Former USF student Youssef Megahed should find out this week if he can return to finish his bachelor’s degree at USF, he said Monday night.
University officials said in a statement Monday that they were unable to comment on Megahed’s application status because of Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a federal statute that prohibits the disclosure of student records.
“As is true of any university, USF is prohibited from publicly discussing the status of an application for admission,” the release states.
Decisions on the “readmission of former USF students are made by the appropriate academic authorities,” the release states.
Megahed said he was one class away from completing his degree in engineering when he was arrested in August 2007.
When police pulled over Megahed and former USF student Ahmed Mohamed for speeding in Charleston, S.C, authorities discovered PVC pipes, fuses and other materials in the trunk of their vehicle.
Megahed was acquitted on federal explosive charges in April. A few days later, he was placed in custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, who claimed Megahed should be deported for being likely to engage in terrorist activities or engaging in terrorist activities.
Last week, Miami immigration Judge Kenneth Hurewitz released Megahed from federal custody because the government did not make a strong enough case to convict Megahed on the charges.
Charles Kuck, Megahed’s attorney, said Friday that the United States government had until Monday to decide if it wanted to appeal the judge’s decision.
Megahed said Monday that the judge has 30 days to write an order regarding his decision on the case.
The government will then have 30 days to decide whether or not they want to appeal Hurewitz’s decision once the judge issues his written order.
Until the government decides whether it wants to appeal, Megahed must obey certain criteria.
Megahed said that as part of the conditions, he must not associate with terrorists or engage in terrorist activities.
“I don’t think the government likes losing. I think that is why [Megahed] was in deportation proceedings in the first place, because they lost the criminal trial,” Kuck said. “I would hope that at some point the government would realize this is a waste of resources and that they should focus their efforts on catching real criminals.”
Megahed was in the process of applying for U.S. citizenship at the time of his arrest. He has a green card, which makes him a permanent U.S. resident.
Megahed said he plans to arrange an interview with government officials. After the interview, Megahed has to complete a written citizen’s test.
Until then, Megahed said he is waiting to hear from USF about the status of his admission application.
“(The University has) yet to make a decision,” he said.