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Old 10-02-2007, 10:22 PM   #1
Lorien Lowe
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Deportation: I am ashamed to be American at times

the following is a letter written by the son of a co-worker of mine, an American citizen, about his arrival with his wife at SFO from Japan.

September 6, 2007
To Whom it may concern:

On September 5, 2007, my wife Haruna Suzuki and I arrived at San Francisco International Airport around 8:30 am on flight UA 0830.

When we reached immigration, I sent her to the foreign visitor section and I went to the U.S. citizen section. We are legally married in Japan, but she is a Japanese citizen and holds no green card.

Once we had gotten all of our luggage, we walked to the customs area. I was told to walk through, although I misunderstood at first and got into the line for inspection. An officer told me that I could leave, so I left the inspection line, but came up to the exit of the area as Haruna was in line there.

A customs officer (surname Choi) asked me what I wanted and I told him that Haruna is my wife and that I was just waiting for her. He asked me for my passport, which I was holding in my hand, and I immediately gave it to him.

The entire time this was happening, I was translating what he was saying into Mandarin Chinese for Haruna. She speaks very little English, and up until this point no one was speaking Japanese to her.

Showing more and more suspicion, the officer told us to wait and then made a phone call to another officer. I was told to speak to her and she informed me that it was illegal to obtain a green card from within the U.S., that we would have to do it from outside. I explained to her that we already were aware of this and that I appreciated her help. I also explained that although we wanted to visit the immigration bureau, we had no plans at this time to apply for the green card because we didn't have time before leaving the U.S. again in a month to a month and a half. It was around this time that we told the officers of our plans to buy round-the-world passes in order to travel and study for a year.

Officer Choi told me again that Haruna could not get a green card while visiting the United States, and I again assured him that we had no intention nor the time to do so.

Before he made the phone call, the officer had asked us if any of the luggage on my trolley was Haruna's, and I told him that it was all mixed as we were married and had come to the U.S. for a month to a month and a half. Now he asked me again if any of it was Haruna's, and I gave him the same answer, including the length of stay of our visit.

At this time, I was approached by another officer and told to leave. I also informed him that Haruna was my wife and that I was just there to help if I could. He said he understood, but that I had to wait outside. I told Haruna of what I planned to do, and then waited in the corridor between customs and the exit. Within a couple of minutes, the same officer approached me and told me that I had to exit the area and wait in arrivals. I told Haruna and she apologized for taking a long time. That was the last time I talked to her for roughly 20 hours.

I waited in the waiting area for close to two hours before I became a bit worried and asked a woman working at the information booth if there were any way I could check on my wife. She gave me the extension *1138 which I called. I was only informed that perhaps she had wandered into the flight transfer section instead of the arrivals.

Over the next two hours, I spoke with three customs officers who I intercepted walking out of the immigration/customs area and called the extension three more times. I was given the number 650-837-2878 by one of the officers and told by the person on the other end of the extension that Haruna had been moved back from customs into a "secondary" room in immigration.

Four hours had passed at this point and this was all I had been told.

I called the telephone number two times. The first time was unsuccessful, but the second time I was given to the supervisor in charge of Haruna's interrogation. He informed me that because our stories did not "match up," that she would almost assuredly be deported immediately. He told me that she was giving a sworn deposition, that she was with an interpreter, and that they suspected her of wanting to enter the country for illegal purposes because she didn't have the intention of using her return flight (I told him that I didn't know if she planned to use it or not). This was all he told me and then informed me that he would compare what I told him with what Haruna had said. I told him where I was exactly so that he could send an officer out to keep me informed.

Another 20 minutes later, an officer went to a crowded area about 200 feet from myself and yelled out my surname. I immediately ran down to him and thanked him at which point he told me that my wife was to be deported within the next 5 minutes because they didn't want to hold her any longer than that. I pleaded with him to ask his supervisor to reconsider: we had just gotten off a long flight, we were exhausted, we only planned to stay in the U.S. from a month to a month and a half, and that any inconsistency on our parts was due to the fact that we hadn't planned the next year fully yet. I pleaded with the officer (who was uncooperative and argumentative) to finally ask his supervisor to reconsider. His supervisor refused, so I begged the man to please not deport my wife, but instead book her on a flight an hour later so that I could buy the round-the-world tickets we planned on obtaining in the U.S. to prove that we had no intention of staying longer than the before mentioned, and repeatedly mentioned, month to month and a half.

They refused, and without letting me see or talk to her once, or even send her a message, without giving me a chance to catch a return flight with her, they packed her onto the next flight out.

I was finally able to talk to Haruna this morning after about 20 hours. She was exhausted after two consecutive flights of 9 hours and 11 hours. After her flight to Tokyo airport her train was delayed due to a typhoon. She finally arrived at a friend's house exhausted and in very poor health, towing a bag that was too heavy for her to safely carry. She was treated like a criminal on the basis of a far-fetched suspicion.

Here is what Haruna related to me, which I had not been aware of before:
1)She was not informed of why she was being questioned and what the problem was.
2)She was provided with a translator only over the telephone. The translator was not aware of what the situation was.
3)She was told to answer only with yes or no and give no other explanations or answers.
4)She was not allowed to ask any questions of her own.
5)After her deposition, they refused to answer any of her questions, allow her to see or talk to me, send me a message or in any other way communicate with me.

I realize that the role of customs and immigration is a stressful and potentially dangerous job; however, the methods used by the staff at SFO amounted to a gross abuse of power. My wife and I were helpful, friendly, non-aggressive, and cooperative the entire time. The officers involved gave no impression as to the magnitude of the consequences my wife faced, and their handling of the situation was neglectful, inept, cruel, redundant, and completely lacking in common sense.

Their vague accusation against my wife potentially planning to illegally reside within the United States was based on poor evidence:

1)Our stories didn't match up - our plans for the next year are loose, and we haven't yet planned as to where we will definitely travel, when and from where we will apply for her green card, or from what company we will buy our round-the-world passes. To assume that we will break laws in doing any of this is absurd and unfounded based on our records.

2)Haruna said she didn't plan to use her return ticket - our plan is (possible "was" due to the current situation and a tight budget) to buy round-the-world passes from the U.S., possibly Japan. In the case of the latter, Haruna and I may have flown back to Japan to make the purchase there. Had she been informed of what case was being brought against her clearly, had the officers in charge been willing to listen to our situation, they may have understood this. However, they refused to listen, espoused laws they themselves were admittedly not clear on, and deliberately kept me removed from the situation entirely. Because Haruna didn't plan on using her return ticket is not indicative of planning to stay illegally in the U.S. Ticket can easily be cancelled or refunded.

3)Haurna shipped many of her belongings to the U.S. - this is only true if you consider my and her possessions as solely hers. We are a married couple and plan to eventually settle in the U.S., most likely sometime within the next two years. If we choose to leave our belongings here in preparation for our eventual move, I hardly see how this amounts to criminal intent.

The deportation of my wife, Haruna Suzuki, a registered nurse with absolutely no criminal background, was based on assumptions she was guilty because of suspicions of a potential crime. This is neither constitutional nor maintaining with professional conduct.

Sincerely,
Colby L. Dahlstrom

Colby's and Haruna's stories could have easily been verified with phone calls to his family here in California or her family in Japan; however, no attempt to verify their stories was made. Both Colby and Haruna had passports; according to the U.S. State departmet website, Japan is a Visa-Waived country, meaning that Haruna did not need a visa to visit for 90 days or less: http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/wi...html#countries . Further, it is appalling that SFO did not have customs or immigration agents on hand who were capable of speaking either Japanese or Mandarin, both of which Haruna is fluent in.

The customs agents jumped to a conclusion based on some unusual aspect of Colby's and Haruna's presentation - because they got married in Japan? Because the spoke together in Mandarin, rather than in Japanese or English (he does not speak much Japanese, she does not speak much English)? Whatever the cause, once they formed their impression they neither sought nor accepted any evidence to the contrary.

I find it shameful that this sort of bullying, deliberately ignorant behavior is condoned in the United States.

-Lorien

Last edited by Lorien Lowe : 10-02-2007 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 10-02-2007, 11:05 PM   #2
HL1978
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Re: Deportation: I am ashamed to be American at times

Immigration is always screwy. This whole story makes no sense given that Japan is a visa waiver country and you don't need a green card for stays less than 90 days.
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Old 10-03-2007, 07:22 AM   #3
Taliesin
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Re: Deportation: I am ashamed to be American at times

Unfortunately that is a totally unsurprising story - certainly inthe UK getting things right and treating people fairly hardly ever even makes onto the list of things an IO considers (although there are the few odd exceptions)
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Old 10-03-2007, 07:47 AM   #4
SeiserL
 
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Re: Deportation: I am ashamed to be American at times

You disagree with a policy, so you feel ashamed?
I disagree a lot, but never do I feel shame for being an American, rather I am proud.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 10-03-2007, 08:23 AM   #5
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Deportation: I am ashamed to be American at times

I may be proud of where I am a citizen...but I am definitely ashamed that my fellow countrymen so easily discriminate, harm and casually dismiss the lives of others.

I have some first hand experience with customs folks because my fiance is French. Sometimes you get kind, considerate and informed customs officials. Sometimes you don't. It is shameful that sometimes people are treated in the manner described above.

It is shameful that Canadian citizens are shipped off for torture to the middle east, even though they have committed no crime. It is shameful that justice here is unequal.

Maybe when enough people feel and share that shame, things will change.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 10-03-2007, 10:15 AM   #6
Mattias Bengtsson
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Re: Deportation: I am ashamed to be American at times

This has nothing to do with Americans but rather incompetent airport security. Before 9/11 they were to lax, and now afterwards everyone is treated as a potential security threat. And they're to stubborn to admit that their initial reaction might be wrong... (that's the incompetent part, if someone can't admit they've maybe made a mistake...)

Anyway, its not exclusive to USA.

Friend of mine usually gets or used to get stopped in customs because he got that "look", whenever he travels and he's been to USA several times on vacation.
This little incident however happened in UK where he did a transfer and appearantly the officers thought it strange as he was taking off from Copenhagen in Denmark instead off any Swedish airport.
The fact that for a swede to travel to other Scandinavian countries like Norway and Denmark is no more complicated than for a American to get from one state to another or a English to go to Scotland or Wales was unexplainable to them, and that the Danish airport was much closer to him than any Swedish airport of equal size.

And as the interrogation went on and on, they asked "then how come he was so nervous" with the answer that "of course he was nervous, as his plane was leaving in 20 minutes and he was worried he might miss it....."

Makes me think of Benjamin Franklin:
"A state which sacrifices a bit of freedom for a little bit of security, will deserve neither and lose both"

Uke Iacta Est
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Old 10-03-2007, 12:01 PM   #7
Hogan
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Re: Deportation: I am ashamed to be American at times

Quote:
Mattias Bengtsson wrote: View Post
T...and now afterwards everyone is treated as a potential security threat. ...
We have to; if we didn't, then we would have to resort to profiling, and if we did that, the ACLU would be up in arms suing someone or another.
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Old 10-03-2007, 02:22 PM   #8
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Deportation: I am ashamed to be American at times

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John Hogan wrote: View Post
We have to; if we didn't, then we would have to resort to profiling, and if we did that, the ACLU would be up in arms suing someone or another.
Ah, so you would rather people that look like me get all the inconvenience, and you don't have to worry about it?

I assume I mis-understand what you are saying.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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Old 10-03-2007, 04:09 PM   #9
Mattias Bengtsson
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Re: Deportation: I am ashamed to be American at times

Quote:
John Hogan wrote: View Post
We have to; if we didn't, then we would have to resort to profiling, and if we did that, the ACLU would be up in arms suing someone or another.
I think you missed where I said treated, not viewed.

Uke Iacta Est
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Old 10-03-2007, 05:14 PM   #10
James Davis
 
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Re: Deportation: I am ashamed to be American at times

The twin towers falling will probably make things horrible for people who travel for a long time to come. The security personnell don't want anything bad to happen "on their watch", but they were really being a bunch of jerks in this case. I'm sure that there's no policy that states they have to separate someone from their spouse for twenty hours! I can't even imagine how pissed I would be!

I'm still proud to be an American, but stories like this really sadden me. I, for one, will take note of this person's experiences and not let go of my wife's hand until they make me.

If we're so worried about terrorism and people entering the country illegally, why is it probable that they could have flown into mexico and strolled across the border?

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 10-03-2007, 06:02 PM   #11
Luc X Saroufim
 
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Re: Deportation: I am ashamed to be American at times

i like being an American citizen because it's easy to travel and the opportunities are good to raise my future family; however, i disagree with our collective reaction to being attacked.
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Old 10-04-2007, 04:38 AM   #12
Taliesin
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Re: Deportation: I am ashamed to be American at times

Given the lady in question had got off a plane - the argument about security doen't stand up. This was an Immigration Issue - although again if it's anything like the UK IOs take pride in the fact that they've never had to learn, let alone obey any of the Immigration Rules.
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Old 10-04-2007, 10:17 AM   #13
Hogan
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Re: Deportation: I am ashamed to be American at times

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Ah, so you would rather people that look like me get all the inconvenience, and you don't have to worry about it?

I assume I mis-understand what you are saying.

Best,
Ron
Huh? My point is that we have to treat everyone as a threat because if we didn't then that would mean we had to partake in 'profiling', and that if we did THAT, then the ACLU would sue. This is why we do what we do, because the authorities don't want to deal with the fallout of 'profiling'. Do I agree? No, I'd rather 'profile' so you & your grandmama aren't inconvenienced.

So, getting back to your original comment, why would I not have to worry about it?
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Old 10-04-2007, 10:19 AM   #14
Hogan
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Re: Deportation: I am ashamed to be American at times

Quote:
Mattias Bengtsson wrote: View Post
I think you missed where I said treated, not viewed.
??
No, I got it. You said treated, I agreed - that we DO have to treat all as threats.
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Old 10-04-2007, 01:21 PM   #15
odudog
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Re: Deportation: I am ashamed to be American at times

[quote=So, getting back to your original comment, why would I not have to worry about it?[/QUOTE]

Most likely you are white and 9 out of 10 times white people are not profiled. That is why you don't have to worry about profiling. On the other hand, people who are not white are profiled 9 out of 10 times hence the hassle.
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Old 10-04-2007, 01:25 PM   #16
Lorien Lowe
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Re: Deportation: I am ashamed to be American at times

Quote:
James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
The twin towers falling will probably make things horrible for people who travel for a long time to come. The security personnell don't want anything bad to happen "on their watch", but they were really being a bunch of jerks in this case. I'm sure that there's no policy that states they have to separate someone from their spouse for twenty hours! I can't even imagine how pissed I would be!
Twenty hours, and the breadth of the Pacific Ocean.

Haruna is still in Japan; Colby is still in California; they are trying to decide what to do with their limited funds, given the cost of flying Haruna to the U.S. again (would she just be detained and sent back one more time?) or Colby to Japan.

9/11 had nothing to do with this. What Haruna was suspected of was the intent to over-stay her 90-day limit, nothing else; they put her back on a plane to Japan, which they certianly would not have done if they thought she was any sort of potential terrorist threat.
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Old 10-04-2007, 01:26 PM   #17
Neil Mick
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Shame, culture, and fear

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
You disagree with a policy, so you feel ashamed?
I disagree a lot, but never do I feel shame for being an American, rather I am proud.
A couple of thoughts:

Regarding the incident itself: I find it sickening that the poor woman was profiled. Sorry, but this sounds exactly what happened. I've personally seen at least two cases where ppl were pulled out of line for no apparent reason other than their ethnicity.

This sort of thing happens a lot on US airlines, recently. Consider the case of Raed Jarrar and JetBlue, which discriminated purely on his ethnicity and the Arabic writing on his T-shirt:

Quote:
NEW YORK—A federal civil rights lawsuit charging that a Transportation Security Administration official and JetBlue Airways illegally discriminated against an American resident based solely on the Arabic message on his t-shirt and his ethnicity has been filed by the New York Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU.

JetBlue and the TSA official, identified as “Inspector Harris,” prohibited Raed Jarrar from boarding his flight at John F. Kennedy Airport until he agreed to cover his t-shirt, which read “We Will Not Be Silent” in English and Arabic script. According to the complaint, Harris told Jarrar that it is impermissible to wear an Arabic shirt to an airport and equated it to a “person wearing a t-shirt at a bank stating, ‘I am a robber.’”

“It is a dangerous and slippery slope when we allow our government to take away a person’s rights because of his speech or ethnic background,” said Reginald Shuford, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Racial Justice Program. “Racial profiling is illegal and ineffective and has no place in a democratic society.”

Jarrar, an architect and political analyst of Arabic descent, has lived in the United States since 2005 with his wife, who is an American citizen. On Aug. 12, 2006, Jarrar attempted to fly on JetBlue from New York to Oakland, California, where he lived at the time. Although Jarrar successfully cleared two security checkpoints, he was approached by Inspector Harris while waiting at the boarding gate. Harris brought Jarrar to the JetBlue counter and told him that he would have to remove his shirt because other passengers were not comfortable with the Arabic script.
(after I heard about this story: I went out and bought the same T-shirt. Guess what my apparel will be, on my next air-flight? Will I get pulled off the line...? Probably not: wrong ethnicity).

There are also, of course, more obvious cases like Yusuf Islam, formerly Cat Stevens:

Quote:
On 21 September 2004, Yusuf Islam was traveling on a United Airlines flight from London to Washington, en route to a meeting with singer Dolly Parton, who had recorded "Peace Train" several years earlier and was planning to include another Cat Stevens song on an upcoming album. While the plane was in flight, the Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System flagged his name as being on a no-fly list. Customs agents alerted the Transportation Security Administration, which then diverted his flight to Bangor, Maine, where he was detained by the FBI.

The following day, Yusuf Islam was deported back to the United Kingdom. The United States Transportation Security Administration claimed there were "concerns of ties he may have to potential terrorist-related activities". The United States Department of Homeland Security specifically alleged that Yusuf Islam had provided funding to the Palestinian Islamic militant group Hamas. However, he was admitted without incident into the United States in December 2006 for several radio concert performances and interviews to promote his new record.
Now, what are the driving emotions for these regressive policies? Fear. Fear of the unknown.

Finally, there are the shameful conditions at Hutto Detention Facility, which had kept kids detained in prisonlike conditions:

Quote:
On August 27, the ACLU announced a landmark settlement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that greatly improves conditions for immigrant children and their families in the T. Don Hutto detention center in Taylor, Texas.

The settlement was the result of lawsuits brought earlier this year on behalf of 26 immigrant children detained with their parents at Hutto. The lawsuits contended that the conditions inside the detention center violate numerous provisions of Flores v. Meese, a 1997 court settlement that established minimum standards and conditions for the housing and release of all minors in federal immigration custody.

Since the original lawsuits were filed, all 26 children represented by the ACLU have been released. The last six children were released days before the settlement was finalized and are now living with family members who are U.S. citizens and/or legal permanent residents while pursuing their asylum claims.

Conditions at Hutto have gradually and significantly improved as a result of the groundbreaking litigation. Children are no longer required to wear prison uniforms and are allowed much more time outdoors. Educational programming has expanded and guards have been instructed not to discipline children by threatening to separate them from their parents.
All these cases are indicative of a deep, deep problem in the way the US relates to the rest of the world.

Now, regarding whether one feels "shame," or "pride," being an American...

Consider "shame." The idea of "shame" being a negative emotion is curiously American (others share it as well, no doubt). The Japanese culture, for instance, views shame in a different light:

Shame and the samurai: institutions, trusthworthiness, and autonomy in the elite honor culture.

Quote:
ALTHOUGH shame is a complex notion in any culture, it has strong negative connotations in modern Anglo-American usage. It also often implies experiencing a passive emotion in a private space. Imposing such an image onto other cultures' usage of shame, however, may obscure the complexity and dynamics of the concept. Premodern Japanese samurai culture indicates that the notion of shame can be a powerful public concept even while rooted in the innermost depth of an individual's dignity.

Although anyone can experience emotions related to shame and honor, social usages and the degree of social influence wielded by these concepts are considerably different if the ruling elite place them at the core of their collective identity. The Japanese concept of shame was closely connected to the rise and transformation of the samurai elite and their political institutions. Yet, a sense of shame was a criterion of honorific autonomy and trustworthiness of individual samurai as well as the inner source of their self-esteem. Interestingly, haji or shame can be described in Japanese by a kanji (Chinese character) that consists of an ideogram composed of two root characters representing "ear" and "mind." As this way of writing implies, by serving as a bridge between individual aspirations and social expectations, shame in the samurai culture is a case study in the complexity of the interactions between the self and society.
And so, shame can be a means of internally examining one's morality in relation to the dominant culture (as, opposed to "embarassment," which is always public).

Frankly, if you're at all aware of the effects of the US upon the world for the past 40 years: I cannot see how you COULDN'T feel shame. Abu Ghraib, the folly of the Iraqi occupation, our lead-up to war with Iran; Blackwater; our complicity in the bombing of Lebanon; locking up Arab-American's en masse right after 9-11; Guantanamo; extroadinary rendition...and that's only within the last 3 years, or so. The list goes on.

IMO, in considering US foreign policy and Customs alone, if you're NOT feeling ashamed on some level, then you're either unaware, apathetic, not being honest with yourself and your feelings, or you support these shameful policies (which, in my book: means that you are out of touch, on some level, with the founding principles of this society).

However, I believe that one CAN both feel pride in one's country and shame on the effect our country has upon the world. The two are not mutually exclusive.
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Old 10-04-2007, 01:27 PM   #18
Lorien Lowe
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Re: Deportation: I am ashamed to be American at times

It would have been so easy - a matter of minutes - to verify their stories, but no one tried.
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Old 10-04-2007, 01:48 PM   #19
Hogan
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Re: Deportation: I am ashamed to be American at times

Quote:
Mike Braxton wrote: View Post
Most likely you are white and 9 out of 10 times white people are not profiled. That is why you don't have to worry about profiling. On the other hand, people who are not white are profiled 9 out of 10 times hence the hassle.
Ah, got it. See this is why we don't have profiling - everyone is treated as potential threat, otherwise, people profiled will get inconvenienced & offended & then ACLU comes in. So we continue on the road that EVERYONE is inconvenienced, even grandmama's & baby's.

But my question was to Ron, who most likely is white, too, no? Ron, was this what you meant?
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Old 10-04-2007, 02:19 PM   #20
Flintstone
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Re: Deportation: I am ashamed to be American at times

John, you see... that's why I promised to myself not to go back to the States until you change your mentality. While I was there last time, I was driving from Dallas to New Orleans with an Irish colleague (me being a Spaniard) and we were stopped, scanned and questioned just because we were... well, a Spaniard and an Irishman. Not funny, you know. I am not a potential threat to nobody. Period.

Maybe you want to be treated like that when out of your country?
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Old 10-04-2007, 02:33 PM   #21
Steven
 
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Re: Deportation: I am ashamed to be American at times

Quote:
John Hogan wrote: View Post
Ron, who most likely is white, too, no?
W H A T ? R o n's W h i t e?

Dang .. after all this time ......

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Old 10-04-2007, 02:40 PM   #22
Neil Mick
Dojo: Aikido of Santa Cruz
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 225
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Re: Deportation: I am ashamed to be American at times

Quote:
Steven Miranda wrote: View Post
W H A T ? R o n's W h i t e?

Dang .. after all this time ......

Wait...he ISN'T???

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Ah, so you would rather people that look like me...
Gee...I thought he meant big guys over 40, who are losing their hair...(*looking worriedly at mirror, and my passport...*)
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Old 10-04-2007, 02:46 PM   #23
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,302
United_States
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Re: Deportation: I am ashamed to be American at times

Alejandro:

There have numerous times in different countries where I have been pulled over by police in various countries in order for me help them out with their petty cash fund! I still go to many of those various countries (some of which are Spanish speaking- go figure!). I simply figure that in as a "cost of doing business." I would much rather experience what you experienced, rather than the common bribe system that exists in many countries at this time.

The Unites States do a piss-poor job at securing it's borders. What happened to that young lady was both unfortunate and in many ways, ridiculous. I wish we spent the money we have wasted in the "sand box" securing our own borders and developing effective ways of handling people's entering in, and leaving our borders. The threats in the world today are real, and I would sleeper better at night if we could actually fix the mess that occurs at our borders, crossings, etc..

I am not ashamed or embarrassed to be an American. I use my rights as a proud American to demand that the US do a better job at what is is suppose to be doing.

Marc Abrams
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Old 10-04-2007, 02:55 PM   #24
Flintstone
Dojo: Wherever I happen to be
Location: Zaragoza
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 587
Spain
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Re: Deportation: I am ashamed to be American at times

Marc, believe me that I'm too much used to the bribe system having traveled Turkmenistan, Turkey, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore... for quite a long time. But in some developing countries this is to be expected, so take it or leave it.

The point is, we are talking about the States, not about Turkmenistan. And we are talking about being treated like a potential threat, not as another source of income. Me, I prefer to be asked for a three-euro bribe in Indonesia rather than to be stopped, scanned and questioned in Louisiana.
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Old 10-04-2007, 03:20 PM   #25
dps
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,282
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Re: Deportation: I am ashamed to be American at times

Quote:
Lorien Lowe wrote: View Post

Showing more and more suspicion, the officer told us to wait and then made a phone call to another officer. I was told to speak to her and she informed me that it was illegal to obtain a green card from within the U.S., that we would have to do it from outside. I explained to her that we already were aware of this and that I appreciated her help. I also explained that although we wanted to visit the immigration bureau, we had no plans at this time to apply for the green card because we didn't have time before leaving the U.S. again in a month to a month and a half. It was around this time that we told the officers of our plans to buy round-the-world passes in order to travel and study for a year.

Officer Choi told me again that Haruna could not get a green card while visiting the United States, and I again assured him that we had no intention nor the time to do so.
Did the couple involved in the story check with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate before leaving for the U.S.. The trouble may have been avoided if they had.
David
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