A month after Muhammad Ali’s son and ex-wife were detained in a Florida airport, the pair is meeting with lawmakers to discuss religious freedom.
Muhammad Ali Jr. and his mother, Khalilah Camacho-Ali, headed to Washington, D.C. Thursday, March 9, to meet with lawmakers to talk about their treatment at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in February. The U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary Democrats and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus hosted a forum called “Ali v. Trump: The Fight for American Values,” where the Alis urged Congress to let them testify at a formal hearing.
Ali said he felt as if his “human rights were abused” when he was detained at the airport, and he supports the End Racial Profiling Act, which would prohibit local, state and federal law enforcement from targeting people based on their perceived race.
“America is already great,” Camacho-Ali said. “We don’t want anybody to stain that, to take that away from us.”
Ali and Camacho-Ali also are urging President Donald Trump to end his new travel ban, which disallows new visas for Muslims from six mostly-Muslim countries, exempts Iraq and temporarily halts the U.S. refugee program. The Ali family’s “Step Into the Ring” campaign, which is touted as a head-on fight against Trump, is getting support from boxing greats like Evander Holyfield, Larry Holmes and Roberto Duran. Social media is tracking the progress of their crusade by using #AlivsTrump.
When the Alis came home from a Jamaican Black History Month Celebration Tuesday, Feb. 7, their lawyer said the mother and son were “profiled” by customs officials who questioned them about their faith despite being American-born citizens. Ali was reportedly detained for up to two hours in the process.
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesperson told the Associated Press they held Ali for questioning, not for his name or religion.