Muhammad Ali Jr. says celebrity-elect Donald Trump is to blame for his recent detainment by immigration officials at the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., airport as he traveled back from Jamaica with his mother, Khalilah Camacho-Ali.
The incident occurred toward the end of February, and as he explained to The Root, “I was coming from Jamaica and they pulled me aside, immigration. And I was wondering, ‘Why would they pull me aside … I’m a U.S. citizen?’ So it really didn’t sit well with me.”
He continues, “I mean, I really didn’t think about Donald Trump at the time, but later on I figured, ‘Oh yeah, he has that Muslim ban going.’ I figured that out because they asked me what was my mother’s last name. And I said ‘Camacho,’ but they didn’t bother her when I said that because they were looking for an Arabic last name, which is ‘Ali,’ and so they stopped me.”
Muhammad Ali Jr. arrives for a forum in Washington, Thursday, March 9, 2017, on the effects of President Trump’s immigration policies
Ali said, “It was crazy because I told them who I was, and so all they had to do was Google me. I don’t know why they detained me for a whole hour and 45 minutes.”
“They pulled me aside and asked me what my name was,” he explained. “They asked me, ‘Who gave you that name?’ Like, for real, who gave me my name? Are you serious?” he recalled thinking at the time.
“And I told them, ‘My mom. My mom and dad named me,’ and they were like, ‘What’s your religion?’ I was like, ‘Why would you even ask me what my religion is?’” He admitted that questions about his religion “threw me for a loop,” but says, “I didn’t ask that question. I was just thinking it,” he continued.
“This was my thinking in my head: ‘If you’re doing your job, you just stop everybody and detain them, right?’ I didn’t tell them that. I was like, ‘Well, they’re really, really messed up here.’”
Today Ali is convinced that his detainment happened because Trump is president. “Bush was in office, I’ve never been hassled. Clinton got in office, I never been hassled. Obama got in office, I’ve never been hassled about traveling. Donald Trump got in office, it’s the only time I was hassled as far as traveling. So it had to be that.”
Yeah, Ali… we would have to agree with you about that!
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