Anyone have a travel ban horror story? Drummer Alvin Queen, is an American born citizen, from Mount Vernon, New York. However, Queen was denied entry by Homeland Security. Trump’s travel ban may have been the reason. Due to a “run-in with the law” over 50 years ago.
Moreover, the charges stem from when Queen was in his teens. “The charges– one a DWI, the other a minor drug offense–both resulted in dropped charges,” according to Billboard.
Per Billboard, Queen released a statement.
“Funny thing, I gave up my U.S. passport to make life simpler at tax time. I never dreamed I would one day be denied entry, and with such ridiculous reasoning…. I feel this is more about racial profiling than anything. It’s all about trying to control everyone. I am not a criminal and in fact never was. When I became a Swiss citizen, I ‘became a criminal’ again in the eyes of U.S. law enforcement. If I was undesirable 59 years ago, why have I been issued a fresh passport every 10 years for the past six decades?”
For the past 30 years, Alvin Queen has held a Swiss and American dual citizenship. However, in 2016 he gave up his dual citizenship with the U.S.
Queen’s manager, Jean-Pierre Leduc spoke with Billboard via email. They are currently seeking an attorney to resolve this matter. Furthermore, this forces Queen to miss a November 15 performance in Washington D.C. Queen is scheduled to perform at the Jazz Meets France event. The concert is on behalf of the French-American Cultural Foundation.
According to Leduc’s Facebook post, “Queen has worked numerous times for the U.S. State Department as a cultural ambassador.” He added, “Queen toured Brazil, Africa, and Japan on its behalf.”
In an interview with Billboard, Leduc explains, in order for Queen to participate in the concert, he wrote, “The U.S. State Department had only to apply for an O1B work visa in order for Mr. Queen to enter the United States. This was done correctly, but the process was completed, fingerprints matching a 1967 FBI file were dredged up and presented as a reason to prevent him from entering the U.S.A.” Leduc continued by stating, “Now we can see that the infamous ‘travel ban’ is not limited to citizens of Sudan, Syria, and Iran. It extends to a then-16-year-old drummer who once sat with John Coltrane.”
Unfortunately, due to the travel ban, Alvin Queen needs a waiver from Homeland Security, to re-enter the country where he was born. Currently, Leduc is advocating for this waiver. He contacted Senator Charles Schumer’s office. Schumer is a Democrat representing New York, the city Queen is from.
In the meantime, Queen vows to continue to bring his music to other countries in the world.