Aussie Right-Wing Activist Claims 'Comedy Central' Got Him Deported From The U.S.
UPDATED: Controversial right-wing figure Avi Yemini has spoken to 10 daily after he was interrogated by U.S. authorities amid fears his presence in the country would incite violence.
Yemini, who served in the Israeli Defense Force, uses social media to spread his anti-Islam sentiments.
Earlier this week Yemini said on social media that his tour in the U.S. would combat fake news.
Less than 48-hours later he was turned away by immigration officials when trying to enter the country.
"Upon arrival in Los Angeles I was detained and interrogated by the FBI and am currently waiting to be deported from the USA," he wrote in a tweet on Friday morning.
A friend and fellow conservative Sydney Watson backed his claims.
"For real. They separated Avi and me and sent us off in different directions after questioning me at length about our intentions to be "violent"," she said in a tweet.
Watson, who is a dual Australian-American citizen, also has a growing online following. She is best-known for her YouTube videos where she broadcasts anti-feminist and anti-immigration views.
"It's really hard being picked up by border patrol, questioned for two hours by border agents and the FBI and asked questions about if you intend to hurt anyone or pick up weapons," she said on Instagram.
She said Yemini had been in custody for eight hours.
"The reason Avi Yemini was deported and I wasn't is because I am an American citizen," she hypothesised.
Yemini told 10 daily American cable television channel Comedy Central had something to do with the ban.
He recently appeared in a segment -- which aired on the channel -- about growing far-right sentiments in Australia. It was filmed in January and broadcast following the Christchurch massacre.
Since the segment was broadcast, Yemini has repeatedly contacted program makers about the way he was depicted.
"If I watched the segment, that guy that they put out there, I would hate him too," he told 10 daily.
Yemini said it was unfair and inaccurate to use an interview three months prior to the Christchurch attack, and place it in the same mosque attack news feature package.
When he agreed to do the interview he said it was on the proviso they "don't put me in the same story as neo-Nazis," he told 10 daily.
Yemini said editing and context were manipulated and he was planning to walk into Comedy Central and confront producers, who weren't responding online.
According to the U.S Customs and Border Protection website, a person can be denied entry for many reasons including:
- If a person has previously worked illegally in the U.S.
- Is suspected of being an intended immigrant (i.e. planning on staying in the U.S. past the terms of their admission)
- Is suspected of having ties to terrorist or criminal organisations
- Has been found guilty of a criminal offence (for instance murder or grand theft)
- Has overstayed a previous visit to the U.S.
Yemini has since been contacted by a U.S immigration lawyer who has offered to help him gain entry into the country.
He was denied entry into the U.S. 15 years ago, for spending too many months within the same calendar year and was suspected of intending to immigrate there.
Yemini's most recent visit the country was late 2018.
Comedy Central declined to comment.
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