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Canadian Woman Denied Entry to US After Muslim Prayers Found On Her Phone

16 comments, 191 views, posted 5:01 pm 17/02/2017 in Politics by evolution
evolution has 12213 posts, 5848 threads, 1460 points
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Canadian woman denied entry to U.S. after Muslim prayers found on her phone
Carol Off and Jeff Douglas| February 08, 2017 | CBC Radio

Fadwa Alaoui is a Moroccan-born Canadian citizen living in Brossard, Quebec. Like a lot of Quebecers, she sometimes drives down to Vermont to take advantage of the deals. But on Saturday, when her family pulled up at the border, Alaoui encountered something new.

After the usual set of questions, Alaoui says she was asked about her religion and her thoughts on U.S. President Donald Trump. She says border agents took her phone and fingerprints. Four hours later she was told that her family wasn't welcome and she was forced to turn back.

Alaoui spoke with As It Happens guest host Helen Mann about her ordeal and why she is struggling to explain what happened to her son. Here is part of their conversation.

Quote by Fadwa Alaoui:
"I don't want [my son] to feel like we were discriminated because I raise my kids that we are all the same. We are Canadians. Yes, we have different names, but we are all the same."

Helen Mann: Ms. Alaoui, what kind of questions were you asked by U.S. Customs when you got to the border on Saturday?

Fadwa Alaoui: The usual questions like what is the reason of your visit and what is the place of your birth? I answered that I was born in Morocco. He told me: How long have you been here in Canada? I said that I was here more than 20 years. He told us okay you can park your car and come with us in our office. Once there, he asked us about our phone and the PIN number to open the phone.

HM: Now, they were also asking you other questions, as I understand it, about your religion?

FA: Yes, exactly. After that they came and interviewed us one by one. The first question he told me: You are Muslim, right? I responded, yes. He told me: Do you practise? I told him yes. He told me: Which mosque do you go? So I started to explain the mosque where I go. What is the name of the imam? Where do you pray? Where do the women pray? Does the imam come talk to you directly? What is the speech the imam gave? What is the frequency that you go to the mosque?

HM: And you answered all the questions?

FA: Yes. I answered all the questions, the best that I know. I was calm. I collaborate. I give him all the answers he wanted to know. He told me: Are you part of any group? Muslim group? I told him no. I told him it's not my first time that I'm going to the United States. I have family there. I have my parents, my brothers, everyone is there. Today, especially, I want to bring my son with me because he is sick. I want to change his mind and give him a treat because he was sick, he had cancer. He asked me about the mosque: Do you know the last name of the imam? If he is always present? If someone replace him? The name of the person who replaced him? He told me: What do you think about the shooting in Quebec? Do you have relatives in Quebec that was one of the victims?

HM: I understand he also asked your thoughts on President Donald Trump?

FA: Yes. He asked me: What do you think about Donald Trump? I told him, what? He told me: [What's] your opinion about his policy. I told him, listen, he has the right to do whatever he wants in his country. I don't expect that. I'm not following the news. I'm not following what happened. I have a busy life. I have busy schedule with my son, with all these appointments at the hospital, with my kids.

HM: Now, after some time I understand they emerged and asked you about some videos they found on your phone. What were you asked about?

FA: They asked about prayers that I receive on my phone. I told him I'm not aware about it. I'm not the one who sends it. But he wanted to know what does it mean to you? It's more prayers that we have to say. I've received from groups, from friends, because they know what I have been through with my kids. They send me prayers to say that it's going to help you or something like that.

HM: Eventually you were told that they were not going to let your family into the United States. What did they say?

FA: They took our fingerprints, our pictures. The lady came to the front desk and she told me: "Okay, we're not let you in." I said, "What is the reason? Why?" She told me because you have videos and concerns against us. I was shocked. I told her, what? Is that my phone, my cousin's phone — what phone? She told me it's a combination of both phones.

HM: Do you have any idea what she might have meant by that?

FA: I don't know, no. I signed the form. I was sick. I was shocked. I was tired so I just drove back home.

HM: And what did the form you signed say?

FA: It's not saying the reasons that she said verbally. The form says: "Withdrawal of application for admission. Subject is inadmissible to the United States. An immigrant not in possession of a valid and expired immigrant's visa."

HM: You're a Canadian citizen right?

FA: Yes. I'm a Canadian citizen. I travel with my Canadian passport. My passport is still valid until June 2018.

HM: Have you ever needed a visa to travel to the United States before?

FA: No. Not with my Canadian passport. I go there like every month. It's the first time they react like that.

HM: So what do you say to your son? How do you explain this to him?

FA: I didn't find the words to explain to him. I don't want him to feel like we were discriminated because I raise my kids that we are all the same. We are Canadians. Yes, we have different names, but we are all the same. But I couldn't find words to explain to him why.

In an email to CBC, 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's email read.

"CBP does not discriminate on the entry of foreign nationals to the United States based on religion, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation," he continued.

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.

Extra Points Given by:

Vormid (10)

Comments

3
5:47 pm 17/02/2017

elsels

So did it have anything to do with her cousin? Did he have the right papers to come into the country? I remember going into Canada and they almost did not let us in, because we did not have a particular paper we did not know we needed. The country can refuse entry to any non citizen, just because I made it into Canada once, twice, four times does not mean I am guaranteed a fifth, anymore than her family is guaranteed entry into the US. I suspect there may be more to this story than what is being reported. Also, how many people get turned away at the border daily?

FTA: - It's not saying the reasons that she said verbally. The form says: "Withdrawal of application for admission. Subject is inadmissible to the United States. An immigrant not in possession of a valid and expired immigrant's visa."

1
6:21 pm 17/02/2017

Vormid

I think the point is: Since when is there a religious test to get into the country. Did the Canadians ask if you were a Christian? What Church you went to? Who your pastor was? What are those suspicious prayers on your phone about? Have you UNLOCK your phone?

0
6:37 pm 17/02/2017

elsels

Since the BP cannot possibly speak of the instance then they cannot deny or say it is a fact. She can say whatever she wants, if the problem was the cousin then they will certainly not be able to speak of it even if this woman gave permission. In other words it is hear say.

I remember stopping at the Canadian border the first time I went into Canada and the Border agent asking if we had weapons, we said no. He asked again, again we said no, he asked if we hunted, we said no. Then he went on about how all Americans own guns? Why don't we? I mean they will ask whatever to trip you, it was bizarre and a little unnerving, but I figured it was their job to prevent anyone who would want to do harm from entering their country. Weird, I know.

1
6:59 pm 17/02/2017

Vormid

I have never had a problem going into Canada. Always the trouble was coming home...

0
7:13 pm 17/02/2017

Flee

Given our lax immigration policies, she was probably a terrorist

0
7:16 pm 17/02/2017

elsels

Ha, I wish. Have never had a problem coming into the US, well except for customs coming from the islands they are invasive and thorough. Ugh! But going into Canuckistan has always been a pain. I love Canadians though.

2
7:59 pm 17/02/2017

MASTERV

I am sick of hearing all these bull shit stories about exaggerated or made up oh poor me it never happen crap! Next thing you know they will be saying that Trump has established a concentration camp to house Americans of Mexican decent.

1
8:04 pm 17/02/2017

MASTERV

Like this crap:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/17/donald-trumpmy-press-conference-one-greatest-ever-says-us-president.

That has nothing to do with the title of the story (as far as I can tell)

0
8:10 pm 17/02/2017

evolution

Quote by MASTERV:
I am sick of hearing all these bull shit stories about exaggerated or made up oh poor me it never happen crap!

It's all well and good until it affects you.

3
8:28 pm 17/02/2017

HariSeldon

The point is the story is a lie. A fabrication. a fib, a prevarication, it is subterfuge, it is bullshit designed to gain clicks, cause anger toward Trump, create the fiction that he is a racist, try to make the made up story that the 7 nations chosen by Obama was a religious ban on Trump's part.

0
2:14 am 18/02/2017

Quaektem

Quote by Vormid:
I think the point is: Since when is there a religious test to get into the country. Did the Canadians ask if you were a Christian? What Church you went to? Who your pastor was? What are those suspicious prayers on your phone about? Have you UNLOCK your phone?



No one ever lies aboot (Canadian talk right there!) stuff like this either

1
11:23 am 18/02/2017

backroom

Quote by HariSeldon:
The point is the story is a lie. A fabrication. a fib, a prevarication, it is subterfuge, it is bullshit designed to gain clicks, cause anger toward Trump, create the fiction that he is a racist, try to make the made up story that the 7 nations chosen by Obama was a religious ban on Trump's part.


So, you were standing there at the border listening in, eh?

1
3:29 pm 18/02/2017

Vormid

Quote by Quaektem:
Quote by Vormid:
I think the point is: Since when is there a religious test to get into the country. Did the Canadians ask if you were a Christian? What Church you went to? Who your pastor was? What are those suspicious prayers on your phone about? Have you UNLOCK your phone?



No one ever lies aboot (Canadian talk right there!) stuff like this either



As you well know it's nobody's fookin business but your own. Religious freedom.

1
3:31 pm 18/02/2017

Vormid

Quote by HariSeldon:
The point is the story is a lie. A fabrication. a fib, a prevarication, it is subterfuge, it is bullshit designed to gain clicks, cause anger toward Trump, create the fiction that he is a racist, try to make the made up story that the 7 nations chosen by Obama was a religious ban on Trump's part.


God...remember that time that Obama was going to invade Texas and start martial law?? So unfair.

http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/05/02/403865824/texas-governor-deploys-state-guard-to-stave-off-obama-takeover

0
3:33 pm 18/02/2017

Vormid

It's quite possible that "plan to use the NG to round up immigrants" was released to find a leak. It's quite possible that "plan" was actually written and floated and even dismissed, hell with this asshole it's possible it was real. Nothing would surprise me at this point.

1
3:40 pm 18/02/2017

Vormid

Quote by HariSeldon:
The point is the story is a lie. A fabrication. a fib, a prevarication, it is subterfuge, it is bullshit designed to gain clicks, cause anger toward Trump, create the fiction that he is a racist, try to make the made up story that the 7 nations chosen by Obama was a religious ban on Trump's part.



Fuck Trump and his precious little ego.

1. "Why doesn't he show his birth certificate? There's something on that birth certificate that he doesn't like."
- March 23, 2011, on "The View"
2. "He's spent millions of dollars trying to get away from this issue. Millions of dollars in legal fees trying to get away from this issue. And I'll tell you what, I brought it up, just routinely, and all of a sudden a lot facts are emerging and I'm starting to wonder myself whether or not he was born in this country."
- March 28, 2011, on Fox News
3. "He doesn't have a birth certificate, or if he does, there's something on that certificate that is very bad for him. Now, somebody told me -- and I have no idea if this is bad for him or not, but perhaps it would be -- that where it says 'religion,' it might have 'Muslim.' And if you're a Muslim, you don't change your religion, by the way."
- March 30, 2011, on The Laura Ingraham Show
4. "I have people that have been studying [Obama's birth certificate] and they cannot believe what they're finding ... I would like to have him show his birth certificate, and can I be honest with you, I hope he can. Because if he can't, if he can't, if he wasn't born in this country, which is a real possibility ... then he has pulled one of the great cons in the history of politics."
- April 7, 2011, on NBC's "Today" show
5. "His grandmother in Kenya said, 'Oh, no, he was born in Kenya and I was there and I witnessed the birth.' She's on tape. I think that tape's going to be produced fairly soon. Somebody is coming out with a book in two weeks, it will be very interesting."
- April 7, 2011, on MSNBC's "Morning Joe"
Note: On April 27, 2011, President Obama made public his long form birth certificate. The Trump campaign in his statement portrayed this as the event that resolved the situation.
"Having successfully obtained President Obama's birth certificate when others could not, Mr. Trump believes that President Obama was born in the United States," Miller said.
But as the following comments demonstrate, whatever he thought personally, Trump continued to gin up birther issues for years after.
6. "He didn't know he was running for president, so he told the truth. The literary agent wrote down what he said ... He said he was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia ... Now they're saying it was a mistake. Just like his Kenyan grandmother said he was born in Kenya, and she pointed down the road to the hospital, and after people started screaming at her, she said, 'Oh, I mean Hawaii.' Give me a break."
- May 24, 2012, interview with The Daily Beast's Lloyd Grove, responding to an erroneous report about Obama
7. "A lot of people do not think it was an authentic certificate. ... Many people do not think it was authentic. His mother was not in the hospital. There are many other things that came out. And frankly if you would report it accurately I think you'd probably get better ratings than you're getting."
- May 29, 2012, to CNN's Wolf Blitzer
8. "An 'extremely credible source' has called my office and told me that @BarackObama's birth certificate is a fraud."
Follow
Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump
An 'extremely credible source' has called my office and told me that @BarackObama's birth certificate is a fraud.
4:23 PM - 6 Aug 2012
19,651 19,651 Retweets 14,676 14,676 likes
- August 6, 2012, in a tweet more than a year after Obama released his longform birth certificate
9. "Was it a birth certificate? You tell me. Some people say that was not his birth certificate. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. I'm saying I don't know. Nobody knows."
- August 2013, to ABC News
10. "How amazing, the State Health Director who verified copies of Obama's 'birth certificate' died in plane crash today. All others lived."
Follow
Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump
How amazing, the State Health Director who verified copies of Obama’s “birth certificate” died in plane crash today. All others lived
4:32 PM - 12 Dec 2013
7,390 7,390 Retweets 5,373 5,373 likes
- December 12, 2013, in tweet about the death of Loretta Fuddy.
11. "Well, I don't know -- did he do it? ... Well, a lot of people don't agree with you and a lot of people feel it wasn't a proper certificate."
-May 2014, in an interview with TV3's Colette Fitzpatrick in Ireland, Trump first contested whether Obama had released his birth certificate, then questioned whether its legitimacy.
12. "There are three things that could happen. And one of them did happen. He was perhaps born in Kenya. Very simple, OK? He was perhaps born in this country. But said he was born in Kenya because if you say you were born in Kenya, you got aid and you got into colleges. People were doing that. So perhaps he was born in this country, and that has a very big chance. Or, you know, who knows?"
- May 27, 2014, in remarks at the National Press Club
13. "Who knows about Obama? ... Who knows, who knows? Who cares right now?... I have my own theory on Obama. Someday I will write a book, I will do another book, and it will do very successfully."
- January 6, 2016, in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer.
14. "I'll answer that question at the right time. I just don't want to answer it yet ... I don't talk about it anymore. The reason I don't is because then everyone is going to be talking about it as opposed to jobs, the military, the vets, security."

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