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.”