US bars British Muslim family from boarding flight

23 Dec, 2015 3:00 pm

LONDON (92 News) – A British Muslim family heading for Disneyland was barred from boarding a flight to Los Angeles by US authorities at London’s Gatwick airport amid concerns of an American overreaction to the perceived terrorist threat.

US Department of Homeland Security officials provided no explanation for why the country refused to allow the family of 11 to board the plane even though they had been granted travel authorization online ahead of their planned 15 December flight.

A Labor MP Stella Creasy has written to David Cameron urging him to press American authorities on what she says is a growing problem of British Muslims being barred from the US without explanation. The family of 11, from Creasy’s Walthamstow constituency in north east London, had planned a holiday to Disneyland in California, saving thousands of pounds for the trip.

But as they went to board the Norwegian Airlines flight to Los Angeles from the Sussex airport on December 15 they were approached by officials from the US Department of Homeland Security, who told them their authorization to travel had been cancelled.

On the other hand, India’s national carrier Air India barred 19 Indian students from boarding its flight from Hyderabad to San Francisco after US authorities informed the airlines that the universities they had got admission in were blacklisted. However, the two Californian universities in question have denied these charges.

India has strongly taken up with the US recent instances of deportation of Indian students who were headed to two California-based universities, the ministry of external affairs has said. “We have strongly taken up the matter with the US government. We aim to resolve it soon,” MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said today.

In the last one week, nearly 30 students who traveled to the US hoping to study at the Silicon Valley University at San Jose and North Western Polytechnic College, Fremont, were deported allegedly after being detained.

While some of them have alleged that they were questioned by the FBI for 14-15 hours, others say they were kept in a cell for three days before being deported. Another group of 19 students were stopped by Air India from taking a flight from Hyderabad to San Francisco on Saturday even though they had visas.

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