Trump’s travel ban has in effect caused inconvenience for the lives of American citizens, simply because of their names. Passengers who are US citizens are being detained, questioned, and having their names run through federal databases in attempts to prove their citizenship. This happened to a former North Carolina Police Chief, who was held at JFK Airport in New York for hours, over his name.
Former Greenville North Carolina Chief Hassan Aden was detained, despite his US citizenship after returning to the US from a trip to Paris. “I was taken to a back office which looked to be a re-purposed storage facility with three desks and signs stating ‘remain seated at all times’ and ‘use of telephones strictly prohibited’ – my first sign that this was not a voluntary situation, in fact a detention.” Aden took to Facebook to tell his story. Customs then “explained that my name was used as an alias by someone on some watch list.” Whether this was true is hard to tell, as customs often play the name game when they want to show productivity.
“He stated that he sent my information to another agency to de-conflict and clear me, so that I could gain passage into the United States… my own country!” Chief Aden slammed the detention as unreasonable. He stated that he agreed with their mission, but when a detention stretches into hours, it becomes unreasonable and unnecessary. “My freedoms were restricted, and I cannot be sure it won’t happen again, and that it won’t happen to my family, my children, the next time we travel abroad.” Chief Aden was put into a seat in a room without access to his phone. They confiscated his passport while they investigated him. After a while, another officer arrived and was able to get him released. Fortunately, he was able to catch his next flight in time.
Trump’s travel ban, while not currently in effect, had the result of border security and customs ramping up operations and committing detentions and deportations that are questionably legal and being challenged in court. The heightened security has also impacted innocent families who have seen loved ones denied entry because their name matched someone else’s on a list somewhere, or pulled from cars while dropping kids off at school. These acts have marred America’s reputation, not only on the world stage, but among its own citizens.
Chief Aden no longer feels confident leaving the country and being able to return unmolested. “This country feels cold, unwelcoming, and in the beginning stages of a country that is isolating itself from the rest of the world – and its own people – in an unprecedented fashion. High levels of hate and injustice have been felt in vulnerable communities for decades – it is now hitting the rest of America.”
Sources: News Observer.
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