Katy High School student returns to Houston after being detained by immigration officials

KATY, TX (KTRK) -- A Katy High School student from Jordan who was being held at a detention center in Chicago has returned to Houston.

Mohammad Khadra, 16, was stopped by immigration officials at George Bush Intercontinental Airport on Jan. 29, hours after President Trump's controversial immigration order was signed.

He was returning home from Jordan, where he had traveled to renew his visa.

Jordan is not on the list of seven nations impacted by the immigration order. However, his attorney says Khadra may have been caught up in the wave of confusion during the implementation of the travel restrictions.

"It created a situation where everyone from a Muslim country was a suspect, and officers were putting everyone in secondary inspections, taking six or ten hours," said Ali Zakaria, the lawyer representing Khadra.

In addition, there is some dispute on whether Khadra's visitor's visa technically allowed him to attend school.

Khadra was held at Bush Airport for two days before being transferred to a children's holding facility Chicago.

He was conditionally released and flew back to Houston this Wednesday morning.

Zakaria described the release as a type of immigration bond, and that the teen would now need to go through the immigration court process.
"He's released pending his case. It will be up to a judge to decide whether he will be able to stay or be deported from the US," said Zakaria.

Meanwhile at Katy High School, students told ABC13 that they thought Khadra should at least be allowed to attend school.

"I thought it was bad, like he should be at school, and he should be able to learn, and not be stuck out there by himself," said Tejah Grant, a fellow junior at the high school.

"I'm glad he's back. He wasn't a bad student," said Leo Diaz. "They just mixed him up with the new law."

For now, Khadra is staying with his older brother, who has lived in the United States for several years.

He hopes to stay and continue high school, but it's unknown if that will be possible.
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