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Why bloggers don't want to be journalists: the dreaded I-Visa

This could be a reasonable explanation. The I-Visa is no joke. See:

Previous Politech message:


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [Politech] Don't say "blogger" to U.S. Immigration -- or 
else [fs]
Date: Sat, 19 Mar 2005 00:58:47 +0200
From: Ivo Vegter <ivo@hivemind.net>
To: Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
References: <423AD8AA.4010808@well.com>

Declan McCullagh wrote:

> 17 March 2005
> Don't say 'blogger' to US Immigration
> This sounds like an unbelievable story, but it happened to Canadian
> blogger Jeremy Wright last week.
> As already reported on quite a few blogs, Jeremy was detained and
> interrogated by US Immigration when he arrived in New York last week
> for a meeting with McGraw-Hill to discuss a great business opportunity
> for Jeremy in the area of blogging.
> It appears that the immigration people simply did not believe that
> Jeremy could make a living as a blogger. And they gave him the third
> degree - including an humiliating strip search - as a result for some
> hours. And banned him from entering the US.

Heya Declan

This is not at all strange. Did he have an i-visa?

Ever since I first traveled to the US, I was warned not to identify
myself as a journalist. Technical writer? Sure. PR? No problem. Anything
would do, but journalist. This goes for the visa waiver programme too,
which doesn't apply to foreign journalists.

I've always called myself a "writer" and never had a problem. I know a
few people who were interrogated at length (though I don't know of
anyone who has undergone a strip search) after identifying themselves as
journalists or "media".

And in my case, this was well known in 1995. It's nothing new.

Now, does a foreign blogger want to be considered a journalist? If so,
get an i-visa. Otherwise, make something up.

Ivo Vegter | Freelance ICT Journalist
+27-84-210-2003 | ivo@hivemind.net

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [Politech] Don't say "blogger" to U.S. Immigration -- or 
else [fs]
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2005 11:08:22 -0500
From: Neil Schwartzman <petemoss.secondary@gmail.com>
Reply-To: neil@petemoss.com
To: Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
CC: William Knowles <wk@c4i.org>
References: <423AD8AA.4010808@well.com>

I've a question: Why was he picked up in New York? Normally we
Canadians cross the border prior to boarding a plane to fly to the
U.S. At least, from Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [Politech] Don't say "blogger" to U.S. Immigration -- or 
else [fs]
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2005 09:56:51 -0500
From: <dmacko@adelphia.net>
To: Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
References: <423AD8AA.4010808@well.com>

Why didn't he just say (correctly, with as little information
as possible) that he was a writer? As government bureaucrats
with probable IQs of 80 or  lower, they have probably never touched
a book other than fedgov regulations and wouldn't
know anyway. Wright must have thought
that we still have a Bill of Rights. Do you think that this incident
was purely an example of stupidity or could it be an indication
of the fedgov's intention toward writers on computers (notice
my terminology) in general?

For life and liberty,
Dave Macko
Former Chairman,
Libertarian Party of Northeast Ohio

Posted by Declan McCullagh on Mar 22, 2005 in category free-speech

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