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Get a visa.

January 8, 2010

When I was in grad school, my roommate was trying to bring her mother from India to Iowa City to see a doctor.  She had liver failure and needed to see a specialist.  US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) would not give her a visa.  Why?  She was considered a risk to overstay a visa because she was a widow and both of her children had immigrated to the US.  No one has a right to visit another country and every country has the right to decide who can and cannot cross its borders.  There are legal ways to visit and to immigrate.

All of that was to explain why a Muslim woman, Ayat Manna was denied boarding in Halifax for a flight to the US.  She’s complaining that she was “profiled” because she wears a headscarf.  Ha.  She was blocked from boarding because her husband is a US citizen who lives in Cleveland and she was travelling on a one-way ticket.  The border officers rightly considered her to be a risk to immigrate illegally.

The spokesman for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency had this to say:

“We do not consider what a person’s attire is as part of their admissibility review. It’s strictly based on the person’s purpose in coming to the United States.”

“She presented herself as coming into the U.S. for one purpose. We determined that we believed it was for a different purpose and she has not been able to overcome our suspicion of why she was trying to enter the United States.”

She should have obtained a visa to visit her husband or he should sponsor her immigration to the US.  It’s just that easy and it has nothing to do with religion.

In re-reading the article, I noticed something interesting.  Manna claimed that she was using a one-way ticket because she and her husband were going to drive back to Canada together.  Canadian immigration might want to flag their names.  Sounds like her husband might be trying to move to Canada without permanent resident status.

So stupid.  Go online, download the proper forms, and follow the rules.

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