By Qasim Rashid
I got harassed at the airport by Customs and Border Patrol. Good thing I’m a lawyer—in the Trump era, others aren’t so lucky.
After a week of exhausting travel in London, I wanted nothing more than to see my wife and children.
Customs and Border Patrol at Dulles had other plans.
On Aug. 6, I landed on UA919 from Heathrow to Dulles wearing my Ahmadiyya Muslim Community logo-embroidered press jacket. I cleared passport control with my Global Entry card, and called an Uber as I headed for the exit.
That’s when Customs and Border Protection, as one of the officers I encountered put it, “randomly selected” me for additional screening. What I experienced next involved harassment, threats of further interrogation, allegations that I was non-compliant and breaking the law, an attempt to confiscate my travel documents and childish stalling tactics — all courtesy of officials hired to protect Americans like me.
There’s a deep irony of my experience with the CBP that day. At an extremely busy Dulles airport, the CBP interrogation hall was virtually empty. A middle-aged white woman in a ponytail singled me out of the crowd.