Thank You -Thank You Very Much
The Bush administration abruptly backed down from a policy to automatically scrutinize, fingerprint and photograph Canadians who were born in a handful of Middle Eastern and Muslim countries including Pakistan. This would create second-class citizens of the large number of Goans here from Karachi. The change came after the Canada's foreign affairs department issued a warning about the risks of travelling to the United States. The initial US announcement left us a feeling which that famous American, Archie Bunker, put into words - "It gives me gas"!
Many however feel that the US bunker mentality is the direct result of 9/11, when a number of the hijackers were said to have made their way there from Canada. Travel to the US can still be quite trying and humiliating and experienced by Canada's famous writer Rohinton Mistry, and first South Asian Senator, Mobina Jaffer.The US Florida coast is a popular destination for sun seeking Goans. The obligatory stop for many was Graceland - to pay respects to the King !
Still, we are not out of the woods yet -the Canadian warning still stands and US visas will soon be required for all landed immigrants.