US Border Patrol to Investigate Alleged Confiscation of Sikh Turbans

    Photo: CNN

    The Facts

    • US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Chris Magnus said on Wed. that the agency has opened an internal probe into claims that dozens of Sikh asylum seekers have had their turbans confiscated and discarded at the US southern border in recent months.

    • The allegations were made in a letter sent by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Monday. Since turbans are part of the religious practices of Sikhism, the ACLU also accused CBP of committing "serious, religious-freedom violations," and violating internal rules regarding religion and property.

    The Spin

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Turbans are important articles of faith to Sikh men. Denying individuals the right to retain their religious clothing is dehumanizing and denies them their right to religious practice. The CBP should immediately halt this practice, investigate, and reprimand those who knowingly violated religious freedom laws.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    The CBP confiscates turbans only when there's a security risk, and the turbans that were discarded happened to be damaged or wet. This is in line with many of the standard CBP protocols. We should wait for the conclusion of the investigation before making a judgment.

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