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"Yes, if you are not white. This is the new reality in 2017. Sorry."

I was downvoted and told it's political but I fail to see how the truth is political. A Canadian citizen who regularly visits the USA was turned back http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/canadian-denied-entry-us-immigrant-visa-1.4011202 without giving any reason. There's zero doubt this is because she is brown.

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    This is actually a good question for Skeptics - are non-white people being profiled at the US border? – JonathanReez Supports Monica Mar 9 '17 at 14:20
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    Do you really mean every question about problems at the US border should be answered "Yes, if you are not white?" – Tim Lymington supports Monica Mar 9 '17 at 17:08
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    Yes, that is what I am getting to. – chx Mar 9 '17 at 17:11
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    @JonathanReez it is not. I tried, it was closed. skeptics.stackexchange.com/q/37548/821 – chx Mar 9 '17 at 23:06
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    You didn't formulate it well. Find a reputable source and quote that - shouldn't be too hard. – JonathanReez Supports Monica Mar 9 '17 at 23:29
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    I agree with @JonathanReez - your topic is worthy, but your question needs a notable sourced claim. Find some person who has written (or said on camera) that there's a difference in refusal rates. You give articles, but unless I misread, they don't say anything about refusal rates. They just talk about individual anecdotes, and those don't tell us anything. And some of the anecdotes are about people being screened, not refused entry. – CPerkins Mar 10 '17 at 15:55
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You wrote...

If she is not white, the flimsiest pretext could be used to be turned back from the border.

I am the one who told you in chat that your answer betrayed a political sentiment, so it falls to me to own at least part of this topic.

The answer slots on TSE are free-form text fields and aside from any generic blocks against offensive words or excessive links you can write any answer you want. Answers are subject to a quasi Darwinian process wherein their merit is judged by votes, those answers having merit are voted up.

But the TSE waters run deeper than that. I went on to write...

Answers should not betray the person's political sentiment one way or another. Doing so is evocative beyond the scope of what's appropriate and invites community opprobrium.

It means you may endure consequences on how the community views your online 'persona' and this can ultimately reflect on your credibility in answers unrelated to what happens at a USA border point.

Or in more specific terms, if you are given to rants community members may opt to skip past your contributions and give more attention to answers provided by others.

More importantly, TSE is a front-facing web site. We get lots of drive-by visitors who expect to see an objective treatment of the subject areas. When this is compromised, the site undoubtedly suffers.

I have been on the site for a long time and have yet to see the occasion where a surviving question requires emotive sentiment or broad generalisations of the sort you have authored. I have answered hundreds of questions on the subject of borders and none of them reveal whether I voted for Trump (or Cameron or Putin) or not.

TL;DR You're out-of-line!

On to your questions...

"Yes, if you are not white. This is the new reality in 2017. Sorry."

Wrong. It's a disproportionately broad generalisation. But you can give those types of answers and the community will react on individual cases. Persistence will lead to a shared view of your online persona which may be unpalatable for you.

There's zero doubt this is because she is brown.

Wrong. Even if verified by the official authorising the bounce, it's still a broad generalisation with no underlying substance.

Finally, community opprobrium can be a bitch. Try to find a more suitable outlet for this type of activity, other sites or whatever. Doing so may require you spend less time in TSE and this would be a shame.

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    Beautifully written. Let's avoid political rants on Travel.SE, it's not what this website is for. – JonathanReez Supports Monica Mar 9 '17 at 13:08
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    You are right. Any political based questions, instead of closing, should be migrated to politics SE – i-- Mar 9 '17 at 16:54
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If it's relevant and answers an on-topic travel question, there's always a way to phrase it without getting political by simply focusing on the facts.

So in the hypothetical question and answer, this:

Yes, if you are not white. This is the new reality in 2017. Sorry. A Canadian citizen who regularly visits the USA was turned back and there's zero doubt this is because she is brown

...has an obvious political slant and will spark a big ugly off-topic political comment war. Not good.

It does however contain potentially relevant facts - so, focus on them. For example:

There have been cases in 2017 of people who regularly visit the US or who would not normally expect problems at the border being turned back without any clear justifiable reason.

There aren't any hard figures yet on how common this is, only anecdotal examples, but the details of many of the individual cases suggest it's possible there's a political or discriminatory angle to these decisions. For example:

  • [That Canadian frequent visitor]
  • [That British school teacher]
  • [Some more examples]

Same base in facts, communicates the travel-related information, but acknowledges the uncertainty and isn't overtly political.

It would probably still get a few comments questioning the conclusion, for example by possibly offering counterexamples of similar cases from before the recent election (e.g. I remember a case of a British Asian student on a scholarship turned away in the 00s, I think he had a similar name to someone on a watchlist but had done nothing wrong himself).

Comments querying the facts behind an answer are fine and normal, and might even help you improve the answer. If the counterexamples are good, for example, you might add a caveat like:

There have always been a small number of controversial or unexplained cases like this, for example in [2005] and [2011], but the number of controversial cases being reported appears to be much higher. Many people of all ethnicities and faiths do still visit the US with no problems [maybe link to an example "I was worried but it was fine for me" tweet or something], but it's possible the risk is higher now.

Maybe some people might try to start a big political debate, but then it's them at fault and those comments can just be flagged and deleted.

  • Anecdotal examples are meaningless. During a period where I was travelling (too much), I was flagged for random screening three trips in a row. Didn't mean anything, just that my number came up. – CPerkins Mar 10 '17 at 15:57
  • Random screening isn't the same as being turned away at the border... Screening is trivial, being turned away at the border on an important trip is potentially life changing. Also your evidence to support "Anecdotal examples are meaningless" is itself an anecdotal example... – user56reinstatemonica8 Mar 10 '17 at 16:09
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    At least one of the linked articles talks about random screenings. And my example was meant to illustrate, not to support. That anecdotes by themselves are meaningless needs no support. – CPerkins Mar 10 '17 at 16:22
  • @CPerkins It is incorrect that "anecdotes" are meaningless. Let's imagine the same thing happens over and over again. One million times, one billion times. When does it start to get meaning ? If the answer would be really 0 for few observations, it never can get meaningful. Simple answer: It always has some meaning, the thing is that a few data point have a high margin of error and it must be tested if simple probability could explain the observation. – Thorsten S. Mar 21 '17 at 21:45
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YAA: Yet another answer...

In the UK we have a ministerial statement authorising discrimination for some nationalities (note it is about nationalities, not race or religion). As a ministerial statement, it has the full effect of the British constitution behind it.

Consistent with nearly everything in the UK that involves migration, there is the policy side and the advocacy side (I am a member of the advocacy side). The advocacy side does not like the fact that discrimination has been authorised and makes excoriating representations to that effect. The policy side likes it because it appears to serve the best interests of the British public and they have Ipsos Mori data to back them up. So it's a Mexican standoff.

The point being that yes a civilised country can have systematic discrimination, but what people write about it here in TSE needs to have a link to the national policy. In the UK we can simply point to Hansard and say 'there it is dude'. In the US there is a somewhat vague policy for nationals of seven countries. So if you provide the NATIONAL document (and not some lame link to HuffPost), and then somehow link it to blacks who arrive from Canada, you'll be fine.

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I would like to offer another viewpoint.

user568458 had explained very nicely that it is possible to put an irksome statement into an objective evaluation of what is going on. So his answer is the "technical" solution for confrontational facts.

But I think the problem is that chx has the impression (just the impression, I do not say that it is really so) that something runs right out of the rudder in the USA and everyone tries to ignore the elephant in the room.

I hope this is correct, chx.

I have the suspicion he asked this question in meta because he is simply frustated about the perceived silence; essentially he wants that the issue and the current injustice is broached, in which form ever.

I can understand the problem that TSE is not a political forum and given the enormous number of cultures involved here I do not think it is a good idea to openly display confrontational issues in TSE itself in general. So far I am in agreement with the answers here.

So, chx, while your frustation is comprehensible, I really do not know how it fits into TSE; the problem is that currently the border guards seem to act on a whim so until it their behavior so plain obvious that it is reproducible, TSE cannot warn in good faith.

And some people who are not interested in your background may get the impression you want to be provocative (trolling).

And then there is disagreement.

Answers should not betray the person's political sentiment one way or another. Doing so is evocative beyond the scope of what's appropriate and invites community opprobrium. It means you may endure consequences on how the community views your online 'persona' and this can ultimately reflect on your credibility in answers unrelated to what happens at a USA border point. Or in more specific terms, if you are given to rants community members may opt to skip past your contributions and give more attention to answers provided by others.

Translation: If you are not prissy, noone likes you anymore.

Gayot Fow, in all seriousness, while I understand the intent and I also think provocational statements are not suitable, the form is an attempt of emotional blackmailing and I for myself can only shake my head for your recommendation.

While I will try to be hospitable, some people may have already realized that I am very direct in my answers. When I say things, almost always I mean exactly those things. And if I think it is the right time to state a political sentiment, especially if it involves friends of mine, I will state those political sentiments. So if someone feels angry about something I write: that's life. If someone does not read me anymore: that's life, too. If someone thinks that I have a specific prejudice, but also knows that I am quite direct, (s)he can judge for her-/himself and if my statement is not convincing, tough luck for me. Even better, s(he) can ask and get a clarification. Or not.

It is preferable that someone pretends to be objective even if secretly the pot is boiling? And you think that people won't realize that person has no real commitment?

I really doubt that your proposed right, "appropiate" behavior is such a great idea.

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