“Do you seek to engage in or have you ever engaged in terrorist activities, espionage, sabotage, or genocide?”
That is one of the incredibly silly questions the American government requires British visitors to the Land of the Free to answer before they are allowed to enter the US. The American embassy in London must have been frightfully excited when it received a form from a chap who wanted to have a holiday in America which had a tick by “Yes” to that question. The officials weren’t put off by seeing the date of birth of the applicant (he was three months old). They took it very seriously.
The form had been filled in by the baby’s grandfather who was organising a holiday for his family in a place called Florida. He’d got the answers right for everyone else, but when it came to his youngest relative he inadvertently ticked the wrong box. As a result, the baby was refused a visa.
All, however, was not lost. The embassy was prepared to reconsider its decision, but only if the chap (whose date of birth was in 2017) who had said he was intent on terrorism, genocide etc. came from Cheshire to London to be interrogated.
The baby and his parents made the journey. The parents assumed that as soon as the officials saw the baby (they had probably not realised that someone born in 2017 was a baby – maths may well not be thought to be important) they would spot their mistake. Oh no. It seems the embassy officials were entirely humourless about the whole thing. They were deeply offended that anyone might think it eccentric to be frightened of a three month old baby.
Eventually, one must be fair to these awful people, the American border officials gave in. Reluctantly, they accepted that the baby was not a terrorist threat. They said he could go to America. Unfortunately for the grandfather who was paying for the holiday, the decision came too late for the baby to travel with the main party. He and his parents had to take a later flight, at an additional cost of £3,000.
Still, the people of America must be very proud that their safety is taken so seriously.
Two points I suppose have to be made. First, the dotty question on the form has nothing to do with Mr Trump. It was a product of Obama’s presidency. Secondly, (I have to say this because many of my readers would assume otherwise) the baby and the whole family are white and wholly English.
Why on earth does any sane person want to risk coming up against the US Customs and Border Protection?
Terrorist in the arms of his grandfather outside the American Embassy