Sophont
Wednesday, April 07, 2004
 
Spanish SF Editor Nearly Sent Home by the INS
kathryncramer.com:
Spanish science fiction editor Marcial Souto was nearly turned away by US Immigration in Ft. Lauderdale night before last. He was flying in to appear as Guest Scholar at the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts when he was detained by US Immigration and Naturalization Service for 2 1/2 hours. The INS database incorrectly lists his departure date for a business trip in 1997, triggering his detention. After several hours, Souto realized he had with him an anthology containing one of his stories. In the headnote to the story, it mentions that Souto lives in Barcelona. He presented this to the immigration official who said, 'I guess you really do live in Barcelona,' and released him.

I had heard stories of legitimate German and French travelers being turned back by the INS, seemingly in retaliation for their countries lack of support for the Iraq war. I wonder if Spain is being punished for its recent election results and the proposed withdrawal of Spanish troops.

Luckily, Souto did ultimately make it through, so we will be able to enjoy his company at the conference."

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