US-born Teen and Father from Lodi Prohibited from Entering US

August 30, 2006

Source: Reuters

On August 30, 2006 Reuters reported, "A Pakistani-American born in the United States said on Wednesday he has been barred from re-entering the country apparently because he chose the wrong person to list in the emergency contact portion of his U.S. passport. Jaber Ismail, 18, and his 45-year-old father, Muhammed, a naturalized citizen, five years ago listed as an emergency contact in their U.S. passports a close relative who was convicted of a terrorism-related crime in April. Jaber Ismail arrived in Pakistan with his family nearly five years ago to study and memorize the Koran. He completed that task and tried to return to Lodi with his family in April, the same month his cousin, Hamid Hayat, was convicted of providing material support to terrorists by attending training camps in Pakistan, and of lying about it to the FBI. U.S. Customs officials at the Hong Kong airport, where they were catching a U.S.-bound connecting flight, told the father and son, 'your passports aren't in the system. You have no record in the U.S.,' Jaber Ismail told Reuters in a telephone interview from Rawalpindi on Wednesday. 'I said, "I am a U.S. citizen. I was born there." I showed them my birth certificate, my school ID. They wouldn't listen.' Jaber Ismail's mother and two younger siblings, who were not on the no-fly list, returned to home to Lodi. The Ismail men were forced to return to Pakistan and have been living with relatives in Rawalpindi, he said. FBI agents in Islamabad told the Ismails that they had been placed on the no-fly list because they had listed the Hayats as emergency contacts on their passports, Jaber Ismail said. His uncle, Umer Hayat, was sentenced last week to time served after pleading guilty to lying about how much money he was carrying on a trip to Pakistan from the United States."