No real welcome mat here! This report in the IHT makes it clear that that country, the USA, the land of the free and brave - where justice, and all that, is forever being preached - is potentially danger-country for innocent tourists.
"He was a carefree Italian with a recent law degree from a Roman university. She was "a totally Virginia girl," as she puts it, raised across the street from George Washington's plantation.
Their romance, sparked by a 2006 meeting in a supermarket in Rome, soon brought the Italian, Domenico Salerno, on frequent visits to Alexandria, Virginia, where he was welcomed like a favorite son by the parents and neighbors of his girlfriend, Caitlin Cooper.
But on April 29, when Salerno, 35, presented his passport at Washington Dulles International Airport, a Customs and Border Protection agent refused to let him into the United States. And after hours of questioning, agents would not let him travel back to Rome, either. Over his protests in fractured English, he said, they insisted that he had expressed a fear of returning to Italy and had asked for asylum.
Cooper, 23, who had promised to show her boyfriend another side of her country on this visit - meaning Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon - eventually learned that he had been sent in shackles to a rural Virginia jail. He remained there for more than 10 days, locked up without charges or legal recourse while Cooper, her parents and their well-connected neighbors tried everything to get him out."
Read on, here, to see how the "story" played out.