BRITISH Muslim schoolteacher denied entry to U.S during school trip. Was escorted off plane despite having a visa. https://t.co/JKyI1wsV1v— Tahmeena Alam (@tahmeenaalam) February 20, 2017
On Feb. 16, Juhel Miah, a Welsh math teacher, and his students were all ready to leave Reykjavik, Iceland, to travel to New York for a school trip.
However, he was kicked off the plane before it took off.
Because Miah happens to be a Muslim.
Yes, the 25-year-old teacher was reportedly denied entry into the U.S. in light of the recent travel restrictions imposed on seven Muslim-majority countries by U.S. President Donald Trump.
“Everyone was looking at me,” Miah told Wales Online. “As I was getting my luggage the teachers and kids were confused. I couldn’t believe this was happening. I was being escorted out. It made me feel like a criminal. I couldn’t speak, I was lost for words.
The man was denied U.S. entry almost a week after Trump’s immigration ban was overturned by a U.S. appeals court. However, the case has left many confused and angry for many reasons.
First, he doesn’t belong to any of the seven countries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — that have been blacklisted by the U.S. government. His ethnic background is Bangladeshi, according to BBC.
Second, Miah is a British citizen without dual nationality. And he had valid visa documentation.
Despite being blameless, the teacher says he was “belittled” and treated “like a criminal” before his school arranged a flight for him back to the United Kingdom.
“My phone battery was dying so I went to my suitcase, and that’s when I realized the padlock was missing. It had gone. I was so paranoid, I was scared, I didn’t sleep or eat for two days,” he further told Wales Online.
What’s worse, Miah still doesn’t know why he was refused entry to the United States, according to a spokesperson for his employer, Neath Port Talbot council.
“No satisfactory reason has been provided for refusing entry to the United States — either at the airport in Iceland or subsequently at the U.S. embassy in Reykjavik. Miah attempted to visit the embassy but was denied access to the building. Understandably he feels belittled and upset at what appears to be an unjustified act of discrimination.”
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Brendan Mcdermid