Government attorneys said Tuesday that former USF student Abdullah Hatahet, who registered a day late with the Immigration and Naturalization Services, will have to await his fate for another week.
Hatahet, who graduated from USF in December with a bachelor’s degree, was busy all night working on a class project when the INS deadline passed Dec. 16. Hatahet was arrested Dec. 17 and spent four days in jail. Hatahet can’t pursue a master’s degree or work and now faces deportation to Syria, his birth place.
The immigration judge told Hatahet he had until Jan. 24 to work out a solution with the INS. INS officials said Tuesday they would take another look at his case this week, according to an article in the St. Petersburg Times.
Dec. 16 was the deadline the INS placed for men ages 16 and older on temporary visas from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya and Sudan to register with the INS under new guidelines.
If the INS chooses not to restore Hatahet’s student status, his lawyer will ask the judge Jan. 24 to allow Hatahet to leave the country voluntarily. By doing so, Hatahet would be able to return to Syria and possibly be able to reapply for a student visa.