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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

a sad tale

a german national born in syria was denied admission to the united states. for what reason? no one knows. i really literally mean that. i believe NO ONE knows.

he wasn't just attempting to visit for the first time. he was trying to visit his daughter in california who had recently passed the bar. oh and did i mention, he and his wife (AN AMERICAN BORN AMERICAN CITIZEN) have lived in massachusetts every summer for over 30 years. an oh did i mention, according to this article they've paid MORE than $250,000 in TAXES. oh did i mention, their massachusetts neighbors appear to like them a great deal. oh did i mention, ice took away his HEART MEDS for 36 HOURS because the label was in german (or so they say)???????????

what have we become?

Visit gone awry: Detention roils a US-German family

On a trip to visit his daughter in California, Majed Shehadeh, the husband of a US citizen, was detained, strip-searched, denied his prescription medication, and held in a crowded cell.
By Christa Case Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitorand Mariah Blake Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

Newburyport, Mass.; and Alzenau, Germany - Ever since Jimmy Carter was president, summer has meant one thing for Majed Shehadeh and his wife, Joanne Mulligan: time to pack. From their modest house in Bavaria, they migrate annually to their summer home in Massachusetts, where Ms. Mulligan was born and raised, with the accent to prove it.
But after making regular trips for decades, Mr. Shehadeh's last visit went deeply awry, indefinitely suspending his plans for returning.
A Syrian-born German citizen, he was detained when he flew into Las Vegas in December to celebrate his daughter's passing of the California bar exam. He was then strip-searched, denied his prescription medication, and kept in a crowded jail cell with no mattresses and a single toilet out in the open. Three days later, he was sent back to Germany.
"Since that ordeal, I'm afraid to go [to the US], and my husband can't go at all. For us, it's a catastrophe," says Mulligan.
Five years after 9/11, intensified security measures resulted in more than 500 people per day being denied entry to the US in 2006. For those traveling by air, that often means spending at least one night in detention.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has numerous mechanisms to ensure that travelers' civil rights are upheld during such detentions.........

..........That night, Shehadeh was taken to the North Las Vegas Detention Center, where he says he was stripped of his belongings, including $1,000 in cash, and his heart medication, which he wouldn't receive for another 36 hours.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokeswoman Lori Haley says the medication was withheld until a doctor could evaluate Shehadeh because the label was in German. "For his own safety, we had to make sure what he was ingesting was the right medication," she explains. .......

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