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.
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 ...
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
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
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
"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
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
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,"
"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
"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.
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]
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/)