Sunday, 26 February 2017

Famous Aussie author detained and harassed at US airport

Mem Fox
A famous Australian children's book author has told of her horrifying experience when visiting the US recently, despite being world famous and visiting the US previously on multiple occasions. 

Seventy year old Mem Fox was left traumatised by the experience, feeling that she had been violated, and now doubts that she will ever return.
Fox, who was questioned by Customs and Border Protection officers for two hours earlier this month as she was on her way to Milwaukee to address a conference, said she collapsed and sobbed at her hotel after she was released.

She said the border agents appeared to have been given "turbocharged power" by an executive order signed by President Donald Trump to "humiliate and insult" a room full of people they detained to check visas.

That executive order was eventually halted by Federal Courts and it was expected a new order would be signed this week, designed to avoid the confusion caused by the original.

"I have never in my life been spoken to with such insolence, treated with such disdain, with so many insults and with so much gratuitous impoliteness," Fox said.

"The entire interview took place with me standing, with my back to a room full of people in total public hearing and view — it was disgraceful.

"I felt like I had been physically assaulted which is why, when I got to my hotel room, I completely collapsed and sobbed like a baby, and I'm 70 years old."


Fox, whose books include classics such as Possum Magic and Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, said she was questioned about her visa status, even though she had travelled to the United States 116 times previously without incident. ABC