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January 09, 2015


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Doug Richmond

Shouldn't the title be "Flying While Pakistani" rather than "Flying While Pakistan"?

Jeff Redding

Artistic license? In any event, I am still not 'Pakistani' (officially), but I do have visas in my U.S. passport that quite prominently say "Pakistan."


Can't imagine why the US government would take a special interest in people who travel regularly to places like Pakistan, Algeria, or Yemen, most of whom aren't white.

On the other hand, to be fair, we should be submitting more regular travelers to Sweden to Secondary Review, so more white people would be screened.

Jeff Redding


Anders Breivik is your example of why USCIS shouldn't distinguish between countries in screening people? Really?

You really don't think that the United States government has a legitimate security interest in giving special scrutiny to people who travel to certain parts of the world? Been following the news from Paris?

Jeff Redding

Observer: What is your non-racist point? If there isn't one, please stop commenting. I will delete future comments that are not constructive.



I understood your point to be that you were repeatedly surprised, as were others, that YOU were singled out for scrutiny: and, this sense of surprise (and objection) seemed to be based on your race ("what the f are YOU doing here" based only on your skin tone).

So, I don't understand your point. Are you saying that racial profiling is wrong, and therefore it is a credit to the authorities that you were subjected to enhanced scrutiny based on your travel patterns and not on your skin tone or ethnicity, or, are you complaining because racial and socio economic profiling did not excuse you (HARVARD!!!) from the humiliation of scrutiny?

Jeff Redding

Anon: There isn't a neat narrative point here, especially because this is just the first of a multi-part series. One thing you might have already picked up on, however, is how prone to abuse this entire system of scrutiny is. In fact, one of the first things I thought after I got out of Secondary back in 2006, was "Ha, Unabomber!" Also, I guess the boys in Customs didn't (don't?) find Harvard boys sexy enough to molest. I just wish they didn't want to touch other people improperly too.


For what it's worth, one of my best friends (a very clearly white guy from Idaho) got sent to secondary review when returning from a family vacation from Egypt about 4 or 5 years back. His wife, who had gone through immigration before him (I don't know why they didn't go through together) didn't know what had happened to him until he got out after about 30 minutes or so. They were both lucky it didn't take too long, but it was unpleasant.

Jeff Redding

anon: I've deleted what appear to be four nearly simultaneous posts by you. In any event, enough with the quoting out of context and baiting. Take this behavior elsewhere.

Jeff Redding

I've also deleted what might have been a response to anon's baiting. In any event, if anyone has a question about what I "mean" by this post, you may ask me directly whether than engage in back-and-forths in front of me about my words (whether in defense of me or not). In not asking me directly, you are perpetrating the dehumanizing experience that many people go through at Secondary Review, where ignorant border officers debate, right in front of these people, the "meaning" of their lives and whether they are "dangerous."


Jeff, Sadly much of American citizenry have no concept of what this country's immigration/homeland security laws entail. American citizens who marry foreign nationals and then contact an immigration lawyer to find out what needs to be done are often shocked beyond belief that marriage alone does not magically transform the foreign national - a'la a wave of the magic wand - into someone who can come and go like the citizen him/her-self.

Jeff Redding

Adam: Thanks for your observations. I'm wondering, however, *who* would want to come-and-go like this citizen! So far as I can discern, membership doesn't have its privileges (to mis-paraphrase an old American Express slogan). But I'll talk more about that later in future posts.


Most Americans never have the experience you've had and so have no conception of what secondary inspection is like. And everybody else, speaks volumes for how highly individuals hold the USA. They will endure a lot to come to this country and live and work here. And I'm not even talking about the people who are doing so in violation of the law.

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