Osvaldo Maciel and his 3-year-old interrogated by officers after a passenger allegedly complained that he didn’t look like his daughter.
Osvaldo Maciel, a Mexican citizen, was flying to New York on a United Airlines flight with his daughter on March 1 when he says he was accused of child trafficking.
A passenger, who according to Maciel reeked of alcohol, accused him of child trafficking after seeing him with his 3-year-old because he believed they did “not look alike,” according to an Univisión interview.
In a Huffington Post column, Maciel’s wife Maura Furfey said that “there will always be individuals who make racist remarks.” However, after they landed, she claims airport authorities took the passenger’s claims seriously.
“When the plane taxied to the gate, however, a number of officers from the Port Authority and Customs and Border Patrol boarded the plane, approached my husband and instructed him to grab his carry-ons and follow them,” Furfey wrote. “He and our daughter were escorted out of the plane before anyone else could get off.”
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The officers then interrogated Maciel about his child and where she was born, and then called Furfey to verify the story. Officers told Furfey that they were investigating her husband because of the complaint by the passenger.
She wrote she was shocked that “flight attendants would choose to take such an observation seriously.”
“My husband is Mexican. Therefore, he is a target, and in effect, so is our family,” she wrote.
Maciel and his child were eventually able to leave the airport after an interrogation by officials.
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