Welcome To America, Again
Here's the back story: an Italian boyfriend has been coming over to visit his American girlfriend rather frequently. He's well-off, so the trips are possible. The last time, however, a suspicious agent decided not to let him in, or to let him go home. The hapless Italian was detained, and like the detainees in Guantanamo, the man suddenly had absolutely no rights.
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. [Emphasis added.]
A hunch: that's all it takes. Now there's some key-waving with a vengeance, eh?
So the Italian, Mr. Salerno, was taken in shackles to a local jail, where he was kept for over ten days. Lawyers retained by the girlfriend's family were unable to get him released. Even Sen. John Warner of Virginia was unable to get him released. Then the American girlfriend, Ms. Cooper, sent an email to the NY Times about the whole situation and a reporter called the Customs and Border Protection agency asking about the situation. Within 24 hours Mr. Salerno was finally released and put on a plane back to Italy.
And this is keeping us safer?
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