Egyptian student Emadeldin Elsayed is facing deportation from the US after a Facebook post saying that the world would thank him if he killed Donald Trump.
The 23-year-old pilot student has not been charged with a crime but authorities are trying to remove him from the US, his attorney, Hani Bushra, said.
Emadeldin Elsayed is being held in a jail in Orange, California.
“It seems like the government was not able to get a criminal charge to stick on him, so they used the immigration process to have him leave the country,” Hani Bushra said.
“The rhetoric is particularly high in this election, and I just feel he got caught up in the middle,” he added.
Secret Service agents interviewed Emadeldin Elsayed in early February after he posted a photo of Donald Trump on Facebook and wrote he was willing to serve a life sentence for killing the billionaire, and the world would thank him, Hani Bushra said.
Emadeldin Elsayed said he wrote the message because he was angered by Donald Trump’s comments about Muslims. He said he immediately regretted it and he never intended to harm anyone.
Donald Trump, who is leading the race for the Republican nomination for the presidency, has promised a crackdown on immigration. He has vowed to build a wall along the entire Mexican border and called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the US.
The agents returned eight days later and told him federal prosecutors had declined to charge him but said his visa to attend flight school had been revoked. He was then arrested by immigration authorities.
Emadeldin Elsayed said the agent who interviewed him mentioned last year’s shooting rampage by a Muslim husband-and-wife couple in San Bernardino and the 9/11 terror attacks, which were carried out by Muslims who undertook flight training in the US.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a statement that Emadeldin Elsayed was arrested because he violated “the terms of his admission to the United States”.
The state department, secret service and representatives for Donald Trump all declined to comment, according to the Associated Press.