Monday, 28 March 2011

How to trash you country's rep world-wide . . .

. . . by having your country's police and immigration officials be rude and insulting to foreigners coming to visit it.

I've had my own run-ins with police who were just "trying to help foreigners" (AKA pointlessly wasting their time) when I was in Malaysia a couple of years back. I also had my parents nearly get barred from entry into the US because they had forgotten to take down my sister's address when coming to visit her (she was waiting in the arrivals lounge).

Still and all, last night when I was speaking to a friend of mine in the US whose Korean girlfriend recently flew in to visit him who had an experience which shocked even me. Here's what the immigration officials at LAX said to this nice young woman from a respectable, influential Korean family before allowing her into the country:

"Who's your pimp?"


My friend put in a complaint, but the complaint went nowhere, and he was told that he was "lucky they even let her in the country". Yes, he was lucky that they let his girlfriend, someone with no prior convictions and no prior engagement in illegal activity, a talented young lady who works as a designer, into the country because they suspected her of being a prostitute based seemingly only on her ethnicity.

Seriously, is this what America is about nowadays? Being pointlessly rude, insulting, sexist, racially stereotypical and demeaning to foreigners visiting the country?

4 comments:

MKL said...

OMG, this is truly amazing. But I still think this is not what America is about, I wouldn't go that far, unless there is some solid proof for that.

Anonymous said...

I remember my wife coming to my country, somewhere in Europe. I guarantee you that, if I had not paid the immigration police a handsome Christmas gift upfront, the reception would have been a lot less welcoming......the whole world is exactly the same...I know

FOARP said...

Yeah, immigration officials behave like complete arseholes in many countries, it's just that the country I seem to hear about this kind of behaviour happening in most often is the United States. I have never been there myself, but everyone I know who has been there always takes pains to point out that once you are through immigration Americans are some of the most friendly and polite people you can meet.

Anonymous said...

My sister in law was strip searched on one visit, female traveling alone. She was a management executive at a Japanese air line at the time. i was deeply ashamed. You should hear my best friends' tale of his wife's Green Card fiasco. What a nightmare.

Stories like this are becoming increasingly commonplace. My wife and kids are going back to the US for three years for high school this summer, and we are contemplating sending me along even though it would be hideously expensive, because she might run into hassles at border control.

I have heard private complaints from officials at Taiwan AIT about this, that students are switching away from the US because immigration contrl is so insane....

Just sign me....
Confucian Institute Hater