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Syrian grad could get another chance

Abdullah Hatahet, a USF graduate from Syria who could face deportation for not meeting a registration deadline with the Immigration and Naturalization Service, might have a second chance.

The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday that the Justice Department plans to announce that men from 18 countries who missed previous registration deadlines will have another opportunity to report between Jan. 27 and Feb. 7,without facing a penalty for having failed to come forward.

Hatahet missed the Dec. 16 deadline because he was working on a final project for a class in order to graduate in December with his bachelor’s degree. He was arrested Dec. 17 and detained for four days. Hatahet now faces deportation back to Syria.

Tuesday, an immigration judge told Hatahet and his lawyer that they had until Jan. 24 to work out a solution with the INS. INS officials said they would take another look over Hatahet’s case this week.

The Justice Department was also going to announce that the registration requirement would extend to more nationalities. According to official notices readied for publication in the Federal Register, men from Egypt, Kuwait, Jordan, Indonesia and Bangladesh will now have to register with the INS, along with those from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya and Sudan.