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French Holocaust scholar nearly deported from US

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Henry Rousso

An Egyptian-born French Jewish scholar on his way to a Texas university was nearly deported recently from the United States when he landed in Houston.


"I have been detained 10 hours at Houston International Airport about to be deported. The officer who arrested me was 'inexperienced'," Holocaust-era historian Henry Rousso wrote Saturday on Twitter.

Rousso was confirming an earlier announcement by officials at Texas A&M University that he had been detained upon arrival on February 22.

University officials managed to stop Rousso's deportation with help from a law professor who specializes in immigrant rights, the local Bryan-College Station area news site, The Eagle, reported.

Rousso, 62, is a senior researcher at the French National Center for Scientific Research, or CNRS.

A Texas A&M professor said that Rousso was "mistakenly detained" and was going to be sent back to Paris as an illegal alien due to a misunderstanding regarding his visa, The Eagle said.

Rousso has spoken over the years at several prominent US universities as well as the Holocaust Memorial Museum in the US capital, and was even a visiting professor at Texas A&M in 2007, according to his online profile.

"Thank you so much for your reactions," Rousso wrote on Twitter. "My situation was nothing compared to some of the people I saw who couldn't be defended as I was."

In late January President Donald Trump issued an executive order imposing a 90-day entry ban for citizens of seven Muslim majority countries, though not including Egypt.

The travel ban has since been halted by a US federal court.