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LITERACYADVISORS  March 2017

LITERACYADVISORS March 2017

Subject:

Re: Mem Fox, Australian author, gets apology after being wrongfully detained at LA airport

From:

Lynda Robb <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Advisory Board of the LOC Literacy Awards <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 1 Mar 2017 00:43:19 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (133 lines)

As I told you, I tried to spread the news about Mem. Today there was a positive piece in the Washington Post about Mem. I think everyone was disgusted with what had happened to her.
Lynda

On 2/24/17, 9:03 PM, "Advisory Board of the LOC Literacy Awards on behalf of Loriene Roy" <[log in to unmask] on behalf of [log in to unmask]> wrote:

    Note: she was on her way to a literacy conference in Milwaukee ...
    
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-25/mem-fox-detained-at-los-angeles-airport-by-us-officials/8303366
    Mem Fox, Australian author, gets apology after being wrongfully detained 
    at LA airport
    
    
    Australian author Mem Fox has received a written apology from the United 
    States after what she said was a traumatic detention by immigration 
    officials at Los Angeles Airport.
    
    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.
    
    "My heart was pounding so hard as I was waiting to be interviewed, because 
    I was observing what was happening to everybody else in the room," she 
    said.
    
    "They accused me of coming in on the wrong visa and they were totally 
    wrong about that.
    
    "The person who interviewed me was heavy with weaponry, was totally 
    dressed in black with the word 'police' in hand-sized letters across his 
    chest."
    Author complained and got 'charming' response
    
    The author lodged a complaint with the Australian embassy in Washington, 
    and later one with the United States embassy in Canberra to which she 
    received an emailed letter of apology.
    
    "I said any decent American would have been shocked to the core by what 
    had happened, it was so dreadful," she said.
    
    "And I had an absolutely charming letter from them within hours of my 
    email hitting their desk," Fox said.
    
    The author said she was unlikely to visit the United States again despite 
    the friendliness of ordinary Americans.
    
    "At the moment I'm in so much shock about it, I can't imagine going back 
    to the states," she said.
    "I'd hate not to go back to the states because it's been so good to me and 
    Americans in general are not [like] the border police at LA airport."
    
    She said the treatment of others in the airport holding room, including 
    Iranians, Taiwanese and a Scandinavian parent with a small child, was just 
    as poor, and all appeared to eventually have been released.
    
    "I thought: 'How can human beings treat other vulnerable human beings in 
    this fashion, in public, in full view of everybody?'
    
    Embassy officials have a policy of not discussing individual cases due to 
    privacy requirements.
    
    Fox worried about Australian attitudes
    
    Fox also said she feared Australia was heading down the same unwelcoming 
    pathway as the US appeared to be.
    
    "I'm very frightened that Australia will go the same way as America, with 
    extremists in power, racist hatred, ghastly speech against decent people," 
    she said.
    "I have written a new book which is about, ironically, welcoming strangers 
    to a strange land  Australia  and I wrote it because I perceived that 
    Australia was losing its gorgeous warmth of character in our attitude to 
    newcomers.
    
    "The irony is that this happened to me at about the same time as I was 
    about to publish this 'welcome to Australia' book."
    
    
    
    
    On Fri, 24 Feb 2017, Loriene Roy wrote:
    
    >
    > Sharing as this may impact international guests.
    > Loriene
    >
    >
    >
    > http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/accused-of-having-an-incorrect-visa-mem-fox-detained-by-immigration-officials-at-la-airport/news-story/aa712d3867d1509c52c3608798e19db5
    >
    >
    >
    >
    
    -- 
    ***************************************************************************************************
    Professor, School of Information, The University of Texas at Austin
    1616 Guadalupe St., Suite #5.202, Austin, TX 78701-1213
    Campus Code: D8600
    
    Phone: (512) 471-3959; Fax: (512) 471-8285; E-mail: [log in to unmask]
    Website: http://www.ischool.utexas.edu/~loriene/index.html
    
    Faculty Affiliate:
     	UT-Austin, Center for Women's and Gender Studies
     	UT-Austin, College of Education, Department of Curriculum & Instruction
    Advisory Board Member, Library of Congress Literacy Awards (http://www.read.gov/literacyawards/)
    Committee of Advisors Member, Libraries Without Borders (https://www.librarieswithoutborders.org/)
    

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