Public Announcement by CAIR

Due to ongoing concerns of “traveling while Muslim” airport profiling incidents as well re-entry delays, CAIR-SFBA is advising those going on pilgrimage to be aware of their civil and legal rights as airline passengers and citizens. When planning your Hajj trip, be sure to check all Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – Transport Security Administration (TSA) regulations and rules at the TSA website. The TSA is responsible for the security of all of the nation's transportation systems.

Gift and Souvenirs: keep the following in mind if you plan to bring back any gifts or souvenirs.

  1. Check in any Zam Zam water bottles that you bring back to the U.S. Airlines will NOT allow you to carry liquids in large quantities on the plane, so be sure to check in Zam Zam and other liquids.
  2. If you are bringing back dates, make sure they are processed and sufficiently dry.
  3. When packing, ensure that your shoes are cleansed of any soil. CBP has strict rules regarding entry of soil, chemicals, etc. into the country.
  4. If you are bringing back items (gold, carrying cash, etc.) worth more than $800 per person, declare them using the CBP Declaration Form, made available by airline staff, when landing. If you don't declare items that are more than $800, CBP may confiscate them.

Entry into the U.S.: in order to enter or re-enter the United States, travelers must go through two processes at U.S. ports of entry; immigration and customs. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is a department within the DHS responsible for both aspects at the point of entry.

CBP officers are required to verify the identification of travelers, their entry into the United States, and that travelers have not been engaged in illicit activity that poses a threat to national security. It is critical to present valid documentation – valid passport and/or proper immigration paperwork – if you are seeking admission into the country.

CBP is also granted the authority to search all persons, baggage and merchandise arriving into the United States. This includes the search of files on laptops, cell phones and other electronic devices. Follow all CBP regulations on reporting luggage and currency as well as be informed of rules on prohibited items. You should check the CBP website for more detailed information.

Travel Advisory

Additional Resources:

Know Your Rights if You're Detained While Traveling (CAIR)

Hajj Travel Guide (CAIR)

International Travel Guide (CAIR)

Know Before You Go (CBP)

ACT: Pilgrims who believe their constitutional rights have been violated should contact CAIR

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