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Wed Mar 1, 2017, 12:04 PM

Mem Fox on being detained by US immigration: 'In that moment I loathed America'


Exclusive: The celebrated Australian children’s author tells how on her 117th visit to the US she was suddenly at the mercy of Donald Trump’s visa regime


.............

There was a woman from Taiwan, being yelled at about at about how she made her money, but she didn’t understand the question. The officer was yelling at her: “Where does your money come from, does it grow on trees? Does it fall from the sky?” It was awful.

There was no toilet, no water, and there was this woman with a baby. If I had been holed up in that room with a pouch on my chest, and a baby crying, or needing to be fed, oh God … the agony I was surrounded by in that room was like a razor blade across my heart.

When I was called to be interviewed I was rereading a novel from 40 years ago – thank God I had a novel. It was The Red and the Black by Stendhal – a 19th century novel keeps you quiet on a long flight, and is great in a crisis – and I was buried in it and didn’t hear my name called. And a woman in front of me said: “They are calling for Fox.” I didn’t know which booth to go to, then suddenly there was a man in front of me, heaving with weaponry, standing with his legs apart yelling: “No, not there, here!” I apologised politely and said I’d been buried in my book and he said: “What do you expect me to do, stand here while you finish it?” – very loudly and with shocking insolence.


The way I was interviewed was monstrous. If only they had been able to look into my suitcase and see my books. The irony! I had a copy of my new book I’m Australian, Too – it’s about immigration and welcoming people to live in a happy country. I am all about inclusivity, humanity and the oneness of the humans of the world; it’s the theme of my life. I also had a copy of my book Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes. I told him I had all these inclusive books of mine in my bag, and he yelled at me: “I can read!”

..............

They made me feel like such a crushed, mashed, hopeless old lady and I am a feisty, strong, articulated English speaker. I kept thinking that if this were happening to me, a person who is white, articulate, educated and fluent in English, what on earth is happening to people who don’t have my power?

That’s the heartbreak of it. Remember, I wasn’t pulled out because I’m some kind of revolutionary activist, but my God, I am now. I am on the frontline. If we don’t stand up and shout, good sense and good will not prevail, and my voice will be one of the loudest.

...............

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/28/in-that-moment-i-loathed-america-i-loathed-the-entire-country

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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply Mem Fox on being detained by US immigration: 'In that moment I loathed America' (Original post)
kpete Mar 2017 OP
Xipe Totec Mar 2017 #1
Jim__ Mar 2017 #2
MineralMan Mar 2017 #3
ProfessorGAC Mar 2017 #4
MineralMan Mar 2017 #5
ProfessorGAC Mar 2017 #8
MineralMan Mar 2017 #9
ProfessorGAC Mar 2017 #10
BannonsLiver Mar 2017 #6
erinlough Mar 2017 #7
ecstatic Mar 2017 #11

Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 12:08 PM

1. CBP is the goose-stepping moron section of Homeland Security. nt

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 12:31 PM

2. She was carrying books! Of course they thought she was subversive!

Books! Who the fuck reads books? What is she, some kind of goddamn intellectual?

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 01:31 PM

3. U. S. Customs and Immigration officials are noted for their bad manners and

insulting attitudes. It's one of the barriers that even tourists to the US must face when they arrive here. I'm amazed that our tourism is as healthy as it is. It may not be for much longer.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #3)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 01:39 PM

4. While I'm Sure It's Worse Now. . .

. . .i found them to be impolite, abrasive, arrogant and difficult all the way back to the early 80's. And, i was coming back to america, mostly from western Europe, Japan and South America.

If you don't have a blue passport, i can only imagine what it would be like now. They were jerks 30 years ago. They have to be worse now.

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Response to ProfessorGAC (Reply #4)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 01:55 PM

5. I suppose it depends where you've been and how you look, really.

I've heard lots of stories from Americans who returned from a vacation trip and got the third-degree from CBP. Personally, I've never had any trouble with returning, but I'm a reasonable looking white guy. I suppose that makes a difference.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #5)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 02:48 PM

8. Well, Maybe That's My Problem

I'm a white guy too. I must not look reasonable! I think you may be onto something MM!

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Response to ProfessorGAC (Reply #8)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 03:18 PM

9. Well, of course, I can't comment on that since I don't know you.

But you probably look all dangerous and stuff, or something.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #9)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 03:19 PM

10. Well, Certainly Disagreeable!

And, i'm not sure i have a defense against that charge.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 02:37 PM

6. Last fall my 69 year old mother was treated rudely by one

We stepped up to the kiosk and handed him our passports opened to the picture page.

He took them slammed them down on the counter and said "I'm a professional, I can find them."

I told him that I didn't care for his tone and he should remember who he works for. He grunted and got his stamp out. As we walked away I gave him a death stare that would peel paint. But I'm a white male and a citizen so I knew there wasn't a GD thing he could or would do to me. I have the luxury of not being intimidated by these thugs. I fear for those who do not.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 02:41 PM

7. Just my opinion but I think ICE is

Trumps brown shirt organization.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 03:51 PM

11. K&R. 🙍

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