Going To The US Sucks?

Bernie Tweeted a link to this story about some poor soul who found out he was going to be fingerprinted and photographed upon entering the U.S for a software developer’s conference. Here’s a quote:

I want to give a clear signal to the US members of the Drupal community: this is unacceptable and hinders development and business.

I’m sure the U.S. Department of Commerce, Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security are quivering with fear about Drupal developers mobilizing to protest this horrific injustice. Another quote:

…it’s the last time I’ll be going into the United States while this continues, and if this trip wasn’t so important to me I’d have cancelled my flight already.

Traveling anywhere pretty much sucks these days when crossing national boundaries (my family’s experience here). In the US, it sucks within those boundaries as well. They are going to have Steven’s prints and photo after this trip, does anyone think that refusing to have it done again is going to make a bit of difference? If this was such a big deal to me, I simply wouldn’t travel. The conference is clearly more important than making a statement on this issue or he would simply cancel the trip. If he’s going anyway this post is nothing but a hissy-fit.

I didn’t leave the US until I was nearly 42 years old – our first trip to Ireland. In the six years that have followed I’ve added three more international trips – England, our aborted Ireland visit and now New Zealand – and only last fall’s Dublin Disaster was unpleasant. If those countries wanted my fingerprints and photograph – no problem with me (we were photographed but not fingerprinted by Ireland’s KGB, I mean, GNIB after we were refused entry and before they put us on a plane back to NY).

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Originally uploaded by Gare and Kitty

I’m sad that the situation in the world is such that it is so hard for us all to travel. In case you haven’t noticed the U.S. has a particularly large bulls-eye on its back. So does Britain. As much as I’d love to blame Bush for the problems, 9/11 would have probably happened no matter who was in office. While I’m tempted to feel sorry for Steven, I really can’t. He does have a choice and he’s made it. For every person who’s felt violated by Homeland Security and Immigration Control when entering the U.S., I’m sure I could find a U.S. citizen who has experienced the same indignities traveling abroad through no fault of their own. After our Ireland experience I was bombarded with emails from US citizens who were treated horrendously by immigration officers, mostly in Europe. It’s the way of the world. Get used to it or stay home.

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