Los Angeles (AFP) – An Egyptian student attending flight school in California is facing deportation after posting a message on Facebook saying he was ready to kill Donald Trump.
Emadeldin Elsayed, 23, was arrested by federal agents on February 12 at the Los Angeles-area flight school he was attending after posting what authorities said was a death threat against the leading Republican presidential candidate.
“I am willing to kill Donald Trump and serve a life sentence. The whole world would thank me for doing that,” Elsayed wrote on his Facebook page, according to his attorney Hani Bushra.
Although authorities did not file any criminal charges against Elsayed, an immigration judge earlier this week ordered he be deported on grounds the flight school had terminated his enrolment and as such his student visa was no longer valid.
The judge also refused to release Elsayed on bail after prosecutors argued he posed a flight risk.
Bushra told AFP Thursday that although his client had shown poor judgment in his Facebook posting, he by no means meant to harm Trump and regretted his actions.
“He is just a kid who did something stupid,” he said. “This was more angry rhetoric similar to rhetoric that perhaps is even used by Mr Donald Trump himself when he says things like we are going to kill the family members of terrorists and their children and their wives.
“I don’t think he really means that and I don’t think my client meant what he said.”
Bushra said Elsayed’s Facebook message was in response to Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric and was accompanied by an article on the issue.
“It was a foolish thing to do given the (atmosphere) in the country right now,” Bushra said. “It was just an angry response.”
He said a hearing on the deportation proceedings is scheduled on Friday and that at this point, all his client wants is time to get his affairs in order before leaving the country.
“He has paid $41,000 in tuition and all he wants is some kind of reprieve to get his belongings, sell his car and talk to the school owner about getting reimbursed,” he said.
“And then he just wants to leave the country.”