Freedom dies a little more
- From the CPTnet:
March 14, 2003
TORONTO/CHICAGO: Canadian CPTer denied entry to USA, questioned by FBI
Matthew Bailey-Dick, 30, from Waterloo ON, was denied entry into the USA early on March 7, 2003, after U.S. immigration officials at Port Huron MI found literature from Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) in the trunk of his rental car. The immigration officers claimed that the CPT newsletters,
printed in Chicago IL, were “anti-American.” They also raised concerns about a sticker on Bailey-Dick’s guitar case that read, “Question authority.”
Bailey-Dick is currently studying at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries in Goshen, IN. He had been in Waterloo, ON, speaking at the church he had pastored for the previous two years–Waterloo Kitchener United Mennonite Church–about his participation in the recent CPT delegation to Iraq.
Bailey-Dick was carrying a J-1 student visa, valid until the end of August 2003. U.S. immigration officers confiscated the visa, insisting that he needed a new type of visa document. They then finger-printed and photographed him. Later that day, an immigration supervisor told Bailey-Dick
that his student visa was valid, but that he was still denied entry into the USA. The supervisor said that Bailey-Dick needed to go to Detroit for an interview with an even higher-echelon U.S. immigration official.
When he arrived at the Detroit border crossing on March 8, Bailey-Dick was questioned for an hour by FBI agent Tom Morisi and immigration officer John Owen about the work of Christian Peacemaker Teams and the CPT delegation to Iraq. They then informed him that his student visa would be reissued.
At the end of the questioning, Owen cautioned Bailey-Dick, “Don’t bring any of that literature across the border any more. It’s one thing for an American citizen to distribute such literature. It’s quite a different thing for a foreign national to come into the USA and promote such ideas.”
For more information contact Doug Pritchard, tel 416-423-5525, cellular 647-297-7079
Christian Peacemaker Teams is an initiative among Mennonite and Church of the Brethren congregations and Friends Meetings that supports violence reduction efforts around the world. Contact CPT, POB 6508 Chicago, IL 60680; Telephone: 773-277-0253 Fax: 773-277-0291.
To receive news or discussion of CPT issues by e-mail, fill out the form found on our WEB page at http://www.prairienet.org/cpt/
It looks like the Homeland Security department is cracking down hardcore on dissent. I have met some of the brave souls involved with CPT (one in particular who stands in my memory is a courageous Mennonite Strawberry Farmer who spent several months each year as a witness for peace in Columbia) and these folks are NOT a threat to the US, and rather are the very folks who might save this nation’s conscience and soul.
I would say to be careful in these maddening days but that’s not the right advice either. We must keep on keeping on. The forces of evil and oppression can NOT be allowed to prevail over the causes of liberty and peace! Don’t be careful. Speak out for truth and what is right. Speak out for peace! Don’t let evil win!