On the day when the Senate Select Intelligence Community finally confirmed that the Bush Administration was flagrantly and intentionally full of shit in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq — note: this sentence will be included in the anthology “Best Sports Blog First Sentences of 2008” — Brendan Flynn sends over an example of our homeland security apparatus doing its job. The New York Times‘ Aaron Kaplowitz tells the story of Sudanese-born, Canadian-raised shooting guard Bol Kong (above), who is being denied the opportunity to transfer from Canada’s Douglas College to Gonzaga. The reasons why may surprise you…if you’d be surprised by a simultaneously doctrinaire and arbitrary application of draconian post-9/11 immigration rules.
Although [Kong] has lived in Canada since age 7, he does not hold citizenship there. He has been denied a visa to study in the United States three times, and it is unclear if he will ever satisfy the requirements for entry. œI thought it was simple, Kong said by telephone recently. œI figured I™d go to the embassy, tell them the decision and boom, here™s the visa. They just said, ˜You don™t have the right documents.™ They didn™t tell me exactly what they were.
Kong grew up in Khartoum during the deadly civil war that consumed southern Sudan. His father emigrated to Canada in the early 1990s and sent for his wife and three children, including Bol. With little money and scant knowledge of Canadian bureaucracy, his parents neglected to apply for citizenship for the children. They received landed-immigrant status, which granted many benefits of Canadian citizenship, but they retained their Sudanese citizenship.
The Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act, signed by President Bush in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, instituted restrictions on nonimmigrant visas for nationals of countries that are listed as sponsors of terrorism. For a visa, individuals from those countries must demonstrate that they do not pose a threat. Sudan is one of five countries on the list, according to the State Department.
…The United States Consulate General in Vancouver, British Columbia, said Kong™s Sudanese roots were not responsible for the delays in his visa request. But the office will not elaborate on the case, citing confidentiality rules.
“Insert jokes about Kong “terrorizing” the WCC or dropping long range bombs,” Brendan adds. “But really what the hell is this about? If boosters, co-eds, shrooms with Heytvelt, and Sonny Vaccaro can’t defeat the allure of terror we’ve already lost.”