THE TRAVAILS OF ‘JUST PASSING THROUGH’
And here I was thinking that shutting down three NYC-area airports for a day on account of a few inches of snow was a bad thing. I suggest you read the entire article, and feel free to wince as you imagine the chickenshit apologists blathering on about how ‘9/11 changed everything.’
At first scan it was standing room only, but I eventually found a seat in what can only be described as a holding pen — cobalt blue vinyl seating, dirty carpets, an array of surveillance cameras and the smell of nervous sweat. Despite the 100-plus people crammed into the space (not including staff), it was remarkably quiet. It took only a few minutes to figure out why.
Following the arrival of a family from Colombia, a burly officer emerged from a side room and boomed: “For your safety and ours, could everyone please sit down to avoid injury. We will process U.S. citizens and U.S. residents first, all others will be processed afterwards. You are not allowed to use mobile phones. I repeat, do not use mobile phones.”
The room fell silent. The gentleman next to me, a D.J. of Pakistani origin on a U.K. passport, complained that this happened to him all the time.
“They try to wear you down. Last time it took four hours,” he said. “They just don’t want me to come back.”