4 thoughts on “Welcome to America

  1. Laura Vivanco

    This is a pretty worrying story I read a while ago in the Guardian about a journalist who didn’t have the right sort of visa for entering the US.

    There was another disturbing incident recently in which an Italian man flew to the US to visit his girlfriend.

    Ms. Cooper, 23, who had promised to show her boyfriend another side of her country on this visit — meaning Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon — eventually learned that he had been sent in shackles to a rural Virginia jail.

    According to The New York Times:

    Each year, thousands of would-be visitors from 27 so-called visa waiver countries are turned away when they present their passports, said Angelica De Cima, a spokeswoman for Customs and Border Protection, who said she could not discuss any individual case. In the last seven months, 3,300 people have been rejected and more than 8 million admitted, she said.

    Though citizens of those nations do not need visas to enter the United States for as long as 90 days, their admission is up to the discretion of border agents. There are more than 60 grounds for finding someone inadmissible, including a hunch that the person plans to work or immigrate, or evidence of an overstay, however brief, on an earlier visit.

    While those turned away are generally sent home on the next flight, “there are occasional circumstances which require further detention to review their cases,” Ms. De Cima said. And because such “arriving aliens” are not considered to be in the United States at all, even if they are in custody, they have none of the legal rights that even illegal immigrants can claim.

  2. The Tudor Rose

    Wow. Come to Canada instead. 🙂

    I knew about the electronics confiscation (I’m going to have to clean a few things off my ipod before I go) but definitely didn’t know about all the crap you Europeans have to go through!

  3. Carolyn

    Americans are also subject to the search of laptops and electronics upon re-entry. There are cases pending in Federal Courts but the outcomes are not yet encouraging. At the moment there’s still a swing vote on the Supreme Court, but the upcoming election looms larger and larger in importance.

    If you’re an American, possibly even if not, and the current environment bothers you, you might consider a donation to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

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