A Libya-born comedian who was yanked off a bus in Washington state and “humiliated” by Border Patrol agents will get a $35,000 settlement for the ordeal, according to an immigrant rights group.
Mohanad Elshieky — who now lives in Brooklyn and works on the TV show “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” — was pulled off a Greyhound bus, interrogated and accused of having fake papers in Spokane in January 2019, according to a press release from the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.
Elshieky, who had been granted asylum and was living in Portland, Ore., filed a federal lawsuit against US Customs and Border Protection alleging he was wrongfully detained, the press release states.
“I’ll never forget the harassment and humiliation by the officers when it was clear I belonged in the United States and on that bus,” Elshieky said in a statement. “I hope my experience can at least be a wake-up call for others, and a lesson for CBP and its agents to treat everyone with dignity and respect, and to honor their rights.”
On Twitter, he added, “Maybe next time they should refrain from harassing immigrants.”
The stop was “part of a pattern of discriminatory behavior” by agents who “regularly targeted people of color,” according to the press release.
At the time, Elshieky tweeted about the incident, writing that officers “took my documents and interrogated me for around 20 mins then claimed my papers were fake and that I’m ‘illegal.’”
“I explained to them that I was granted Asylum here in the United States,” he tweeted. “They told me that I was lying and these could pretty much be falsified.”
Elshieky had been living in the US on a visa since 2014 and received asylum in October 2018.
Andres Sosa Segura, another man who was detained by border agents at the same bus station, Intermodal Center, in 2017, also received a $35,000 settlement, according to the press release.
A US Customs and Border Protection rep didn’t immediately return a request for comment Friday.