South West Wales

Muslim Juhel Miah's travel fears after US entry denial

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Media captionJuhel Miah, 25, posted a video of him being escorted off the plane on Snapchat

A Muslim teacher denied entry into the United States on a school trip has said he is now fearful of travelling in case the same thing happens again.

Juhel Miah was escorted off a plane bound for New York from Iceland while travelling with pupils from Llangatwg Community School in Aberdulais, Neath.

He claims a letter from the US Embassy denies he was stopped from entering or that he had applied for a visa.

Mr Miah, who has footage of him being removed, said he was "gobsmacked".

First Minister Carwyn Jones wrote to Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson for "urgent clarification" in the case and Neath Port Talbot council wrote to the US Embassy to "express its dismay" at his treatment.

But Mr Miah, 25, said he was shocked to receive a letter denying what happened in February when he has a video showing him being taken off the plane by security staff.

He said he still has his flight boarding pass and the relevant Esta documents allowing him entry to the US until January 2019, which prove he tried to travel there and had the correct paperwork.

'Joke'

"Unfortunately, when I read this I thought it was a joke at first," he told BBC Radio Wales' Sunday Supplement programme.

"This is the people I am dealing with and as to answers - I'm nowhere near."

Mr Miah, whose family's ethnic background is Bangladeshi, is British, with a British passport and does not have dual nationality.

US President Donald Trump had signed an executive order halting all refugee admissions and temporarily barring people from seven Muslim-majority countries, sparking numerous protests and legal challenges.

It was suspended by a judge but now President Trump has since proposed a revised order.

'Fight'

Mr Miah has vowed to continue to fight for answers but said it did make him worry about travelling in future.

"It was brought to my attention by my dad's friend, he said to me 'your passport is likely to be flagged' so now I'm dreading going anywhere in the world because I don't want to be treated differently to anyone else," said the maths teacher.

"The last thing I want is to be denied entry into a different country."

Mr Miah praised the support from his school and the community and said he been contacted by lots of people who had been treated the same way.

"The support has been second to none, I can't fault it, and it's made things so much easier," he said.

"However, right now my focus is to get an answer. I want this, not just for me, but for other people like me.

"What I want is for this story to make difference and for something to actually happen, because nothing has."

The US Embassy said it could not comment on individual cases.

Neath Port Talbot council said it was appalled by Mr Miah's treatment and said it was awaiting an explanation.

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