I have been to USA several times. I like Americans. I don’t like American government. Now I thought nothing came close to the sheer mendacity of the UK’s Home Office and it’s immigration and nationality directorate. But I looked something up last night. You see as a UK citizen I don’t need a visa to enter the USA. I fill in a visa waiver form which asks bizarre questions like, “Did you work for the government of Germany between 1933 and 1945″. Who actually freely admits to being a NAZI war criminal? But the one that always got me was “crimes of moral turpitude”. They sound fun.
Wikipedia has a list of things you can be denied entry to the USA over. It is staggeringly long. Here are some of the highlights and trust me you will have done something on the list. Or indeed even accused of it.
Rape (including “Statutory rape” by virtue of the victim’s age)
Would that make you guilty because the age of consent in the USA is considerably higher than in most everywhere? Personally I find the US concept of statutory rape vile. At a house party in the USA a few years back the captain of the football team gets a blow-job from the chief cheerleader and he gets 10 years in chokey because she’s like a year younger. There was no hint of coercion and she was 16. Get a grip USA!
I haven’t done that one but I bet a few readers are technically guilty. I would have been if I had half the chance.
Possessing burglar tools (without intent to commit burglary)
Not actually a crime of Moral Turpitude but enough to have you barred. But correct me if I am wrong. Isn’t the USA supposed to run on Common Law so Mens Rea does matter. Earlier this week we had a plumber round and he had a piratical selection of tools. He is technically guilty. That he only used them to replace a sink and work on a gas-fire would be no defense because that looks strict liability to me. Christ almighty I carry tools that can do lethal harm but if you want me to take the side of your computer to see what’s wrong with it you are going to have to trust me not to smite you under the fifth rib. I suspect that is the liver and the application of the jawbone of an ass to that area probs causes massive blood loss and generally death in short order. And what about locksmiths?
I very rarely carry the jawbone of an ass. A set of posidrives is generally more useful.
But this is storming…
Taking part in a conspiracy (or attempting to take part in a conspiracy) to commit a crime involving moral turpitude where the attempted crime would not itself constitute moral turpitude.
That is unbelievably vague. Just read it again. That could be anything from jay-walking to sending the prime minister of Canada a human foot in the post. What precisely is “attempting to take part in a conspiracy” anyway? Is it a crime to be really bad at attempting to conspire?
I love the USA but only after you get out of the airport and like meet pukka Americans. I mean if they genuinely imposed those laws with no fear or favour Congress would be lead to Dulles under armed guard and Bill Clinton would be doing 4-figures of jail time. And I mean years there. But laws are only for the little people.