to drop him after the Facebook threat. “It is unfortunate that the immigration judge did not see that Emad’s placement in removal proceedings came after law enforcement failed to file and sustain criminal charges against Emad, and therefore resorted to punishing him in different way,” said attorney Hani Bushra.
El Sayed himself, in an interview with the AP, said that he never meant the post to be taken seriously. “It’s just a stupid post. You can find thousands of these every hour on Facebook and the media,” he said. “I don’t know why would they think I am a threat to the national security of the United States just because of a stupid post.”
Yeah, we’ve never had any trouble with Egyptian Muslims who make threats and attend American flight schools. Why all the overreaction???
In any case, it’s good to see that federal authorities are waking up to the fact that they have to take social media posts seriously. Whether El Sayed is really a danger to the community or not, we’re past the point where we should be giving anyone the benefit of the doubt. Trump – or, more accurately, the media’s portrayal of Trump – has inflamed certain sectors of the Muslim population, and authorities should not be taking chances. Hopefully, this will send a message to others that we’re done playing around.