Shura Council Discusses Pilgrims’ Concerns with LAX Director & Customs Officials

 


Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi (extreme left) and Shura Council members with LAX officials

Anaheim, CA: The Shura Council organized a meeting with the US Customs and Border Protection of the LAX Airport and Hajj Tour Operators to discuss pilgrims’ travel concerns while departing from and returning to LAX.
LAX Port Director, Mr. Kevin McAleenan thanked Shura Council for liaising with the CBP office and recorded his commitment to make pilgrims travel safer and smoother than before. Joining him were his Deputy Director, Mr. Peter Gordon who presented an overview of LAX Airport and the role of Customs & Border Protection. Also present in the meeting were Assistant Directors, Mr. Brian Cahill and Mr. Anthony Owens.
Among several concerns raised in the meeting were the ability to carry cash during Hajj travel (US laws allow to carry cash of any amount as long as it is duly reported); secondary passenger checks; treatment during the secondary checks and ability to contact the family and respect toward women wearing Islamic attire, etc.
The CBP Executive Team noted the concerns and assured best professionalism from their staff toward the pilgrims during this travel season. The Shura Council also offered free workshops on Islam-101 to the CBP staff.
Chairman of the Shura Council, Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi while thanking the CBP asked for “sustained commitment to make the pilgrims travel safe and worry-free.”
Shura Council’s advice to pilgrims is to document and report any unpleasant experience for further follow up with CBP (Customs & Border Protection). Always ask the name of the officer and his badge number. Make sure who you are dealing with, it could very well be CBP or ICE (Immigrations & Customs Enforcement) or FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation).
Pilgrims are also advised to check-in ZamZam water and not carry on board. For knowing what is allowed and not allowed during international travel, please visit Shura Council website (www.shuracouncil.org) and download the document “Know Before You Go.”
Shakeel Syed, Shura Council Executive Director, assured the Hajj operators that more meetings are being scheduled with other law enforcement agencies to coordinate and ensure a pleasant experience for the Hajj travelers.

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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