News: US immigration - sense or senseless?

Pictures this:
Him: Domenico Salerno, a carefree Italian with a recent law degree from a Roman university, in love with:

Her: Caitlin Cooper, from Virginia (US), raised across the road from George Washington’s home

Their romance: sparked by a 2006 meeting in a supermarket in Rome, Domenico frequently visited Caitlin in Alexandria, Va., where he was welcomed like a favorite son by the parents and neighbors of his girlfriend.

Them: on April 29, when Mr. Salerno, presented his passport at Washington Dulles International Airport, a Customs and Border Protection agent refused to let him into the US. And after hours of questioning, agents would not let him travel back to Rome, either. On the contrary, he was sent to a rural Virginia jail where he remained for more than 10 days, locked up without charges or legal recourse.
The authorities said they (mis-)understood Mr. Salerno's English and thought he was seeking asylum (from Italy eh?). (Full story)

Regular readers from The Road know I have a bone to pick with the US Homeland Security and immigration policies, since The Day I Got Deported from the US and witnessed the horror first hand on The Day the Groom Got Deported from the US...

With thanks to Elizabeth who flagged this story to me.
Picture courtesy Chris Warde-Jones (New York Times)


Worldman 18 May, 2008 04:15  

This is an astounding and a shocking story. But not a surprising one.

I had problems when I went to the US in 1980 (for the first time). At that time Swiss needed a visa. I had a B2 visa (I think, I don't remember). On the immigration form I had indicated a persons name at the World Bank as a contact. I was asked if I were going to work at the World Bank. Innocently, I said yes that I was there for one week to make a report.

I was told that with this visa I was not allowed to "work" and therefore not allowed to enter US. A two hours hassle. And another agent came and asked me why I came to US. I said for holiday. I got a 6 week permit. Welcome to the US.

And above the counter, on the wall was the picture of the peanut farmer smiling at me.

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