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‘I need to speak to the manager’: Comedian and refugee Mohanad Elshieky talks about Border Patrol questioning in Spokane in first set since he was pulled off Greyhound

Jan. 29, 2019 Updated Tue., Jan. 29, 2019 at 6:25 p.m.

Portland comedian Mohanad Elshieky performed at the White Owl Social Club in Portland on Monday, his first show since Border Patrol agents ordered him off a Greyhound bus in Spokane and demanded he prove he was in the country legally. (Oregonian-OregonLive via YouTube)
Portland comedian Mohanad Elshieky performed at the White Owl Social Club in Portland on Monday, his first show since Border Patrol agents ordered him off a Greyhound bus in Spokane and demanded he prove he was in the country legally. (Oregonian-OregonLive via YouTube)
By Everton Bailey Jr. and Samantha Swindler Oregonian/OregonLive

Portland comedian Mohanad Elshieky performed his first show Monday since revealing that Border Patrol agents ordered him off a Greyhound bus in Spokane and demanded he prove he was in the country legally.

Elshieky, 27, performed at the White Owl Social Club in southeast Portland, where he talked about immigration, Twitter trolls, growing up Muslim and a number of other topics during a 20-minute set.

“I’ve been living here in the U.S. for 4 1/2 years now,” he said, “and I think I need to speak to the manager. Because the product looks nothing like the image.”

Elshieky was born in Libya, moved to the U.S. in 2014 and was granted asylum in October.

Elshieky tweeted Sunday that he was traveling back to Portland from Spokane when he and three other bus passengers were approached by uniformed agents. He said he was questioned for 20 minutes, that the agents wrongfully told him his government-issued work permit and Oregon driver’s license were fake and that he was ordered to provide his asylum documentation.

The comedian said he told them he doesn’t carry those documents because he didn’t want to lose them. He said he was later allowed to reboard the bus and told to carry his asylum documents with him in the future.

During Monday night’s set, Elshieky cracked a few jokes about the stop.

“It’s all over the news now because I tweeted about it, and here’s the worst part. It’s not what happened to me and being detained,” he said. “It’s now the fact that the whole country knows that I can only afford to ride Greyhound.”

After the show, he said writing jokes about the situation was his way of coping and processing.

“Honestly, I’ve been angry all day. I’ve been upset all day, and I just want to talk to someone and just express myself,” he said. “I don’t care if it’s funny or not. I’m just going to talk about it.”

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