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Welcome to Police-State America, Weary Traveler

How to make the tourists feel unwelcome, and citizens sick

Guns really don't belong in an airport immigration area at all (in fact, tellingly, when you see them being worn by passport control personnel, it's usually in a police state). I mean, really, think about it. If there is one place that you shouldn't have to worry about someone pulling out a weapon, gun or knife or anything scarier than a nail-clipper, it would be an immigration hall full of people who have already gone through at least one airport security check and who haven't even had a chance yet to get to their checked baggage where they might perhaps have stowed a weapon. We folks in the line waiting to get cleared for entry back into the US-- or if we're in the foreigner line, into the US for the first time -- are surely the most certifiably unarmed bunch of people you'll ever find outside of a Quaker meetinghouse So why all the INS goons with guns at their side scrutinizing our passports to see where we've been and asking what we're doing in the US?

It's really got to be an intimidation thing.

I was actually waiting to see if they would demand to see my cell phone and my computer. An increasing number of Americans are reporting that border officers have been doing that, downloading access to all their information and contacts. This invasive practice started happening during the paranoid post-9/11 Bush/Cheney administration, when it was mostly happening to people with Muslim-sounding last names, but it has been getting worse over the years, and has gotten dramatically more common, reportedly, since the election of President Trump, who has really amped up the anti-immigrant activities of the INS, and the general militarization of the border.

The chances that these draconian practices -- the militarizing of passport checkers and the trashing of First Amendment rights to privacy of information -- will prevent some future terrorist attack, which is after all the supposed justification for all this police-state activity at the border -- including the introduction of finger-printing and facial-recognition software--is next to zero. After all, a potential terrorist certainly knows it is happening, and would be unlikely to risk either trying to commit a terror act in the waiting line, or trying to get into the US with incriminating information on a cell phone or computer.

In fact, given the security screenings that passengers have to go through before getting on a flight to the US, I'm willing to bet that there hasn't been a single violent attack attempted in an immigration line involving a weapon in the historical memory of the Department of Homeland Security's existence.



story | by Dr. Radut