On their return home to Florida after speaking at an event for Black History Month in Montego Bay, Jamaica, Muhammad Ali Jr., 44, and his mother Khalilah Camacho-Ali (Muhammad Ali’s second wife) were detained by immigration officials.
The Courier-Journal reported on Saturday that the Camacho-Alis had arrived at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Feb. 7 and were going through customs when immigration officials pulled them aside. Family friend and lawyer, Chris Mancini said that the reason for their being detained was their Muslim-sounding names.
“Immigration officials let Camacho-Ali go after she showed them a photo of herself with her ex-husband, but her son did not have such a photo and wasn’t as lucky,” said the report, adding that Mancini told the paper that Ali was questioned for nearly two hours, with officials continuously asking him, “Where did you get your name from?” and “Are you Muslim?”
When Ali responded that he is a Muslim, Mancini said that the officers continued to question him about his religion and his place of birth. Born in Philadelphia in 1972, Ali is a U.S. citizen.
“To the Ali family, it’s crystal clear that this is directly linked to Mr. Trump’s efforts to ban Muslims from the United States,” said Mancini.
A statement from U.S. Customs and Border Protection said, “Due to the restrictions of the Privacy Act, U.S. Customs and Border Protection cannot discuss individual travelers; however, all international travelers arriving in the U.S. are subject to CBP inspection.”
Mancini, however, said that he considered Immigration’s line of questioning to be religious profiling “designed to produce answers that corroborate what officials want to hear.” He added that Ali and his mother have frequently traveled all over the world and nothing like this has ever happened. “To the Ali family, it’s crystal clear that this is directly linked to Mr. Trump’s efforts to ban Muslims.”
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