America The Unfriendly

A reader writes:

Yes yes yes. I haven’t been to NYC for almost 20 years and would love to go again, but after our recent horrendous experiences flying via to Mexico via Houston my wife has vowed not to travel to or through the US until there are signs of things changing. That’s $600 at least of tourists’ money lost to the US economy for a start.

Another writes:

My partner and I got a taste of this flying back to the US from Johannesburg, South African to JFK. During the 1 hour refueling break in Dakar, everyone had to take all belongs out of the overheads and hold them in our lap while the plane was inspected ("In order to prepare to enter US Airspace").. as if passengers spent the last 8 hours of the trip assembling bombs and putting them in the overheads for safe keeping.

Then upon arrival, my partner and I went up to passport control (The US citizen line) and were yelled at as we were not family so we were not to come up together (not an issue in the 3 countries visited on our trip..nor any other country we have visited and we have traveled extensively around the world). I know this does not compare with non-residents but we both felt anything but a nice welcome back to our own country.

Gay couples can expect abuse from US immigration authorities if they start acting as if they are a family in any way. In the end this takes a toll.