A Canadian woman was turned away from the US/Canada border when she was asked what her religion was and she replied that she was Muslim.
During the oral arguments Tuesday afternoon in the 9th Circuit Court, Judge William Canby asked whether the president could say the U.S. would simply no longer admit Muslims into the country. Justice Department lawyer August Flentje said that the executive order did not amount to a Muslim ban. “That’s not in the order,” he said over and over again.
Still, according to CBCNews, Fadwa Alaoui was turned away over the weekend after being questioned about her religion and political views about President Donald Trump.
She, along with her cousin and two children, were on their way to do some shopping in Burlington, Vermont when they were stopped and held by Customs and Border Patrol for over four hours. She and her cousin were asked for their cell phones and passwords, which Alaoui said were examined for about an hour. Border patrol found videos of people speaking Arabic, wich Alaoui said were daily prayers. The two adults were then separated and questioned apart. After another hour they were denied entry.
Alaoui is a Moroccan-born Canadian citizen and neither Morocco nor Canada are on the list of countries banned from entering the United States. However, most of the questions the agents asked her were about her religion.
“I felt humiliated, treated as if I was less than nothing. It’s as if I wasn’t Canadian,” Alaoui told CBCNews.
This isn’t the first time the family has been to the United States. Alaoui’s parents and brother live in the US and she’s visited them multiple times without any problems or questions.
“He said ‘Do you practice? Which mosque do you go to? What is the name of the imam? How often do you go to the mosque? What kind of discussions do you hear in the mosque? Does the imam talk to you directly?'” Alaoui continued.
She was also questioned about the recent shooting at the mosque in Quebec and if she knew any of the victims.
It was the videos that the border police told her resulted in being denied. They explained to her that the videos were “against us.”
When CBCNews asked the Border Patrol to comment, they said they “don’t discriminate against foreign nationals based on religion, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation” and that Alaoui can file a complaint. She plans to contact her member of Parliament instead and hopes Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will raise the issue when meeting with Trump.
Alaoui had planned to visit her parents during spring break but it amounts to a four-hour drive where she might be denied again. That would result in another four-hour drive home.
“We don’t want that to happen to us again after eight hours of driving,” she said.
The agency reported 300 to 500 people that are denied entry to the U.S. out of the 1.2 million that attempt to enter.