Monday, September 17, 2007

The expulsion of the global creative class

Update on my previous post: Just as occurred to Rohinton Mistry a year or so ago, musicologist Nalini Ghuman has been brutally denied re-entry into the U.S., as reported today in the New York Times.

She's British, of Welsh and Sikh descent, and an esteemed authority on Elgar. Until her apprehension at SFO she was also an assistant professor at Mills College in California. Consider this:
- armed immigration officers met her at the airplane door when she landed in SFO and during the next eight hours they:
- tore up her H-1B visa which was good for another two years
- defaced her British passport
- described her as "Hispanic" (in addition to being thugs, they are idiots)
- held her incommunicado and did not let her contact the British Consulate
- groped her during a body search
- told her she would be considered to be attacking her armed female searcher if she moved
- told her she was "a nobody" and "had no rights"
- threatened to transfer her to a detention center if she did not take a flight back to London that night, which she did.

She said "For the first time, I understood what the deprivation of liberty means."

Despite many letters from musicians and intervention of the British Embassy, this case has been unresolved for 13 months.

Why would she ever want to return?

She'll be going to Quebec for a conference soon. As the article states, "At least...she can expect Canada to let her in.


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