The United States embassy on Thursday expressed regret over the deportation of Indian students admitted to two universities in California, the Deccan Chronicle reported. The embassy said in a statement that it was looking into the matter closely and has been in regular communication with the US Department of Homeland Security and the Indian government.

The embassy further clarified that travellers with the required visa can also be denied entry into the country if an immigration officer sees good reason to do so. A top functionary of the Andhra Pradesh government had earlier said that some of the students were deported because they were unable to answer basic questions asked by the immigration officer.

On Monday, 19 students admitted to the Silicon Valley University in San Jose and Northwestern Polytechnic University in Fremont were stopped from boarding an Air India flight to San Francisco from Hyderabad’s Shamshabad airport. Since December 19, the airline has not allowed around 50 students with valid visas and flight tickets to board its flight to San Francisco.

The national carrier justified its move saying the US customs agency had informed them that the two universities were blacklisted. The ministry of external affairs said on Tuesday that it had taken up the issue strongly with the US government and aimed to resolve it at the earliest.

Etihad Airways has also said that it will assist any Indian students who travelled on its flight to the US and were refused entry, particularly to those belonging to the California universities in question.