Mohammed Yousuf Mullawala is the fellow who wanted to learn how to drive a truck, but not to back up.
“Judge orders deportation of driving student,” by Tom Mooney in the Providence Journal, with thanks to Peg:
BOSTON “” A federal judge yesterday ordered an Indian national whose behavior at a Smithfield trucking school spawned a nationwide antiterrorism investigation be deported.
Mohammed Yousuf Mullawala la “is not the person who he claims to be,” said U.S. Immigration Judge Matthew J. D”Angelo, as a shackled Mullawala listened a few feet away at the court room’s defense table.
While Mullawala’s “ultimate intentions and motives have not yet been revealed in full,” the judge said, “this court reaches a finding that mirrors the grave concern expressed by the Joint Terrorism Task Force, The Rhode Island State Police and the Rhode Island Fusion Center” “” which spearheads local homeland security matters….
He has been under investigation since Nov. 29, after an instructor at the Nationwide Tractor-Trailer Driving School became suspicious of him and contacted authorities. According to court papers, Mullawala’s lack of interest in learning how to back up a tractor-trailer, his request to buy software on hazardous materials and his queries on whether fingerprinting would be required for a commercial driver’s license raised concerns with the instructor.
Six days after the investigation began, Mullawala walked into the state police headquarters in Scituate to file a harassment complaint against a detective who called him on his cell phone. After questioning, he was taken into custody on a student visa violation.
During an immigration hearing last month Mullawala admitted he lied to the state police, as well as on applications for permanent residency, admission to colleges, driver’s licenses and the trucking school. But he denied being a criminal or a threat to anyone….
In his written decision, D”Angelo said he was unimpressed by Mullawala’s testimony.
“The respondent’s admission to submitting false information was by no means rehabilitated by his testimony.
“Rather than fully responding to questions posed to him, the respondent’s testimony was instead vague and evasive and attributed any discrepancies in his testimony or documentation to other individuals.”
The explanations that Mullawala did provide, D”Angelo wrote, “were implausible and appeared to be those of an individual struggling to fabricate a cover rather than of one who truly wishes to explain his or her actions.”
For example, said D”Angelo, when asked why he changed residences so frequently “” 11 different places in four states since his arrival from India in 2002, and some in New York City where he stayed for only a month “” Mullawala explained it was because he had “difficulty finding parking.”
“While it is admittedly difficult to find parking in New York and other major metropolitan areas, it seems highly unlikely that one would change residences on what appears to be an almost-monthly basis simply to secure better parking.”
D”Angelo said he also found “implausible” Mullawala’s explanation for why he withdrew from Johnson & Wales University, where he was majoring in computer science, and transferred to the University of Bridgeport. Mullawala said he transferred “” even though Johnson & Wales offered him a “substantial” scholarship “” because the Providence-based school didn’t offer computer engineering as a major.
Yet, the judge said, Mullawala described the two majors as “essentially the same.”
“Not only was the respondent’s testimony rife with vague, farfetched, evasive and implausible statements,” D”Angelo wrote, “but the written documentation he submitted to both [the Department of Homeland Security] and various state government agencies contained numerous inconsistencies and outright falsehoods.”
For example, in Mullawala’s application for the Nationwide Driving School, he indicated he had lived in Providence for five years and listed an individual named “Jahdish” as one of his character references.
Later Mullawala admitted the application was a lie, the judge said: –¦ at the time he submitted his application, he had not even resided in the United States for five years and [admitted] that Jahdish was a “˜fake character witness.” ”
Mullawala’s deportation could ban him from reentering the country for at least 10 years.
Only ten years?