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Close Encounters With U.S. Immigration

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So as to protect citizens its citizens, every country has different travel security systems. Due to the September 11 terrorist attack in 2001, the United States (U.S.) added some safety measures; one of which is the checking of travelers’ luggage to ensure the absence of, for instance, bombs or chemical weapons from their belongings. In “Close Encounters with United States Immigration,” Adnan R. Khan described the U.S. border officials’ checking of people coming in the United States.

The author observed that the U.S. border officials have strongly suspects people with brown skin; primarily because these officials believe that brown-skinned people would act negatively in the United States. He even described how a United States border official did the checking of his personal things – and even recorded their conversation. As Khan narrated: “They dissected my defenseless little Honda and its contents with a zeal that seemed utterly over the top” (par. 5). In addition, inspectors from the Customs are tasked to check the travelers’ baggage before boarding the plane.

The high level of security as depicted by the intense inspections being done by the United States border officials to travelers, in my opinion, is necessary. Otherwise, the death of both common and influential people or the destruction of state properties might occur. After all, the United States border officials can never be sure of people’s purpose for entering their country.

     Discrimination is evident in Khan’s essay as “[a] few other visible minorities came in and [were allowed to leave] within an hour[; as] for Muslims, it would not be so simple.” (par.3).

Canadian citizens, for example, are made to wait for just an hour before they are allowed to enter the United States; while the Muslims are made to wait for four hours only to be rejected of entry to the country – a clear proof to the alleged racial discrimination being done by the United States border officials to the Muslims. Clearly, having a heightened level of scrutiny works well in preventing another tragedy like the one occurred in September 11 2001; unfortunately, though unintended, discrimination happens in the process.

     The strict compliance of the U.S. border officials is necessary for the prevention of, as said earlier, what has happened roughly nine years ago from reoccurring. Indeed, having a good security system through adequate inspection provides people in the United States the feeling of safety from harm caused by travelers’ bringing in of destructive goods. Travelers, though, might feel that their personal spaces are being invaded with the checking of their personal stuff.

     The United States exerts effort in protecting the American citizens and the state in general from harm as caused by, let’s say, terrorist attacks – and the purpose of the intense inspection of travelers’ belongings discussed above seems well met. The refusal of entry to the United States, then, of some travelers is reasonable and understandable.

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