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acc - hendley/issenberg workshop - immigration

updated sat 20 jul 02


Elca Branman on thu 18 jul 02

This not "prolonging" the affair; it is offering information which could
prove useful to other organizations as to the possiblre pitfalls of
Of course, any organization skirting this particular one will probably
find a new trap awaiting.

AmI as cynical as I sound ?

Elca Branman,in Sarasota Florida

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vince pitelka on thu 18 jul 02

I was very gratified to read the posts from people participating in the
workshop David Hendley and Mark Issenberg are doing since Tony and Sheila
Clennell were denied entry into the US. It means a lot to me that so many
of the participants came, and that they are all making the best of this

I know this thread has run its course, and I do not want to start up
anything else, but I thought I should clarify several things. The Tennessee
Technological University Office of International Affairs regularly deals
with people coming to TTU from outside the US to teach or to present papers.
This summer TTU held a major mathematics conference, and brought in
instructors and presenters from all over the world on B1 Visas without any
problem. This was exactly the kind of visa the Clennells were instructed to
obtain. The INS did not require any additional forms from TTU.

It is apparent that in the Clennells case the problem was with the specific
border/immigration agent who was on duty on that day, and the fact that the
Buffalo NY entry-point has a bad reputation among US border crossings. I
will be very interested to hear what Tony finds out in talking to Canadian
officials regarding this situation, and someone in our International Affairs
Office is looking into this form that we supposedly should have filled out.
This might be one of those forms which exists on record, and can be
downloaded from the INS website, but is generally ignored. Thus, the INS
can use it as an excuse if they want to deny entry to someone who has
otherwise taken care of everything properly.

As I said, I have no wish to prolong this thread, but I did want to point
out that Tony and Sheila Clennell, Tennessee Technological University, and
the Appalachian Center for Crafts all handled this matter in an entirely
professional and legal manner. The problem here seems to be with the INS
and with uneven, arbitrary application of laws and standards.
Best wishes -
- Vince

Vince Pitelka
Appalachian Center for Crafts
Tennessee Technological University
1560 Craft Center Drive, Smithville TN 37166
Home -
Work -
615/597-6801 ext. 111, fax 615/597-6803