There has recently been yet more coverage of people being detained horribly, under inhumane conditions, on entering the US.
It is possible to be detained by US immigration indefinitely, without access to lawyers or contact with the outside world. Foreign nationals have no rights in that situation.
I have often been treated with more suspicion than most other cis white men when traveling internationally, as I have a large beard of the type worn by some Muslim men, I am autistic so my body language can register as off to neurotypicals, and I react much worse to long plane journeys than most do.
I am obliged to travel to the US for Christmas, this and every year. This is not, for me, a matter of choice, but of obligation.
I do not know what the chances of me being detained are. I believe them to be very low indeed — probably less than one percent — but very low is not the same as zero.
So I’m just going to say here: I *will* post something on this blog within twenty-four hours of my arrival in the US (1:05PM Minnesota time, on December 17). I will also be asking my wife to text friends in the UK as soon as we get through border control in the US, letting them know we’re safe, in case something non-border-control related happens to prevent me doing so (such as my in-laws’ Internet connection going down).
If I do *not* post something to this blog in that time period (so by 1PM Minnesota time/7PM UK time on December 18), check the comments of this post, and see if any of our friends have commented here saying I’m safe. If they haven’t, then I’m not.
I wish I didn’t have to worry about this kind of thing, and I wish that it wasn’t a much more serious worry for a lot of people who are far more at risk than I am.