Quite honestly, a driver's license is acceptable form of ID, but it's not proof of citizenship, and anyone who crosses the border with merely a driver's license isn't being smart. You should bring along proof of citizenship; social security card, voter registration card, birth certificate, naturalization documents, e.g. But there's no excuse for detaining the passport holders. So, if not merely profiled for Muslim-sounding names or Hijabs, why were they stopped?
American Muslims detained at the border as they returned from a religious conference in Toronto sued the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday alleging they were targets of ethnic and religious profiling.
The five Muslims, all U.S. citizens, say customs officials detained dozens of others from their conference in December, subjecting them to interrogations, fingerprinting and photographing. Four carried U.S.-issued passports; the other had a New York state driver's license, which is an acceptable form of identification at the Canadian border.
Gosh, it swells me with patriotic fervor to know that Homeland Security would rather detain and fingerprint law-abiding citizens who look different than actually conduct an investigation into the conference which alarmed them so. It's bad investigative work, bad police work, bad public relations, bad protection, bad decisions, and otherwise bad, incompetent, and stupid. The real threat isn't from Muslim Orthondontists day tripping to Toronto with their kids, it's from overzealous, uninformed, undertrained, poorly supervised Homeland "Security" people. A real terrorist could have slipped by undetected while these GI Janes and Joes gave extra scrutiny to the dentist. I wish the plaintiffs luck.
"In this instance, we had credible intelligence that conferences similar to the one from which these individuals were leaving were being used by terrorist organizations to fundraise and to hide the travel of terrorists themselves," said Kristi Clemens, spokeswoman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection...
...Sawsan Tabbaa, 43, an orthodontist in Buffalo, took her four children in the family van for their third trip to the conference, which featured imam Hamza Yusuf. Yusuf is a prominent scholar who visited the White House in the days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to pray with President Bush and endorse his plans for military action.
Tabbaa, who wears hijab, said that at 2 a.m. Dec. 27 she arrived at the border checkpoint where agents asked her about the conference and instructed her to wait inside the customs building. Inside, she said, "I saw all the people from my Islamic community."
Tabbaa, a Syrian-born naturalized citizen, said agents refused to let her leave unless she submitted to fingerprinting. After several hours, she said, a female agent escorted her to a room to demonstrate the procedure.
"She just grabbed my hand and [began] fingerprinting it," Tabbaa said. "I was just forced to do it. She grabbed my hand."