Visa Waiver Programme

I’m off to Boston & NYC this September for a week with my wife and while buying the flight tickets online I noticed the usual list of elements would disqualify you from receiving the visa.

Included in there was…

Have ever been involved in espionage or sabotage, terrorist activities, genocide or been involved in anyway with Nazi Germany or its allies between 1933 and 1945.
Nazi Germany? 1933 to 1945?

Isn’t this getting a little dated now? Are there really that many people left alive that were “involved in anyway with Nazi Germany” ? Granted, there probably are some 80 year-olds out there that may have been involved but are there people still flying to the USA and are they (were they ever?) a risk?

Yeah, that green form is bollox. Doesn’t a phrase like ‘have you been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude’ appear on it somewhere?

Out state has a checkbox of “Bad Groups” on one employment form. The usual, Communist Party, etc. (But no KKK of course.)

One (with it’s own box mind you) is the SLA. Small group, long broken up, all members identified anyway. Is this really a concern to someone? I guess it bars Patty Hearst from a fabulously highpaying state job.

I imagine a lot of old soldiers qualify. On the Allied side. After all, they were involved in conquering Nazi Germany, weren’t they?

I suppose it’s like the old tale of the aged American who is stopped at French immigration when he’s having trouble finding his passport. The official upbraids him and says that as he’s been to France before, he should have remembered to have it with him. The rely is scathing: “Yes, but they didn’t ask for my passport on the beach at Normandy.”

Officials are officials no matter the country.

You were expecting logic, competence, relevance, fairness, and/or consistency from the U.S. immigration authorities, their documents, or their procedures?

If so, that’s so…sweet.

Seriously, you have just scratched the surface of a mountain of idiocy. Soon, things like this will fail to surprise you.

I’ve always been tempted to tick that Nazi box but doing it for the laugh probably isn’t a good enough reason to waste peoples’ time and potentially get barred from the USA.

My own moment of temptation involved another question on the same form.

‘Excuse me Mr serious looking immigration official, exactly how many people does it have to be to qualify as ‘genocide’ for this question here? Oh, no reason at all, thank you.’

I always laugh about that Nazi thing when it comes time to renew the wife’s visa for the US. But ya know, then I stop to think. If the Third World has taught me anything, it’s never to forget. So I’m kinda glad they’re still on the ball for that.

But then I wonder just what sort of Nazi Party member would answer yes to that box in 2007.

I wonder what sort of politician or Government official is going to say to himself “I want to go down in history as the chap who thought it was OK to let in all those elderly Nazis”

Now I want to change my answer: “Yes, in a previous life I was Hitler.”

Probably a good thing all my immigration paperwork has already been submitted.

What about the question on whether you have a communicable disease? Well, yes, my cold is communicable …