Hello Prof. Miller –
The unnecessary death of Mrs. Gotbaum is tragic. But it underscores the crude procedures that are in place with Homeland Security. Hopefully this awful incident will prompt some corrections. The fact that Mrs. Gotbaum is white, middle-class and comes from a family with political connections will help.
There was a similar situation noted on Fresh Air last week. Terry Gross had an author interview with Edwidge Danticat — but the part that really caught my attention was how her 81-year-old father had died at the hands of Homeland Security because they refused to give him his daily prescription medicine. He was detained on a discretionary basis over a relatively minor issue about his US passport while he was re-entering the US.
My simple business trip from Oakland to Las Vegas on a Friday 8AM flight in August pointed up how out of control the airport situation has become. There were literally blocks-long lines and processing delays that took over an hour. There was no information to indicate any reason for the slow up. This entire Homeland Security reorganization was thrown together in a haphazard fashion by the Bush administration. Police, even when properly trained, are a scary group to be entrusted with “life and death” and “shoot to kill” decisions.
EDWIDGE DANTICAT, DEALING WITH BIRTH AND DEATH – HAITIAN-BORN WRITER EDWIDGE DANTICAT’S MEMOIR BROTHER, I’M DYING DETAILS THE COMPLICATED EMOTIONS SURROUNDING THE DEATHS OF HER FATHER AND UNCLE – AND THE BIRTH OF HER DAUGHTER – ALL IN THE SAME YEAR.