After meeting with lawmakers in Washington to discuss his detention at an airport last month, Muhammad Ali Jr. was detained and questioned again by immigration officials on his way home on Friday, his lawyer said. Ali and his mother, Khalilah Camacho Ali, were able to travel to the meeting from Fort Lauderdale without incident, but they were stopped while attempting to board a JetBlue Airways flight home, attorney Chris Mancini told the Associated Press. This time, the late heavyweight champion’s son was detained for 20 minutes, he said. He was allowed to board only after speaking to Department of Homeland Security representatives by phone and showing his passport and driver’s license. “Going to Washington obviously opened up a can of worms at DHS,” Mancini said.
Ali was first detained on Feb. 7 upon arrival at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, where he said he was held and questioned for several hours. He has said he believes he was detained because he is Muslim with an Arabic name, an issue which he discussed with a congressional subcommittee on border security earlier this week. Lisa Farbstein, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration, confirmed only that the younger Ali was patted down by security officials ahead of the JetBlue flight because his jewelry set off a metal detector. She also conceded that security officials had confirmed his identity before allowing him to board. Florida Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who happened to be on Ali’s flight on Friday, called attention to his detention on Twitter. “On way home on DOMESTIC FLIGHT Muhammad Ali Jr. detained AGAIN ... Religiously profiling son of 'The Greatest' will not make us safe,” she wrote.