Air travelers in America have reason to be more vigilant and careful than ever.
The ACLU's involvement in the case of an American passenger who recorded a harrassment by civil authorities in St. Louis is most welcomed. The authorities are clearly abusing their power again, and I believe this article in the New York Times. Why would a passenger make up a charge like this?
An experience of my own corroborates this. Unfortunately, I did not have a telephone recording as proof to back me up. I was a defenseless, exhausted traveling 24-year-old when it happened. I was taken away from my husband and left in a windowless bare office at JFK Airport for at least two hours, probably longer, with only a police officer carrying lots of major weapons checking on me every hour. There was no bed, bathroom or food. This after a punishing flight.
Finally, I was released and found that my husband, well-educated, even then a top scientist hired to fill an educational gap here had been detained against his will for hours as well and then allowed to leave. My husband and I were both entering the country from England to live in the United States. I'm from Canada, and I don't think such flagrant disregard for human rights would happen there. Both of us had already received long-awaited elite American "Green Cards". No reasons or apologies were ever offered for the shocking treatment and staggering lapse in courtesy similarly given to both of us. We were obviously supposed to forgive and forget this inhuman treatment, having been pushed into those offices like criminals or dogs. It made me like America less.
Have I ever forgiven America for this? A resounding, definite NO! Of course, not. That was inexcusable treatment. Why bother going through paperwork for citizenship if that's the treatment I might get?
When did it happen? Oh, 1980! Have I ever to this day been given a rational explanation for it? No! Do I think it's any better now? Don't know, but this story has me thinking about it again and doubtful.
It saddens me if this is still happening, and if it's spread within America now. Good luck to the ACLU. If only there could have been a happy ending to my story.