An Egyptian student at a Southern California flight school who was facing deportation for a Facebook threat against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump will be allowed to leave the country voluntarily, an immigration agency spokeswoman said.
During a hearing Friday morning at U.S. Immigration Court in downtown Los Angeles, Judge Kevin Riley granted Emad Elsayed voluntary departure to return to his home country. He will be escorted by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said Virginia Kice, an agency spokeswoman.
Elsayed remains in custody and must leave the United States in 120 days, she said.
"He made a mistake he regrets," Bushra said. "He will regret it for a long, long time."
Elsayed, 23, was taken into custody Feb. 12 by ICE officers for allegedly violating the terms of his admission to the United States, Kice said. Elsayed was arrested at a flight training school and is being held in an Orange County jail.
"You can't make a threat against a major presidential candidate, especially when you are a guest in this country," said Claude Arnold, retired special agent in charge of ICE Homeland Security Investigations in Los Angeles. "These things get investigated and taken seriously regardless of a person’s nationality or religious background."
A federal law enforcement source who was not authorized to discuss the case publicly said that when Elsayed was interviewed by a Secret Service agent, he did not withdraw the statement.
Secret Service officials declined to comment.
Los Angeles Times staff writer Richard Winton contributed to this post.