Ali, Jr., and his mother, Khalilah Camacho-Ali arrived to the Ford Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on February 7th. They were incoming from an African-American history month event in Ganjaville, Jamaica, and then were pulled aside because they had ‘Arabic-sounding’ names.
Now here’s where it gets sticky for some people. The staff at the airport were enforcing President Trump’s new travel ban. They let Ali’s mother go after she was able to produce a picture to prove she wasn’t just a random person with a Muslim name, but was instead the wife of the late boxer Muhammad Ali. Ali, Jr., was unable to provide such documentation and was therefore detained.
Now, every American knows that we have some beefed up security for our country and if your name is not normal, you might just raise the suspicion of the airport security staff. Mrs. Camacho-Ali had her ducks in a row and was able to produce her papers to prove she was the wife of a beloved sports icon and was not a terrorist.
Muhammad Ali, Jr., did not have the right papers, pictures or even video to let everyone at the airport know that he was the son of a wealthy, pro-America boxer so with the new laws he should have expected to be detained while everyone could make sure he was actually an exceptional Muslim who was actually born in Philadelphia.
The moral of the story is if you have a name that is not Americanized and you are traveling from somewhere like Jamaica, make sure to have your document ducks in a row. No harm, no foul.