Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Homeland security hits the bottom. Literally.

From a letter in Lancet (text here), via Boing Boing:

A man who had a seton in his anus arrived in New York in August 2006 on vacation. Immigration officials were very suspicious of the seton and decided that the passenger wouldn't be allowed into the country unless he consents to its removal, which he did.

Inquiring minds want to know:

1. Why did the immigration officials decide to check his ass? Anal checkups are not a part of the normal admission procedure to the Land of the Free. Not yet, anyway. Usually they just look at your passport, ask you a lot of questions if you are a foreigner, and occasionally open your suitcase. They do not, AFAIK, randomly ask people to show their anuses.

2. What would have happened if he decided to go back home rather than submit to the removal, and the airport security personnel did not allow him on the plane back home with it? Do immigration, customs and airport security coordinate this kind of a thing somehow?

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