Last month Muhammad Ali, Jr. was detained at the border on his way back into the U.S. and reportedly questioned about his religion.
His mother was with him, and apparently since she was carrying a photo of herself with the late Muhammad Ali she was allowed to pass. Without his own ‘get out of Customs and Border Protection free photo’ he was subjected to greater scrutiny.
Mr. Mancini said then that Customs and Border Protection officials had asked Mr. Ali, “Where did you get your name from?” and, “Are you Muslim?”
Ali, Jr. spoke to Members of Congress about his experience. And leaving DC he was… detained at National airport.
Checking in to fly JetBlue from Washington National to Fort Lauderdale, he was told that his Illinois identification card (that he used flying to DC) was not acceptable as identification.
Almost immediately, Mr. Ali was told that there was a problem and that the agent needed to call the Department of Homeland Security, Mr. Mancini said.
Mr. Ali, 44, was asked his date of birth, where he was born and his Social Security number, Mr. Mancini said. After answering the questions, he was told that his Illinois-issued identification card, which expires in 2019 but is not a driver’s license, was invalid for flying.
“The same state ID from Illinois that he traveled to Washington on was rejected,”
He was then subjected to a seven minute intimate pat down at the TSA checkpoint.
Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schulz was on the flight from DC to Fort Lauderdale with him.
He’d have had a much easier time, of course, if his father had kept the name Cassius Clay.