Friday, February 17, 2006

America the free

I did once experience the unpleasantness of US Immigration Officers, and that was in 1998, before 9/11. It was not nice at all, but it all seems much much worse now. Since I am going to the US at the beginning of April to give a few lectures, I was most perturbed to see this report of the jailing of an Irish-born academic at an Italian university for having the temerity to turn up in the US without having his papers in order. I can see how it happens. Have you ever tried to negotiate the minefield of US visa requirements? I have, and it's not easy. Anyway, the whole thing certainly looks like a disproportionate reponse to me. The exquisitely bureaucratic mindset of the US is beautifully demonstrated by the final sentence of the report:

"Kelly Klundt of the Department of Homeland Security said if Prof McCourt had been fined instead of jailed, he would not have been allowed to re-enter the US."

Ah, so jailing is good for you then...

I have duly emailed my hosts to ask for the relevant assurances that my papers will be in order when I arrive there. I'll keep you posted.

Hat tip: Normblog.


Blogger Just Jane said...

It's probably OK in the playgrounds of Eton.

Anywhere else and I would have to strongly counsel against.

Friday, February 17, 2006  

Post a Comment

<< Home