Newlyweds held at US airport for 26 hrs and deported “because groom was Muslim”

Los Angeles airport

A couple of British newlyweds have said they were detained at a US airport for 26 hours and their honeymoon was ruined because the groom was Muslim.

The Independent reports that the couple, from West London, had spent £7,000 for a two-week trip that would take in Los Angeles, Hawaii and Las Vegas. But after being held at Los Angeles International Airport for more than a day, they were handcuffed, marched to a plane and flown back to London.

The couple, Natasha Politakis, 29, and Ali Gul, 32, said they were not given an explanation for the way they were treated. However, against a backdrop of Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown and his effort to prevent Muslims from half-a-dozen Muslim-majority countries from entering the country, they suspect it was because of Mr Gul’s Turkish heritage.

“I am in utter shock that this has happened,” Ms Politakis told the Sun. “We had just got married, we were on our way to our honeymoon as excited as anything and never expected that we would be deported. We were treated like criminals and we had all the relevant documentation and answered all their questions. “It’s not okay to treat people like that.”

A US embassy spokesman said in a statement that the US welcomes more than a million passengers arriving every day.

“The religion, faith, or spiritual beliefs of an international traveller are not determining factors about his/her admissibility into the US,” it said. “Under US immigration law applicants for admission bear the burden of proof to establish that they are clearly eligible to enter the United States.

“In order to demonstrate that they are admissible, the applicant must overcome ALL grounds of inadmissibility. Specific grounds of inadmissibility can be found in INA § 212(a) and list more than 60 grounds of inadmissibility divided into several major categories, including health-related, prior criminal convictions, security reasons, public charge, labour certification, illegal entrants and immigration violations, documentation requirements, and miscellaneous grounds.”

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