Every time you enter America as a non-immigrant you have to make a series of declarations about your background and your physical and mental well-being so the state feel assured that you are an asset to them and not a mad man of some sort.
Now some of these questions make sense such as whether or not you have TB, or a mental or physical disorder that might endanger others (I presume that if you do then you’re not likely to be allowed in. Sure, in some cases you might be able to disguise the condition but I suppose if you’re, say, Wolverine then you’d probably be busted once you accidentally claw the lippy immigration officer to death.).
But some of the questions they ask are just downright weird.
Have you, while serving as a government official, been responsible for or directly carried out, at any time, particularly severe violations of religious freedom?
So we will tolerate mild, moderate or even severe violations of religious freedom. But if they were particularly severe then we, as Americans, would take quite a dim view of that.
Have you attended a public elementary school on student (F) status or a public secondary school after November 30, 1996 without reimbursing the school?
What? Isn’t that a bit specific? No interest in whether or not I owe 50k on my Amex card or have failed to pay a mobile phone bill for a year. No, we want to know if you reneged on paying school fees after that well-known ‘School Fee Amnesty’ of November 30th, 1996. And does this include library dues? Because I’m pretty sure I owe about £2.50 in late fees for an economics audio book read by Chris Farley?
Do you belong to a clan or a tribe?
Yes, I do. I live in a jungle, have no shoes, kill fish with spears, and can afford a transatlantic return flight to the United States.
Are you coming to the United States to engage in prostitution or unlawful commercialized vice or have you been engaged in prostitution or procuring prostitutes within the past 10 years?
I assume they are asking me whether or not I am a pimp or a prostitute – not whether I’ve spent fifty quid in De Wallen when trying to impress the lads on a stag weekend? If that was the case then none of us would get in.
And if you did have nefarious plans up your sleeve you’d be a weak link in your terrorist cell if you answered “yes” to questions like “Do you seek to engage in terrorist activities” or “do you intend to provide financial support to terrorists”.