Demonstrators hold up placards during a protest against President Donald Trump's travel ban in London Jan. 30, 2017. Getty Images

Sidd Bikkannavar left the United States Jan. 15th to partake in a hobby — racing solar-powered cars — in Chile and returned home to a very different place 15 days later. Bikkannavar, a scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and a natural-born U.S. citizen, landed at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston last month only to be detained and ordered to hand over his NASA-secured phone amid President Donald Trump’s travel ban, the Verge reported Sunday.

Bikkannavar told The Verge he was taken to a room upon landing where other detainees were sleeping on cots that had been provided for them. The scientist said he asked why he was being held, but officials didn’t provide him with an answer. Instead, they gave him a document titled “Inspection of Electronic Devices” and said they were authorized to search his phone.

“I initially refused, since it’s a JPL-issued phone (Jet Propulsion Lab property) and I must protect access,” he wrote in a Facebook post detailing the incident.

Bikkannavar eventually relinquished the phone. Customs and Border Patrol agents took it to another area where his data was copied.

“I’m back home, and JPL has been running forensics on the phone to determine what CBP/Homeland Security might have taken, or whether they installed anything on the device,” he wrote.

Bikkannavar is listed as part of the current Palomar Adaptive Optics Team on the NASA website for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology. His name also appears on a list of members in the International Scientific Committee putting on the World Electro Mobility Conference in Turkey later this year.

Bikkannavar hasn’t visited any of the countries noted in Trump’s travel ban. What’s more, the scientist is a part of the Global Entry program, a customs program that allows people who have previously undergone background checks to obtain expedited entry into the U.S.

“It was not that they were concerned with me bringing something dangerous in, because they didn’t even touch the bags,” he told The Verge. “They had no way of known I could have had something in there. You can say, ‘Okay well maybe it’s about making sure I’m not a dangerous person,’ but they have all the information to verify that.”

Trump’s executive order barred travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen for 90 days, while halting travel from Syria indefinitely. It also suspended the U.S refugee program for 120 days. In the wake of the ban, stories emerged of people with work visas and permanent residents being detained. On Thursday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld a lower court’s ruling temporarily suspending the order.