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Posted on 02-25-17 7:17 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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Australian children's author Mem Fox detained by US border control: 'I sobbed like a baby'

Author of Possum Magic was aggressively questioned for two hours over her visa status and later received an apology for her treatment by border guards

The Australian children’s book author Mem Fox has suggested she might never return to the US after she was detained and insulted by border control agents at Los Angeles airport.

Fox, who is famous worldwide for her best-selling books including Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes and Possum Magic, was en route to a conference in Milwaukee earlier this month when she was stopped.

She told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation she was questioned by border agents for two hours in front of a room full of people – an experience that left her feeling like she had been physically assaulted.

“I have never in my life been spoken to with such insolence, treated with such disdain, with so many insults and with so much gratuitous impoliteness,” Fox said.

“I felt like I had been physically assaulted which is why, when I got to my hotel room, I completely collapsed and sobbed like a baby, and I’m 70 years old.”

The author attributed the aggressive questioning to border police who had been “turbocharged” by Donald Trump’s proposed travel ban.

Fox said she was questioned over her visa, despite having travelled to America 116 times before without incident. She was eventually granted access to the country.

After lodging a complaint over her treatment with the Australian embassy in Washington and the US embassy in Canberra, Fox received an emailed apology from US officials.

Fox said she was shocked by her treatment and “couldn’t imagine” returning to the US.

Fox has written more than 30 children’s books, including the hits Where is the Green Sheep? and Time for Bed. Possum Magic has sold more than three million copies and is the bestselling picture book in Australian history.


US border agents ask Muhammad Ali's son: 'Are you a Muslim?'

Boxing legend’s 44-year-old son detained and questioned about religion after flying back to US from Jamaica, lawyer says

Border agents detained and questioned the son of the boxing legend Muhammad Ali about his religion when he flew back to the US this month, a family lawyer said.

“Where did you get your name from? Are you a Muslim?” they asked the 44-year-old Muhammad Ali Jr, who was born in Philadelphia and is a US citizen.

When Ali confirmed to immigration officials at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood international airport in Florida that he was a Muslim, they began questioning him about where he was born, family friend and lawyer Chris Mancini told the Courier-Journal newspaper. The questioning lasted for about two hours.

Ali had been at a black history month event in Jamaica with his mother, Khalilah Camacho-Ali. She was allowed to enter the country after producing a photo of herself with her famous ex-husband, who died last year, but her son had nothing to prove his link to the boxer.

Australian children's author Mem Fox detained by US border control: 'I sobbed like a baby'

 Read more

The 7 February incident was the first time the family had been detained or questioned in this way, despite regular international travel, Mancini said.

They consider it religious profiling linked to President Donald Trump’s campaign promise to bring in a “Muslim ban” and his now-suspended executive order banning citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US.

“To the Ali family, it’s crystal clear that this is directly linked to Mr Trump’s efforts to ban Muslims from the United States,” Mancini said, adding that they were trying to find out how many others faced similar questioning, and were contemplating filing a federal lawsuit.

“Imagine walking into an airport and being asked about your religion,” Mancini told the paper. “This is classic customs profiling.”

Ali’s is the latest in a string of complaints about US immigration controls after the inauguration of Trump.


The former prime minister of Norway was held for nearly an hour at Washington Dulles airport earlier this month and questioned over a visit to Iran three years ago, which he had made to speak at a human rights conference.

Meanwhile, the best-selling Australian children’s book author Mem Fox has suggested she might never return to the US after she was detained and insulted by border control agents at Los Angeles international airport. The 70-year-old said she was left “sobbing like a baby” after two hours of questioning while on her way to a conference.

A British Muslim schoolteacher travelling to New York last week as a member of a school party from south Wales was denied entry to the US. The foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, had previously claimed the US government had committed to allowing all UK passport holders to enter the country.


British Muslim schoolteacher denied entry to US

A British teacher on a school field trip was escorted off an Icelandair flight to New York as 39 students looked on in shock.

"As I was making my way out of the plane I looked back at the kids to tell them everything was going to be okay. The look I got off the kids, they were shocked, they couldn't believe what was happening. This is when I felt like I was a criminal," Juhel Miah, a math teacher at Llangatwg Comprehensive School in Wales told CNN.
Miah, 25, was one of four school staff accompanying the children, aged 12-15, on a trip to New York, that included a one-night stopover in Reykjavik, Iceland.

    British citizen

    Miah, who is Muslim, was born in Birmingham, England, and grew up in Swansea, Wales. The trip was due to be his first visit to the US. He was traveling on his British passport with a US visitor's visa, he told CNN. Miah is not a citizen of any other country.

    'Ticked all the right boxes'

    "It all started when I met the first official. I gave her my passport. My first name is Mohammad. Straight away she looked at me and said you have been randomly selected for a security check," Miah told CNN.
    After a brief search, Miah was allowed to board the plane. But shortly after that, he was informed he had been denied entry to the US and wouldn't be able to travel.
    "I asked her on what ground was I denied access. I got my ESTA [US visitor's] visa, I have a British passport, I ticked all the rights boxes. She did not give me an answer," he said.
    Icelandair told CNN, "We refused carriage to Mr. Miah based on a recommendation from the US Customs and Border Protection Agency and line with our conditions of carriage."
    The school trip proceeded but the teacher's removal from the flight left students "shocked and distressed," the school district said in a statement. The students, aged 12-15, returned from the US on Monday.
    Miah returned to the United Kingdom the following day.

    'Act of discrimination'

    In a letter to British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Carwyn Jones, the First Minister of Wales, said the incident appeared to be "an act of discrimination against a UK passport holder, and asked Johnson to seek an explanation from US authorities.
    Jones said the incident appeared to contradict Foreign Office advice for UK citizens traveling to the US, and statements made by Johnson.
    Days after President Donald Trump's executive order travel ban was signed on January 27, Johnson told the House of Commons, "We have received assurances from the U.S. Embassy that this executive order will make no difference to any British passport holder, irrespective of their country of birth or whether they hold another passport."
    The British Foreign Office said in a statement provided to CNN, "We are providing support to a British man who was prevented from boarding a flight in Reykjavik," but did not provide further details.
    The Muslim Council of Wales said it was "deeply troubled" by the incident.
    CNN has reached out to US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) for more information.

    Posted on 02-25-17 8:27 PM     [Snapshot: 91]     Reply [Subscribe]
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    very good. I like this. This should be increased and USA should be great again. Fucking retards from third world country like me should work for betterment of their own country and people.

    I am very happy and dont have any complaint though i would love border-less world.
    Posted on 02-26-17 6:11 PM     [Snapshot: 642]     Reply [Subscribe]
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    U.S. detains and nearly deports French Holocaust historian


    Posted on 02-28-17 8:10 PM     [Snapshot: 1102]     Reply [Subscribe]
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    Software engineer detained at JFK, given test to prove he's an engineer

    Donald Trump's temporary immigration ban and the ensuing heightened security procedures for travelers from outside the U.S. have caused a great deal of trouble for visitors to the country.

    On Sunday, though, things got taken to the next level when the Customs and Border Protection office reportedly claimed its latest victim: 28-year-old Celestine Omin, who was traveling from Lagos, Nigeria on business.

    Omin, a software engineer at Andela — a tech startup that connects developers in Africa with U.S employers — had a particularly unwelcoming reception when he deplaned at John F. Kennedy Airport and was given a test to prove he was actually a software engineer.

    A LinkedIn post detailing Omin's challenging experience explained that upon landing in New York after spending 24 miserable hours on a Qatar Airways flight, he was given some trouble about the short-term visa he obtained for his trip. 

    According to the post, an unprepared and exhausted Omin waited in the airport for approximately 20 minutes before being questioned by a Customs and Border Protection officer about his occupation. After several questions were asked, he was reportedly brought to a small room and told to sit down, where he was left for another hour before another customs officer entered and resumed grilling him.

    "Your visa says you are a software engineer. Is that correct?" the officer reportedly asked Omin. After verbally confirming his occupation, Omin was given a piece of paper and a pen to test his knowledge as a software engineer.

    Omin was instructed to answer the following questions:

    • "Write a function to check if a Binary Search Tree is balanced."

    • "What is an abstract class, and why do you need it."

    According to the LinkedIn post, Omin who has over seven years of experience in his department, was seriously sleep deprived and emotionally flustered by this point. Thus, he felt the questions were "opaque and could have multiple answers." In fact, to him they looked suspiciously like the officer simply Googled, "Questions to ask a software engineer," which he addressed in comments on his Twitter account.

    After Omin attempted to complete the ridiculous test designed to prove he was, in fact, a software engineer, he was informed by a customs official (who he suspects wasn't technically trained) that his responses were incorrect.

    "No one would tell me why I was being questioned. Every single time I asked [the official] why he was asking me these questions, he hushed me … I wasn’t prepared for this. If I had known this was happening beforehand, I would have tried to prepare," Omin told LinkedIn. 

    "That is when I thought I would never get into the United States."

    As Omin sat, convinced he would be denied access into the United States, an official suddenly told him he was free to go. Without any further explanation, the official apparently said, "Look, I am going to let you go, but you don’t look convincing to me." 

    Tired and discouraged, he simply walked out of the office without responding, and after posting about his experience on Twitter, received an outpouring of support from stunned followers.

    Once Omin was released from the airport, he learned that U.S. Customs even called his employer, Andela, along with New York based firm and client First Access for additional questioning. 

    Christina Sass, co-founder of Andela, reportedly received the call about Omin, and explained this was the first time any of Andela's engineers have been grilled with questions specific to software engineering.

    "Celestine was the first software engineer at one of the most visible e-commerce sites in Africa and is exactly the kind of person we want coming to America and sharing his skills," said Jeremy Johnson, co-founder and CEO of Andela.

    "Tapping into brilliant minds like Celestine’s is a huge help to many American companies who are struggling to find talent," Johnson told LinkedIn. "We want to make sure that our team members around the world know what to prepare for and don’t get unnecessarily hassled for their work."

    For fear of similar roadblocks taking place in the future, Johnson reportedly reached out to Customs and Border Protection to seek additional information surrounding the mishap with Omin's work visa.

    Mashable also reached out to the Customs and Border Protection office for additional comment, along with Omin.


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