Mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, Mohamed Khairullah said Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents detained him at JFK International Airport in August as he returned from a family vacation in Turkey.
Khairullah claimed CBP agent singled his family out because of their faith as they pulled them aside for secondary screenings and searches. He also said agents confiscated his phones and asked him several questions relating to terrorism, terrorist cells, and if he knew any terrorists.
“It’s flat-out insulting,” Khairullah said. “It’s flat-out stereotyping of Muslims and Arabs.
“It was definitely a hurtful moment where I’m thinking in my mind that this is not the America that I know,” he continued. “I am very familiar with our laws and Constitution, and everything that was going on there was a violation.”
An attorney with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) issued a statement, Ahmed Mohamed, issued a statement accusing CBP of ignoring “reasonable suspicion” and confiscating Khairullah’s phone.
“CBP believes they can do what they want at the border, but even their own policies say there needs to be reasonable suspicion to do an intrusive search of the phone.”