The Arresting News About Customs

The latest news about the Virgin Atlantic flight stranded on the ground at Bradley International is that the pilot requested permission to off load the plane and Customs officials threatened to arrest any/all persons if that happened.  
I’ve been writing a little about boundaries and barriers, and it seems to me that the issue of hospitality is a part of that.  Friend Tom commented that the ancient Greeks considered hospitality the most sacred of duties.  Jesus was the very definition of hospitality in life.  Benedictines are instructed to welcome every visitor as if they might be the Christ.  We have a statue sitting out in a bay with a plaque that reads in part, “… Mighty woman with a torch, whose flame is the imprisoned lightning, and her name, Mother of Exiles.  From her beacon-hand glows world-wide welcome…” 
I realize that we have laws about immigration and customs enforcement, but I ask you, in what way does “get off that plane and we’ll arrest you” help secure borders or display hospitality?  When can the so called barrier of our borders become a boundary of hospitality without jeopardizing security, real or imagined?  What kind of stupid is this?
By the way, I thought I might pop a note to the nice people at ICE saying much the same thing but note that they have a very corporate website.  Try to find an e-mail address on it, or a phone number for anything other than reporting suspicious persons without having to dig, and dig, and dig.  Not to worry.  I figure some Internet sifting software with pick this up and forward it as “potentially of interest.”

3 thoughts on “The Arresting News About Customs”

  1. What kind of stupid?It is the same stupid that has happened throughout history, the one that lets us view the rest of creation in dollar signs and profit margins. It is the same stupid that lets us seek preservation of the self over and above the cooperation of the whole to the betterment of all. It is the same stupid I always believed we were called to rise above by the Gospel, but I guess I was wrong, which I guess, in this democracy makes me the stupid one, the fool, a title I will gladly wear, I think I would rather the cap of the fool over the mortar board and honors of the practical capitalist.

  2. Your ongoing difficulty in reaching a responsible/responsive person in the corporate structures recalls the funniest episode on the old Bill Cosby Show where he is trying to reach a real person at \”customer service\” instead of just a set of numbers to punch. When he finally found a corporate address and went there, he found only an empty room with telephones hooked to answering machines and computers, but no human being there at all! A Kafka experience that is a nightmare metaphor for our life in dealing with any agency today! There's no one there! Dr B

  3. I especially appreciated the irony of your quotation from the poem by Emma Lazarus written on the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor.\”Send me your tired, your poor, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore…\”That poem probably matched the generous mood of America in the 1880s but not the frightened and paranoid mood of the post-9/11 America today. It is sad. Dr B

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