After speaking with lawmakers about his detention by customs a few weeks after the first Trump travel ban, Muhammad Ali, Jr. was detained by TSA agents before he was allowed to board a plane home to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
The son of the late sports and cultural icon Muhammad Ali was, as we reported, detained by customs officials at an airport the weekend ending February 26. He and his mother were returning from Jamaica, when the American citizen was reportedly detained by customs and asked if he was Muslim.
On Wednesday, Ali traveled to D.C. to meet with lawmakers and to return home by Friday. However, according to Ali’s attorney Chris Mancini, he was detained by the TSA before being allowed to board the flight. He seems to think it was political, especially since it was a domestic flight.
From the Associated press:
“None of this was happening Wednesday,” Mancini said in a telephone interview Friday afternoon as he was traveling with the Alis. “Going to Washington obviously opened up a can of worms at DHS.”
Florida Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was on the same flight, tweeted a photo with Ali after he was allowed to board and wrote: “On way home on DOMESTIC FLIGHT Muhammad Ali Jr. detained AGAIN … Religiously profiling son of ‘The Greatest’ will not make us safe.”
Ali is a U.S. Citizen, as both his father and mother were born in the United States.
During his trip to D.C., Ali told lawmakers about his experience at the hands of customs agents, and used the opportunity to lobby for legislation that has languished in committee over recent years that would ban religious and racial profiling as an acceptable tactic. The meeting didn’t take place during a major committee hearing, but rather during a Democratic forum meant to criticize the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
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