TSA Apologizes for Asking Trudeau Administration Official to Remove Turban

Posted May 13, 2018

Mike England, a spokesman for the US's Transportation Security Administration (TSA), said closed-circuit video showed that the officer conducting the screening had not followed standard operating procedures.

Bains said when he travels he doesn't like to reveal his cabinet position because he wants to see how things play out for people who aren't ministers or lawmakers.

After that, Bains says another person with airport security stopped him before he boarded his plane and told him he had to remove his turban.

But England said security does have the right to search headwear. Bains told La Presse that he had accepted the apology and only made a decision to go public to bring awareness to the issue and ignite dialogue about diversity.

The security personnel then realized he was a Canadian cabinet minister and allowed him to proceed.

He was heading home to Canada from Detroit in April 2017 after meeting with MI state Governor Rick Snyder and other officials, when security agents insisted he remove his turban for inspection, after he had already cleared the metal detector and secondary screening tests and was about to board his flight. When Bains said it was an invasion of his private life, the agent allowed him to go through the detector again. U.S. authorities also ordered Detroit airport security staff to undergo further training.

"I think it's quiet unfortunate that somebody so high profile who holds a responsible position In Canada would be subjected to such screening and would be asked to remove their turban".

"I politely replied that I did not represent a security threat, and that I had passed all security checks". But, by knowing my diplomatic status, you tell me that everything is correct?

"He [security agent] told me to take off my turban".

The agency is now issuing a statement and the US government is apologizing to Canada. "This policy covers all headwear and is not directed at any one particular item or group", he added. The practice "asserts a public commitment to maintaining the values and ethics of the tradition, including service, compassion, and honesty", according to the Sikh Coalition, an advocacy organization. The organization also has an app that Sikh travelers can use to file complaints about TSA screening discrimination.

"The kind of discrimination Canadian Minister Navdeep Bains experienced in a Detroit airport is completely unacceptable", the coalition's legal director, Amrith Kaur, told HuffPost.