‘Like being in Guantanamo’: 70-year-old Australian author interrogated and held by border agents
A 70-year-old children’s book author claims she was held for over two hours and insulted as she attempted to visit the U.S. from Australia earlier this month.
According to The Guardian, author Mem Fox says she has visited the U.S. over 100 times before but has never received the treatment she was subjected to when she flew into Los Angeles International Airport en route to a conference in Milwaukee.
“I have never in my life been spoken to with such insolence, treated with such disdain, with so many insults and with so much gratuitous impoliteness,” Fox explained, saying she was held in a room and questioned before a group of people at the airport.
“I am old and white, innocent and educated, and I speak English fluently,” Fox told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “Imagine what happened to the others in the room, including an old Iranian woman in her 80s, in a wheelchair.”
“The way I was treated would have made any decent American shocked to the core, because that’s not America as a whole, it really isn’t. It’s just that people have been given permission to let rip in a fashion that is alarming,” the author of the popular children’s books continued.
Fox added that she felt like she was a “prisoner at Guantanamo Bay,” and after her release she was “sobbing like a baby.”
After her release, Fox issued a complaint through both the Australian embassy in Washington and with the US embassy in Canberra, saying she then received a “charming letter of apology from U.S. officials.
The author is the creator of Possum Magic, a book that has sold over 3 million copies — making it the most poplar book picture in Australian history.