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What To Do If You Are Detained At An Airport

If you or someone you know is detained at an airport while attempting to return to the United States, or if you fear you may be detained upon arrival, please call the Council of American Islamic Relations-Chicago Chapter (CAIR-Chicago).  They can be reached at (312) 212-1520.  If you fear you may be detained upon arrival, please contact CAIR-Chicago via their Traveler's Assistance Project.  More information and an online registration form are available here.

The experienced staff at CAIR-Chicago will take down your information and provide you guidance based on your individual situation.  In some instances, they may refer you to another organization or an immigration attorney for follow up services.  You can learn more about CAIR-Chicago at their website:

The following advice is excerpted from CAIR-Chicago and should be reviewed prior to travel:


As an airline passenger, you are entitled to courteous, respectful and non-stigmatizing treatment by airline and security personnel. You have the right to complain about treatment that you believe is discriminatory.

If you believe you have been treated in a discriminatory manner, immediately:

1) Ask to speak to a supervisor.

2) Ask if you have been singled out because of your looks, dress, race, ethnicity, faith, or national origin.

3) Ask for the names and ID numbers of all persons involved in the incident.

4) Ask witnesses to give you their names and contact information.

5) Write down a statement of facts immediately after the incident. Be sure to include the flight number, the flight date, and the name of the airline.

6) Contact CAIR to file a report. If you are leaving the country, leave a detailed message, with the information above, at 202-488-8787. You may also file on-line at


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