Beloved Australian author, Mem Fox, says she may never return to the US after she was detained by immigration officials while trying to enter the country at the Los Angeles International Airport. Fox, who is Australians version of JK Rowling, said never in her life had she been treated with “such disdain.”
“I felt like I had been physically assaulted which is why, when I got to my hotel room, I completely collapsed and sobbed like a baby. And I’m 70 years old,” she told ABC.
Fox has traveled to the US more than 100 times without incident, but the recent event opened her eyes to the treatment of refugees entering the country under Trump’s regime.
According to the ABC report, Fox said the treatment of others trying to enter which included Iranians, Taiwanese and a Scandinavian parent with a small child, was just as poor, and all appeared to eventually have been released.
“I thought: ‘How can human beings treat other vulnerable human beings in this fashion, in public, in full view of everybody?’,” she noted.
Officials have since apologized to Fox because they see her detainment as an accidental consequence of the ban which is realistically only supposed to target Muslims. The apology, which only came after Fox filed a complaint with the Australian embassy, fell on deaf ears. Fox has said since her ordeal she doesn’t see herself returning to the US again.
Fox joins the Oscar-nominated Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, who has been denied entry into the US, and even US citizen Muhammad Ali Jr., son of the famed boxer and civil rights activist, who was detained and questioned by immigration at a Florida airport.
These events should not be looked at as unintended consequences of Trump’s travel ban. These results, these blatant acts of discrimination are the core principles of Trump’s executive order. They are showing just what kind of regime the president intends to run and the results are showing that good, decent people, those simply seeking to escape the brutality of totalitarian regimes, or those just coming here for business, are going to suffer the cost of Trump’s outright anti-Muslim bigotry.
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Dan Arel is a bestselling author of The Secular Activist; and Parenting Without God. He is an award-winning journalist and host of the Danthropology Podcast.