Column: Guidelines for travelers entering America

A U.S. Appeals Court has ruled that airport officials do not need "reasonable suspicion" to downloadSecurity
data from a traveler’s laptop or personal electronic storage device and keep it indefinitely. Coincidentally, the Department of Homeland Security has issued new guidelines for people entering America by air:

1. By entering the United States, you give us the unqualified legal right to search all your belongings. This includes all items you are bringing to the United States, as well as items you have left behind. Be prepared to provide your home address, a set of keys and a copy of directions from Google maps.

2. By entering the United States, you give us the unqualified legal right to search your body and your clothing, together or apart.

You may be asked to remove any head covering, including but not limited to: (a) skullcaps; (b) turbans; and (c) toupees.

You may be asked to remove any body covering, including but not limited to: (a) shirts; (b) dresses; and (c) plaster casts.

You may be asked to remove items attached to your head or body, including but not limited to: (a) false teeth; (b) nose rings; and (c) cell phones.

3. By entering the United States, you give us the unqualified legal right to use various means to detect explosives, drugs or other illegal substances that you may be carrying or have recently consumed.

You may be subject to an X-ray of various body parts, including but not limited to: (a) your stomach; (b) your brain; and (c) your implants.

You may be subject to a thorough and intense dog sniffing. The sniffing may be directed toward but is not limited to: (a) your luggage; (b) your hand baggage; (c) your backside.

If you are afraid of dogs, you have the option of being sniffed by a lion.

You may also be asked to provide samples of fluids for testing, including but not limited to: (a) saliva; (b) urine; and (c) sweat. (The sweat will be collected during the interrogation.)

4. By entering the United States, you give us the unqualified legal right to collect various data from you.

You may be subject to a collection of identification data from your
body, including but not limited to: (a) your fingerprints; (b) a DNA
sample; and (c) one of your kidneys.

You may be subject to a series of photographs, including but not limited to: (a) a "getting off the plane" shot; (b) an "entering the terminal" shot; and (c) a "using the restroom" shot.

You may be subject to a series of questions while hooked to a polygraph, including but not limited to: (a) "Did anyone pack
your bags for you?" (b) "Have you ever been part of an organization
that supports terrorism?" (c) "Do you agree with the statements of
Barack Obama’s former pastor?"

You may be asked to hand over your laptop computer, cell phone or other
electronic storage device so that we may download information for our
database, including but not limited to: (a) addresses and phone numbers
of your contacts; (b) names of people you have poked on Facebook; and
(c) jokes about President Bush you have forwarded.

5. By entering the United States, you give us the unqualified legal
right to implant a Global Positioning System (GPS) inside you. As
requested by the American Civil Liberties Union, the GPS system will
automatically disintegrate and be absorbed by your body within 100
years.

Please note that you will be allowed to enter the United States only
if you are deemed to be a low-risk threat and only if, by the time all
the security procedures are taken, your visa has not expired.

Photo by Crashworks

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

Comments

  1. Jethro Knoblauch says:

    As to the guidelines for entering America, the United States is too lenient a country, wouldn’t you agree?

  2. Hilarious!!

  3. Egyptian guy says:

    Died laughing reading this. Thanks, Melvin.

  4. What a joke on security ! Well written, makes humorous reading. Why not take it a little further and create a video presentation ?

  5. KundiKarruppan says:

    Orey comedy pannareenge dorai!

  6. You may also be asked to provide samples of fluids for testing, including but not limited to: (a) saliva; (b) urine; and (c) sweat. (The sweat will be collected during the interrogation.)

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