In a message dated 5/6/01 11:42:05 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
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A response to Gloria Monti's comments
Unfortunately Ms. Monti has already made her mind up that the US is basically
a bad place and that immigration official are basically racist. That is an
issue impossible to change in her mind and I won't try. I think what most
people here know is that it is imperfect and both good and bad at times
(shackles on people who are non threatening is bad)
However having worked at an airline at LAX while I was in college, this
business is a normal occurrence even to people who have a right to be here
and are becoming citizens. That's right people who screw up their paperwork
or status although they are basically American, they are caught in this
problem as well. Is it right, absolutely not. But they want paperwork in
order and can you blame them for that!
They are in general very rude and unsympathetic. They deal with numbers of
people that we will never meet in a lifetime. I would not want their task.
Should they be kind? Yes!
However there will always be a stopping of people who do not have the right
paperwork, and they will not be treated as if it is the Hilton.
Does this mean people should be shackled, no! This is what happens when
programs are underfunded and under trained.
However this serves as a warning to anyone who travels get your paperwork in
order (you are a sheep to immigration officials) and do not trust minimum
wage counter people with your fate. Really if you travel to a foreign country
and rely on the counter person to decipher your visa status aren't you asking
I think racism is horrible and I have fought against it with many hours of my
life. I do not know if race played a part in that event and that would be
horrible if it did.
However on a separate note I will let you know that the international carrier
I worked for and all airlines at LAX have a policy of just letting the
passengers pass security and up to the gate. The airline I worked for had
many problems with terrorism in Europe so they enforced this policy strictly
in the US. Many passengers were denied having their family walk them all the
way to the gate. Although all families were treated the same, the
overwhelming response of racism and protest came from people from the middle
east. A large percentage of the time they thought this was about their race
and that they were singled out by the airline. When I know they were
But I can see where people might feel persecuted on the world stage and be
sensitive to this issue.
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