June 23, 2011

Definitely the Low Road

From multiple outraged British news outlets: Couple's dream road trip in US turns to nightmare after pair are jailed
A SCOTTISH couple have told of their "traumatic" ordeal after being imprisoned in a US detention centre for inadvertently overstaying the terms of their visa during a dream road trip across the country.
So, basically what happened is: they were in the States on a standard ninety-day visa waiver; they crossed into Canada for a few days, and when they crossed back over to the States they thought the ninety days would restart—which is incorrect, as far as I can tell, though the U.S. government website(s) on the matter are spectacularly unhelpful. (The couple claim it was the border patrol's fault for not stamping their passport when they re-entered the U.S. from Canada.)

Anyway, after the initial ninety days were up, they happened to be driving along the Mexican border (what a trip!), when several border guards there arrested them as illegal aliens, questioned them for five hours, and then threw them in jail for five weeks until they could be deported.

Unfortunately, before they were arrested, they had already succeeded in stealing an unknown number of American jobs, driving up the cost of social services, raising the crime rate, trafficiking in illegal drugs, and destroying the pristine American borderlands with their trash and filth. They also, naturally, set some fires in Arizona.

Incidentally, another shocking revelation in this story is the state of Scottish journalism. One paper has the husband as 56, one as 57, and one as 75; one has them living in Inverness, one in Newtonmore (about 45 miles from Inverness), one in Newto*w*nmore, and one hedges its bets and says "the Highlands". (The Daily Mail just has them as "Britons," though I think that says more about the Daily Mail than it does about Scottish journalism.)

Anyway, while this couple was undoubtedly a little dim when it came to understanding U.S. immigration law, and technically CBP probably didn't do anything wrong, you have to wonder about a "functional" system that treats anyone this way. (Though it will be very sad if it takes two old white people getting mistreated to finally cause meaningful reform.) Sigh.

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