Tourists visiting the U.S. advised not to use figurative language

BBC News reports: Holidaymakers have been warned to watch their words after two friends were refused entry to the US on security grounds after a tweet.

Before his trip, Leigh Van Bryan wrote that he was going to “destroy America”.

He insisted he was referring to simply having a good time – but was sent home.

Trade association Abta told the BBC that the case highlighted that holidaymakers should never do anything to raise “concern or suspicion in any way”.

The US Department for Homeland Security picked up Mr Bryan’s messages ahead of his holiday in Los Angeles.

The 26-year-old bar manager wrote a message to a friend on the micro-blogging service, saying: “Free this week, for quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America.”

The Irish national told the Sun newspaper that he and his friend Emily Bunting were apprehended on arrival at Los Angeles International Airport before being sent home.

“The Homeland Security agents were treating me like some kind of terrorist,” Mr Bryan said.

“I kept saying they had got the wrong meaning from my tweet.”

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3 thoughts on “Tourists visiting the U.S. advised not to use figurative language

  1. Tom Hall

    I live in Ireland. To my friends here I frequently say, when you enter the U.S. be careful of your words. They have a term here- “craic”, which in the Irish language means good times, joyous roistering, etc and is pronounced “crack”. So I remind them, do not blurt out to the Customs official, “I’m here for the craic”. By the same token, to “destroy” a place simply means to enjoy it thoroughly. Travelers beware: you are entering a dour, humorless, paranoid, culturally restrictive, vengeful police state. As a matter of fact, why go there at all?

  2. Susan

    As an American, my advice to foreigners is to go on holiday somewhere else. Maybe if the USA loses enough tourist $$$ they will wake up. Maybe.

  3. Christopher Hoare

    I don’t pretend to have much sympathy for drunken fools, but the incident is an eye opener for everyone who may have been dismissing the tragi-comic seriousness of the US ‘security state’. Very small people have been charged with overseeing what law abiding, otherwise free, citizens are allowed to say…even to think. It’s as if the mental balance of the world was seriously damaged by the demise of the USSR and the loss of the gulags and police state actions—so the US was obliged to fill the void (not that Vlad the Impailer Putin isn’t making a valiant effort to restore those lost glories).

    I live about 30 minutes drive from the US border and would never consider crossing it for any reason—perhaps until the Bush administration criminals had been arraigned in court, Obama has had his day in court for his assassination excesses, and the whole hysteria state has been put on valium. Living in a community of drunks would be my second choice.

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