DEARBORN- At 7 a.m. on Thursday, March 30, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agents detained an Iranian Schoolcraft College student at his apartment in Dearborn.
According to his roommate, Mohammad Salar Fard-Hajian, 24, was taken to the Dearborn Police Station where he was held in a cell and reached out to friends over the phone.
At the time of the incident, the electrical engineering student woke up his 22-year-old roommate, Shayan Shafiei, to let him know he was being detained.
“[He told me] ‘wake up, they’re taking me, they’re detaining me,’” Shafiei told The AANews.
Shafiei thought it was a joke until he heard agents outside his bedroom door.
“They cuffed him with shackles… hands and feet,” he said.
Shafiei said Fard-Hajian told him over the phone that Dearborn police said he had to be apprehended because he didn’t update his address on his immigration form since he moved from Oregon to Michigan. He said his friend studied in Oregon for one year, but decided to move to Michigan because he wanted to live around his acquaintances.
Fard-Hajian has been living in the state for two years now.
“He’s been receiving immigration papers now in Michigan,” he said. “Therefore, it’s impossible that they did not have his current address.”
He added that no one is able to bail Fard-Hajian out, see him or find out more about his case.
“He’s been in solitary for the past 30 hours and has been slowly getting sick,” he said. “He’s complaining about the lack of air in his cell.”
Shafiei said he tried visiting him twice, but police wouldn’t allow him. He asked for more information, but they said they can only speak to immediate family. However, he has no one in the U.S. except for friends.
“All they said is that, ‘this guy is an immigration prisoner,’” he said. “’All we do is have a cell for [him]’ and that I have to check with immigration.”
Shafiei then visited U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services to see what he can do to help his friend. An official told him he can’t do anything and that Fard-Hajian would be transferred to jail soon.
“[He said] he has to wait for a judge to see his case and I asked him, ‘Ok, how long would that take?’” he said. “He was like it might take three weeks to a month. That’s crazy. Imagine a person who has never been in a situation like this going to jail.”
Shafiei said Fard-Hajian has been living in the U.S. on a student visa for three years and has no criminal record.
“He’s a very close friend of mine,” he said. “His family is in Iran, so they have no idea what is happening to him. Like I don’t have the guts to tell them your son is detained. I can’t imagine how they would feel.”
On Friday, March 31, Dearborn police told The AANews that they housed Fard-Hajian overnight until U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents took him away. Police said they know nothing about the case or where they took him.