On February 7, Muhammad Ali Jr. and his mother, Khalilah Camacho-Ali, had just arrived at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport after a speaking engagement in Jamaica for Black History Month when Muhammad Ali Jr. was detained by immigration officials.
According to family friend and lawyer Chris Mancini, the two of them were pulled aside because of their Arabic-sounding names. While Camacho-Ali was released after showing a picture of herself with her late husband, her son didn’t have a picture like that and so was detained for further questioning, with officials repeatedly asking, “Where did you get your name from?” and “Are you Muslim?”
Ali reported that he was born in Philadelphia and had an American passport even as officials continued to question him about his religion.
“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,” Mancini said, noting that both Ali and Camacho-Ali have extensively traveled but have never been detained in this way before.
On Friday, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection wrote in response to this incident, “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.”