08 December 2009

Homeland Security

Gavin Esler notes that US border controls are getting tougher. The [BBC] Newsnight presenter flew to Washington recently and reports in his email to viewers on a Kafkaesque experience.

'When I arrived from London two days ago I was stopped as usual by the immigration authorities,' he writes.

'I handed over my passport, my completed immigration and customs forms, was fingerprinted and photographed. "Why are you here?" the Homeland Security lady asked me. 'Because the president is scheduled to announce a big increase in US troop numbers in Afghanistan'.

"Who do you work for?" 'The BBC'. "How do you spell that?" Hmmm. A tricky one. How do you spell BBC? 'Er, B... B... C...' The lady looked at me. "Do you have any identification?"

'You are holding my passport,' I said, with a smile'

- Evening Standard, 7 December 2009

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