Toledo, Ohio native Zak Reed is tired of being stopped and detained at the Canadian border every time he tries to drive home.
“I don’t feel very welcome in my home at all,” Reed tells CBS News. “In fact, I feel like I am not wanted in my country any more.”
Last month, for the ninth time in the past year, Reed was held in custody during a routine border crossing across Detroit’s Ambassador Bridge, en route to Toledo, about an hour from there. The procedure has become a familiar drill for Reed.
“They swipe the passport, they double take at the screen,” Reed says. “They make a phone call. They open up the window, the car is surrounded, and off I go.”
Held in a small building to the side of the bridge’s toll booths, Reed is fingerprinted, photographed, and interrogated. Guards from U.S. Customs and Border Protection quiz him about his travels, his religious faith, or about whether he sends money overseas.
“I am told that they don’t have the authority to tell me what’s wrong. They’re just doing their job,” Reed says.
Reed may be one of the 300,000 people – or close to 800,000 names, including aliases – on the nation’s consolidated Terrorism Watch List administered by the Department of Homeland Security since December 2003. The names, from 22 component agencies, have quadrupled in the past four years, and DHS won’t confirm who is or isn’t on the list. . .
While Reed and a handful of others are going public with their border ordeals, advocacy groups like the Arab-American Discrimination Committee (ADC), the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS), and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) says they know of dozens of other examples.