Canadian Muslims denied entry to the U.S. after Arabic videos found on phone

Canadian Muslims denied entry
Canadian Muslims denied entry 02:11

NEW YORK -- Canadian citizens Fadwa Alaoui and her cousin Fadela Boutaleb were off on one of their quick shopping trips across the border, this time to celebrate Alaoui’s 5-year-old son’s last chemo treatment.

But when they arrived at the U.S. border in Highgate Springs, Vermont, the women say they were asked repeated questions about their religion, illegal under us law.

“He told me, ‘you are Muslim, right?’ I answered ‘yes,’” she said. “That was the first time that I was asked unexpected questions.”

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Fadwa Alaoui, right, and Fadela Boutaleb CBS News

Alaoui said they were told to hand over their cell phones and passwords, and officers looked at several inspirational speeches and prayer videos

Boutaleb says she was asked “do Moroccans like Americans?”

After nearly five hours of waiting, they were denied entry.

Refugees in U.S. flee to Canada 00:39

The border officer said “they found videos that were a concern, against [the U.S.],” according to Alaoui.

Alaoui said she’s now too afraid to even visit her parents, who live in Chicago.

“I think the message he wanted to tell me that ‘you are not welcome in our country,’” she said.

A spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection said they couldn’t discuss the case. But they say that they do not discriminate on the basis of religion and that its top priority is the preventing terrorists from entering the country.

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    Jericka Duncan is a national correspondent for "CBS This Morning" based in New York City.