Rachel Nabors


Every time I’ve visited the United States, every single time, I’ve been taken aside into a holding cell and just left there [and for that reason alone I have to budget in at least 4 hours for my connecting flight]. According the border control officer, it is because “my name is too common.” I kid you not.

[Side note: I’ve never entered the US via Portland direct, but when I was working in Portland I never had any issues with the TSA or border patrol. I think the Portland Port of Authority is just nicer in general.]

I do not belong to a privileged country like yourself. I am not American. Or British. Or German, Canadian, French. I am from that shady part of the spectrum of countries that you refer to as “Them.” So you can consider how shocked I was that this happened to you.

Unlike you however, I have no other option but to just laugh at my treatment. There’s no help and no one who will help me when I’m detained at the US border, because that’s just the rules. Apparently. So I’ve made my peace with it. What else can I do?

I can bet that Saint Augustine would have come up with vastly different quote instead of “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page,” if he’d had a border control officer roll his fingers on the scanner to verify them.

This is just utterly, miserably and truly sad.

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