Music Scholar Barred From U.S., but No One Will Tell Her Why

  1. can someone please explain the security "threat"?


    mr. botstein, who wrote to secretary of state [color=#004276]condoleezza rice in the hope of having the visa problem resolved before the music festival, said ms. ghuman's case is symptomatic. "this is an example of the xenophobia, incompetence, stupidity and then bureaucratic intransigence that we are up against," he said, also citing the case of a teacher of arabic at bard who missed the first weeks of the spring semester this year because of visa problems. "what is at stake is america's pre-eminence as a place of scholarship."
    ms. ghuman is certainly not alone in her frustration. academic and civil liberties groups point to other foreign scholars who have been denied entry without explanation at an airport, or refused a visa when they applied. a pending lawsuit by the [color=#004276]american civil liberties union contends that the bush administration is using heightened security measures to keep foreign scholars out on ideological grounds in violation of the first amendment rights of american scholars to hear them.
    ms. ghuman's descent into the bureaucratic netherworld began on aug. 8, 2006, when she and mr. flight returned to san francisco from a research trip to britain. armed [color=#004276]immigration officers met them at the airplane door and escorted ms. ghuman away.
    in a written account of the next eight hours that she prepared for her lawyer, ms. ghuman said that officers tore up her h-1b visa, which was valid through may 2008, defaced her british passport, and seemed suspicious of everything from her music cassettes to the fact that she had listed welsh as a language she speaks. a redacted government report about the episode obtained by her lawyer under the freedom of information act erroneously described her as "hispanic."
    source: accessed today.

    this seems like a case of racial profiling. disturbing incident to say the least.
  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   indigo girl
    I am reminded of this:

    When the Nazis came for the communists,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a communist.
    When they locked up the social democrats,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a social democrat.
    When they came for the trade unionists,
    I did not speak out;
    I was not a trade unionist.
    When they came for the Jews,
    I did not speak out;
    I was not a Jew.
    When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.

    Friedrich Gustav Martin Niemöller
  4. by   ElvishDNP
    That is extremely disturbing; frankly it angers me. I'm not sure what angers me most, though: the fact that she was not admitted at all, or the fact that she has not been told why she's not being admitted, or the fact that letters, phone calls, and whatever else from reps and colleagues are mysteriously not responded to. To be told 'You are nobody, you are nowhere, and you have no rights' in this context is abuse, plain and simple. Shining light on a hill, my foot.

    Folks, crap like this happens more than we hear in the news, I'm afraid. So it should come as no surprise that people come here illegally. (Yes, I went there.)

    Edited to add that I still think this is a great country, and I love it. But I do not think we set an example of freedom to the rest of the world when things like this make headlines.
    Last edit by ElvishDNP on Sep 18, '07