Fadwa Alaoui, a Muslim woman who wears a hijab, says she attempted to use her Canadian passport to enter the United States on last Saturday and was denied entry. She had visited the United States many times without problems because her parents and brother live in Chicago. A Moroccan-born Canadian citizen was travelling with two of her children and an adult cousin, who all have Canadian passports. Morocco is not among the seven predominantly Muslim countries targeted by a U.S. travel ban introduced by Trump that is now being disputed in the courts.
Alaoui said most of the questions that she faced at the Philipsburg border crossing focused on religion. She said U.S. border agents asked to see her and her cousin's cell phones. After examining the phones for about an hour and finding some Arabic videos on her phone, they came back and told Alaoui: “You're not allowed to go to the United States because we found videos on your phone that are against us.”
A Moroccan-Canadian woman says she was turned back from the Vermont border after four hours of interrogation, including questions about her mosque attendance, thoughts on the Quebec City shooting and opinion about U.S. President Donald Trump.
David Long, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said privacy laws prohibit discussion of individual travellers. "U.S. Customs and Border Protection's top priority is the prevention of the entry of terrorists and their weapons into the United States, while facilitating legitimate trade and travel," Long wrote in email to CBC. He said travellers who feel they've wrongly been denied entry into the U.S. can file a written complaint on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.
Just as a reminder, on January 27, Donald Trump suspended travel from seven Muslim-majority countries. Trump's original order, which he called a national security measure meant to head off attacks by Islamist militants, barred people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering for 90 days and all refugees for 120 days, except refugees from Syria, who were banned indefinitely. The order applies to permanent US residents, i.e., green-card holders, as well as foreign visitors.
Photo Credits: Telecinco