A Filipino woman who has previously worked for the Asian Development Bank and who has traveled to the U.S. 13 times in the past was allegedly detained and harassed for 6 hours without access to food or water by Immigration officials at a Seattle airport. As ABS-CBNnews.com reports:
Held for 6 hours without food, water
Her nightmare began when the immigration officer told her to go to a room where people were being held for more questioning.
Grande said she was confined in the small room for 6 hours.
“Questions about the purpose of my visit to the US were asked repeatedly by Officer Keavid Mam (in a very arrogant manner). He then asked if I have relatives in the US, which I answered in the affirmative. I was asked to give names and corresponding contact numbers. I gave the details of my daughter Steph and my grandson Josh, 21 years old. I was asked for more names, so I gave the name and number of my Aunt Nerissa, who is nearly 90 years old and the sister of my late Mother. More names and numbers could have been provided to them had they allowed me to call my daughter Steph but I was not allowed to make phone calls. They took my cellphone. Every time they placed a call to my aunt, my grandson Joshua and daughter Steph, they shut the door so I would not hear their conversations with my relatives,” she said.
The immigration officer then returned to the room and accused Grande of being a liar. He claimed that he talked to her aunt, who allegedly told him that Grande will take care of her as a caregiver.
She said the immigration officer’s allegations are not true because her aunt didn’t even know she was arriving in the US.
“While Officer Mam kept on repeating his questions about why I was in the US, a fellow officer by the name of Chang, joined and shouted, calling me a liar. He even searched my purse where I had wedding cards (with money) for my daughter and future son-in-law, and a birthday card for Joshua (also with money) and other stuff. He scattered all the items in my purse on the table, asking why they should believe me, when my aunt, according to him, seems to be the honest one,” Grande said.
Her daughter’s fiancé supported her statements, adding:
“She was cruelly interrogated for 6 hours after a 15-hour flight and held without food and water. Derogatory racial slang was hurled her way and she was shown and threatened with a jail cell. Her belongings were carelessly rifled through, wedding cards and gifts from relatives for the couple plainly visible throughout this process,”
“She was repeatedly called a liar and laughed at by individuals who seemed to believe that they have an exclusive license on the truth and that tormenting an elderly woman, exhausted from a long flight, was all in a day’s good sport,” he said.
He said the officers even mocked her daughter on the phone, saying “Well hello, your mother is being deported.” and added:
“After piously stating their righteousness, the official ended the conversation with yet another smirk and additional smarmy commentary,”
Her relatives still have not been given the officers’ names so they may file a formal complaint, and her daughter is heartbroken because her mother will not be there for her special day.
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