Victorian Labor MP Khalil Eideh has arrived back in Melbourne after being refused entry into the US from Canada while on an official study tour.
Mr Eideh flew into Melbourne airport at 1.30pm on Saturday after a long-haul flight from Vancouver and was met by his advisor Senator Kim Carr.
“I’ve been discriminated against,” he told reporters at Melbourne airport.
“I’m very, very disappointed and frustrated.”
Mr Eideh was on an official study tour with other MPs when he was split from the group in Vancouver after a United Airlines staffer told him he was not allowed to board a flight to Denver.
Mr Eideh said he had a visa for his US travels, and that US authorities had never raised any issues with him during the application process.
He does not think US President Donald Trump’s travel ban on citizens from some Muslim countries is behind his refused entry.
“There was no explanation whatsoever,” he said.
“They told me ‘unfortunately it’s blocked, we can’t let you in’.”
However, Senator Carr said he thought the incident was “alarming”.
“I find it an extraordinary proposition that a member of an Australian parliament, with a valid visa, travelling on an official passport, undertaking parliamentary work, can be stopped from entering the United States without explanation”.
“It is an unprecedented circumstance to have a member of a friendly parliament, an ally of the United States, to be treated in this way.”
The Victorian Senator says he can’t recall anything like this happening to an Australian.
All Australians should be concerned about the possibility of facing similar treatment when trying to enter the US, Mr Carr said.
“Quite clearly Khalil has been a victim of Trumpism,” he said
“What we’re seeing here is the chaos that reigns in the United States.”
Before being turned away from his Denver flight, Mr Eideh had travelled through Europe and Canada as part of an Inquiry into Drug Law Reform committee with Sex Party MP Fiona Patten, Liberal MP Martin Dixon, and fellow Labor MPs Natalie Suleyman and Geoff Howard.
The Labor party has asked Australia’s US embassy in Washington for an explanation about Mr Eideh’s refusal.
— with AAP