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Asian Girl Band Detained at LAX Because Officials Think They Must Be Sex Workers

Members of the South Korean pop group "Oh My Girl" fall victim to U.S. sex-trafficking hysteria.

Oh My Girl/FacebookOh My Girl/FacebookHold onto your Fourth Amendment rights, folks, a new kind of racial profiling is coming to America. Because, really, why would a group of young Asian women come here if not to enter the sex trade? At least that seems to be the attitude of U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials, who detained the South Korean pop band Oh My Girl at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) last week on alleged suspicion that the young women were sex workers.  

On December 9, the eight band members—in Los Angeles for a photo shoot and concert—were denied entry to LAX and held for 15 hours while officials questioned them, according to a statement from Oh My Girl's management. Eventually the band gave up and went back home.

From the statement: 

The person in charge of customs asked Oh My Girl and the staff what relationship they had with each other, and one of the staff used the word 'sister' and a misunderstanding occurred. They thought it was strange that we were not blood related, but said that we were 'sisters'. And so they took extra attention to the large quantity of items and outfits we had. And since the members are young girls, they were mistaken as 'working women' (prostitutes) which the U.S. has a big issue with right now.
After the misunderstanding was resolved, we were sent back to the airport immigration office, and had communication with the airport staff, and our opinion was not straightened out. And in the previous step, our phones were seized and it was an extreme situation where we could not contact anyone outside. The company was detained for a long period of 15 hours, and we decided to go back to Korea because of the members who were tired physically and emotionally.
A lawyer in the U.S. is taking the effort to make sure the unjust treatment of being detained is valid or not. We sincerely apologize for causing anxiety and thank everyone who worried for us.

A spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection initially told the Los Angeles Times that it could neither confirm nor deny the group’s story. But an unnamed Customs official later told the paper that the band's statement was false, and the real reason Oh My Girl was detained was because they were trying to travel as tourists, rather than with a performance visa.* Oh My Girl's management claim a performance visa shouldn't have been necessary because the band was participating in a mulit-performer promo event, not holding its own concert.

Whatever the case, "Korean-language media in Los Angeles have reported anecdotally that young South Korean women are increasingly facing scrutiny from immigration authorities based on the suspicion that they may be entering the country to illegally work in the Koreatown nightlife scene," the Times reports. 

In cities across the country, Asian-owned massage parlors have been facing increasing scrutiny by law enforcement and legislators, who assume thee businesses must be prostitution or sex-trafficking fronts. Further compounding the injury, media reporting on such efforts gives the impression that almost all such businesses and their employees are suspect, which certainly can't be good for non-illicit business or workers' future job prospects—why would a legit massage parlor hire Asian women if it knows that's likely to provoke public ire and police scrutiny?

The fear-mongering has paved the way for new regulations on all massage businesses, such as a Columbus, Ohio, law which prevents anyone with a previous drug conviction from becoming a masseuse; a California law which enables city governments to demand additional permits and background checks for massage-parlor owners; or a Florida law requiring all masseuses to obtain a state license at the cost of 500 hours and $10,000 to $20,000. It's also led to an uptick in police raids on massage parlors, which can be bad news even when workers are giving legal massages. Police who don't find signs of sex trafficking at these businesses aren't likely to just go home: there will be petty paperwork violations to prosecute, immigration documents to investigate, or people to kick out of their jobs because they couldn't pay the state $20,000 for a permission slip before starting work. 

* Updated to reflect later statement from U.S. Customs official

Photo Credit: Oh My Girl/Facebook

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  • Citizen X||

    If you like your K-pop band, you can keep your K-pop band.

  • Tundra, well-chilled.||

    They should have claimed refugee status.

    This really is beyond stupid. 15 hours to ascertain that this is simply a pop band.

  • Elizabeth Nolan Brown||

    You can find info about their band via Google in, like, 6 seconds

  • ||

    DHS workers are not that bright, ENB. Plus, if they aren't detaining people they aren't doing their job. Duh.

  • Rich||

    Just a doggone minute, there, Tonio. Perhaps the DHS workers were just very diligent in patting these people down.

  • ||

    [golf clap]

  • Mark6||

    Trying to outdo TSA.

  • ||

    TSA is a division of DHS.

  • Marty Comanche||

    I have a passport issued by a foreign consulate (after my other passport was stolen while I was abroad). This is normally not an issue, but I have been hassled by customs officials in northern México (i.e. having gone through a land crossing) and Jordan. What I didn't expect -- but should have -- was the dimwits at the Phoenix airport saying that my passport looked "fake." Phoenix LEOs are experienced in checking passports, and so loudly insisted to the contrary on my behalf. Nevertheless, the officious TSA twit demanded I get a full pat down and my baggage was all hand inspected after going through the X-ray scanner.

    Now. If the TSA couldn't figure out that my passport was, in fact, legitimate, why on earth did they let me on the plane? And did somebody replace their computers with Etch-a-Sketches? How is it that Mexican and Jordanian officials were able to pull up my info on their computers or verify it with the local US Embassy but the TSA has no idea who I am?

  • dchang0||

    "DHS workers are not that bright, ENB. Plus, if they aren't detaining INNOCENT people they aren't doing their job. Duh."

    FTFY.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Google picture explains it better. Definitely would.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Nobody listens to k-pop, even if it was the genre that managed to breka YouTube's view counter.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    I occasionally like k-pop, bro. Funky Asian tones lay nicely over the time on the odd day.

  • Lee G||

    This explains so much

  • Marty Comanche||

    About Agile or K-Pop?

  • Microaggressor||

    AC struck me as more of a BabyMetal kind of guy. Then again, why not both?

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    K-pop is a visual medium.

  • gaoxiaen||

    The videos are good if you turn the sound off.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Well, not actually good, but young Asian hotties.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pA_Tou-DPI

  • Jerryskids||

    They spent 15 hours and I don't think they ever ascertained this was a band.

    As the war on drug users fades, they gotta replace it with something to keep the funding flowing and the goons looking busy and the civil rights trampled, it looks like the international sex trafficking epidemic is their stalking horse.

  • ||

    ^This.

  • jester||

    The war on drug users is fading? I wish that were true.

  • Rich||

    since the members are young girls, they were mistaken as 'working women' (prostitutes)

    A natural assumption!

  • ||

    The idiots can't tell the difference between sex workers and sexy workers...

  • jester||

    I personally was hoping for a happy ending to the story. I am very disappioint.

  • Fizban||

    snorted out loud

  • Lee G||

    *looks at poster of band*

    They should have detained them for being the result of forbidden cloning experiments.

  • Elizabeth Nolan Brown||

    Yes, not entirely convinced they're not cutting-edge robots, but....

  • UnCivilServant||

    Don't you know your science stereotypes? The Koreans do cloning, the Japanese do the human-like robots.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Sonething something, that's lacist, something something.

  • jester||

    Cringing Capitalism?

  • gaoxiaen||

    Now listen here Mr. Craw.
    It's not Craw, it's Craw!

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Brilliant.

  • ||

    Where is the mainstream feminist outrage about this?

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Mainstream feminism isn't about the rights of women. You see, the problem isn't that women weren't given proper autonomy under patriarchy. Its that the wrong people have total control over women.

    So, what we'll do, see, is we'll put the right people in charge of women and that fixes the problem. Does outrage over this give the right people more control?

  • SusanM||

    Because, in the eternal pantheon of god-given human rights there is none more sacred than the right to get a rub-n-tug for under $50 bucks ;)

  • ||

    All other rights derive from the right of self-ownership, SusanM.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    I haven't decided whether the unsubtle "right to get" straw man and the smiley face signal facetious intent.

    *beard stroke*

    I'm pretty sure it does. Call it seventy-thirty.

  • SusanM||

    I live by the sacred tenet: "Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke", HoD. I think you have to admit that you guys have a habit of framing every issue you support in terms of some grand battle between good and evil.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    You guys.

    You've been here longer than I have. I do like the visual, though, and the Princess Warriorpants handle *is* currently available.

  • SusanM||

    lol

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    Not sure if in this grand battle k-pop is the good or the evil.

  • SusanM||

    ";)" means teh funniez, Tonio.

  • jester||

    I believe Jezebel already commented on the story. I was kinda shocked by their take as I remember.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    Looked it up. Was not disappointed:

    "The layers to this story are gross and multitudinous; the idea of a customs official seeing matching clothing and young Korean girls and assuming they were sex workers—if that is indeed how it went down—is horrible not only because they shouldn’t have been assumed as such, but also because they must see such scenarios with some frequency. And of course by “sex workers,” with women so young, you can surmise that they meant “trafficked,” the darkest undertone of the whole thing."

    http://themuse.jezebel.com/k-p.....1747578306

    Oh, those poor TSA workers, seeing so many scenarios.....

  • MetalBard||

    Hey whatever it takes to keep K-pop bands from performing.

  • sarcasmic||

    They're not prostitutes! They're terrorists!

    Just look at the picture at the top of this story!

    http://www.koreaobserver.com/o.....ort-61195/

    They made their fingers into little guns! Terrorists!

  • Loki||

    ...look at the picture...

    Would.

  • Microaggressor||

    Is it just me or do they look way too young? That's like, double wrongbad. They shouldn't be allowed to perform.

  • sarcasmic||

    They're Asian. They look twelve well into their thirties.

  • SugarFree||

    If we simply banned Asians from entering the country, this problem solves itself.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    They'll sneak in through the Youtubes and anime. Because sneaky sneaky chinky and technology. *taps side of nose*

    We should ban everything. You can never be too safe.

  • Mark6||

    Too bad there aren't any Muslim sex workers!

  • ||

    I'm sure that there is a camel or goat joke in there that I am just too high minded to make.

  • gaoxiaen||

    For some reason, I saw "banged" instead of "banned".

  • ||

    DHS had better not fuck with my beloved Waveya.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    MY WAIFU. Especially the girl in the pink.

  • ||

    ARI 4 LYFE

  • ||

    Sigh, my wife just returned from Korea via LAX. She had absolutely no issues going through customs. Why wasn't she harassed as a potential sex worker?

  • Zeb||

    Was she also traveling as part of a group of young, attractive, foreign women?

  • ||

    Hmmmm.... So you think that is the trick? I'll have to tell her to bring back some hotties on her next visit. I'm sure that will go over well.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    Sounds like an opportunity for some roleplay.

  • SimonJester||

    The C/BP officials weren't CONCERNED they were sex workers, they were HOPING they were sex workers, and wanted to use their authority to get a free sample. Same with all those massage parlor raids. ENB had an article not long ago about police using their authority as protection to commit sexual assault, why do we assume this is different?

  • gleff||

    DHS claims they were trying to enter the US as tourists rather than performers, and that they were never suspected of being sex workers.

    http://www.laweekly.com/news/f.....on-6376397

    I'm no defender of DHS, and I see no reason not to let them in visa issues notwithstanding, but certainly plausible that the band's media folks wanted to gin up a little publicity here.

  • R C Dean||

    Well, gee. Differing accounts from a pop band flack and a government functionary? Who, of these two paragons of credibility, to believe?

    I'll go with the flack, thanks.

  • Dangerous Buffoon||

    Yup

  • AlmightyJB||

    I don't believe dhs since racially profiling young asian women at lax is sop. They just do that to every other young asian woman except them? Right.

  • CE||

    Also certainly plausible that the DHS is covering their tracks a bit.

  • Jerryskids||

    So how did this ring of international underage sex-traffickers manage to escape back to Korea? Why wasn't the plane carrying them off shot down to keep them from escaping? Have the proper authorities been contacted to have these monsters extradited back to the US?

  • Ken Shultz||

    They look like they're about 12, and there's eight of them?

    I remember a story from back in day that the dancers in ZZ Top's She's Got Legs video were arrested for prostitution when they were leaving the set. I remember one of the dancers conceding that they were, in fact, dressed like prostitutes.

    I don't know. If someone was trying to traffic eight 12 year-old girls to Los Angeles under the false promise of making them pop stars, I suppose they'd look like Oh My Girl getting off a plane at LAX without their parents.

    There's a big difference between being convicted of something and being investigated. These girls were not convicted of prostitution and thrown in prison? No one was indicted for trafficking because of this? The authorities released them after confirming their story?

    Sounds like a terrific example of everything being as it should be.

    You know there are genuinely egregious Fourth Amendment violations happening everyday? Being pulled over for looking like you're drunk and let go when they realize you're not probably isn't one of them.

  • R C Dean||

    The authorities released them after confirming their story?

    Well, I guess that's one way to look at it. They aren't in jail, true. But they went back to Korea, which is not exactly the same thing as being released after their story was confirmed. That would look a lot more like "they went ahead with their plans in the US."

    The company was detained for a long period of 15 hours, and we decided to go back to Korea because of the members who were tired physically and emotionally.

  • Ken Shultz||

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DM57OSVHgFI

    That's what they look like.

    Sorry it took so long to confirm their story, but getting across borders is a pain in the ass. You should have seen all the scary shit I had to go through going back and forth across the border between Mexico and Belize.

    These girls were inconvenienced. I'm glad they didn't pull a Zsa Zsa and smack somebody.

    If they didn't have probable cause, they probably had a reasonable suspicion. Certainly enough to get confirmation of their story--if the story they got didn't make any sense at first.

    "The person in charge of customs asked Oh My Girl and the staff what relationship they had with each other, and one of the staff used the word 'sister' and a misunderstanding occurred. They thought it was strange that we were not blood related, but said that we were 'sisters'.

    Somebody's bullshit detector went off? Okay.

    That's called reasonable suspicion, at the least, right?

    The cops are allowed to pull you over if they have reason to believe you might be drunk. In fact, that's the cops doing their job. They investigate, they confirm you're not drunk, they send you on your way, . . .

    P.S. They were tired and exhausted so they got back on a 13 hour flight? Now my bullshit detector is going off. Not that getting back on a flight is a crime.

  • R C Dean||

    Fifteen minutes to confirm their story would have been ample. Fifteen hours is abusive.

    They were turned away, for no good reason.

    They were tired and exhausted so they got back on a 13 hour flight?

    Apparently, a 13 hour flight looked like a better deal than putting up with petty assholes. Who are we to argue?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Whether customs agents are assholes and whether this is a great example of a Fourth Amendment violation are two different questions.

    Like I said below, I don't know why it took 15 hours. Do you?

    If any of these girls are minors, it may have been necessary to confirm with their parents back in Korea that it was alright to release them into the custody of their management. If all of them are minors, it may have been necessary to contact each and every one of their parents--and confirm the identities of their parents--before these girls were released.

    Doesn't that seem likely?

  • ||

    Doesn't that seem likely?

    No.

  • Long Woodchippers||

    well, took my about 10 seconds to Google and find their Wikipedia page

    only one is under 18

    HyoJung (Choi Hyo Jung; Korean: 효정) - July 28, 1994 (age 21)
    JinE (Shin Hye Jin; Korean: 진이) - January 22, 1995 (age 20)
    Mimi (Kim Mi Hyun; Korean: 미미) - May 1, 1995 (age 20)
    YooA (Yoo Yeon Joo/Yoo Si A; Korean: 유아) - September 17, 1995 (age 20)
    SeungHee (Hyun Seung Hee; Korean: 승희) - January 25, 1996 (age 19)
    JiHo (Kim Ji Ho; Korean: 지호) - April 4, 1997 (age 18)
    Binnie (Bae Yu Bin; Korean: 비니) - September 9, 1997 (age 18)
    Arin (Choi Ye Won; Korean: 아린) - June 18, 1999 (age 16)

  • Ted S.||

    Don't the cops and military refer to themselves as "brothers"? And we're supposed to treat them as utterly heroic.

  • Zeb||

    But the investigation to find out that they were actually a pop group should have taken about 5 minutes.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, I don't know what the hold up was. Maybe they had to contact each of these girl's parents back in Korea or something. Maybe it was bureaucratic horseshit that held them there for so long.

    They got off a 13 hour flight from Korea, sat in Customs for 15 hours, and then got back on another 13 hour flight back to Korea? Sounds to me like their management didn't have their ducks in a row. Getting bands in and out of customs--all over the world--is why people hire professional tour managers. Sounds like the band's management lost its temper and decided to take their bat and ball and go home--like that would teach America a lesson.

    But if this situation is a great example of a Fourth Amendment violation, then their management should be investigated for violating the terms of the Geneva Conventions. 41 hours!

  • R C Dean||

    But if this situation is a great example of a Fourth Amendment violation,

    Detained for 15 hours for no good reason sounds to me like a 4A violation.

  • Ken Shultz||

    See my comment above.

    We don't know that there wasn't a good reason.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    True. Merely because they rarely had a good reason before is not definitive proof that they lacked it here. This very well could be completely reasonable bureaucrats just trying hard to do a good job.

  • R C Dean||

    We don't know that there wasn't a good reason.

    Yeah, we do. Any "reasonable suspicion" could and should have been laid to rest in minutes, not hours. Thus, the hours of detention were for no good reason.

    This isn't that hard, Ken.

  • gaoxiaen||

    They have translators at immigration. Getting the story wouldn't have been too difficult. They probably had some kind of itinerary and someone meeting them at the airport.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    They look like they're about 12, and there's eight of them?

    They are a dream come true for some people, Ken.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    First Star Wars and now K-pop. Ken ruins everything.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    He should change his name to "Reason's Wet Blanket."

  • Ken Shultz||

    There's this thing called crying wolf.

    If the Customs Department's reluctance to release teenage girls they suspect may be the victims of sex traffickers into the custody of whomever claims to be their management is what we mean when we say that libertarians stand up for the Fourth Amendment, then we're going to have a big public relations problem.

    Yes, I am also against bureaucratic inefficiency, but for all I know, that's the band's management's fault. Did they not have up to date contact information for all the girls' parents?

    There are professionals who handle bands' paperwork going across borders to avoid these kinds of problems. This band's management should probably hire one.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Tl;Dr.

  • Ken Shultz||

    You have a very short attention span.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Their phones were confiscated and they were held for fifteen hours on suspicion of sex trafficking even though there was no evidence of sex trafficking other than the fact that there was a group of young-looking girls traveling together.

    Then they were allowed to leave, because if the girls were victims of sex trafficking the most important thing to do is to send them back home.

    Also, as ENB pointed out above, a simple google search would have cleared this up.

  • Ken Shultz||

    They were held for fifteen hours on suspicion of sex trafficking

    Let's use our critical thinking bone.

    These girls were held on suspicion of being the victims of sex trafficking.

    Isn't that right.

  • Free Market Socialist $park¥||

    And why is that? Because some asshole couldn't spend ten minutes (I'm being generous here) to look them up.

    Maybe it was a clever disguise because all those people look the same.

  • Citizen X||

    To be fair, it'd take your average TSA employee at LEAST ten minutes to Google 'em, what with using the two-finger typing method and the keyboard constantly shorting at from all the drool.

  • JW||

    Hardly anyone gets the cavity search right on the first try.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Also, as ENB pointed out above, a simple google search would have cleared this up."

    I'm not sure you can release minors to people who aren't their parents with a simple google search.

    I doubt any local jurisdiction in the country releases minors on their own recognizance. The kid has to either tell the cops who his parents are, or they "release" them to Child Protective Services.

    That's one way runaways end up in foster care or group homes.

  • Free Market Socialist $park¥||

    Ken, maybe you should take the 30 seconds that the TSA wouldn't to look them up. Their ages are 16, 18, 18, 19, 20, 20, 20, 21.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    The wisdom of the teel deer once more becomes apparent.

  • Zeb||

    The could all be anywhere between 12 and 30 and I wouldn't be surprised.

  • JW||

    Ken's too busy looking for the thinking bone, to bother with such trivial details.

  • GILMORE™||

    So, at least one of them was a minor.

    Therefore, 15 hours is a reasonable time to hold all of them in custody.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    A simple google search (I am so diligent) informed me that only one member of the group is under the age of 18, and she is 16.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Right, so a simple google search confirmed that one of them is, in fact, a minor.

    I hope Customs doesn't release minors in such situations without properly notifying the child's parents and gaining their consent, don't you?

    In fact, it wouldn't surprise me at all if this were standard procedure in all such cases, and if it isn't, then it probably should be.

  • GILMORE™||

    You really think it should take 15 hours to confirm that a single minor is traveling with approved guardians?

  • Zeb||

    I hope Customs doesn't release minors in such situations without properly notifying the child's parents and gaining their consent, don't you?

    If they are 6, sure. If they are 16 and traveling with a group, hell no. People that age travel alone all the time.

  • Marty Comanche||

    Teenagers can't fly alone? When did Ken turn into Tulpa?

  • Galactic Chipper Cdr Lytton||

    Their phones were taken for the 15 hours? Sounds like CBP wanted to see if there were any juicy selfies on them.

  • Loki||

    Probably this. And as someone else pointed out above, it's more likely they were hoping they were sex workers and that they could get a "free sample" in exchange for letting them go.

  • ||

    They are a dream come true for some people, Ken.

    Why are you looking at ME?

  • Swiss Servator||

    *arches eyebrow, sips tea*

  • ||

    /thinks, "No narrowing, I must have gotten away with it."

  • Fizban||

    pics, or it didn't happen

  • ||

    Sounds like a terrific example of everything being as it should be.

    Wasting (pronounced confiscating) 15 hours of over a dozen people's lives and paying government employees for the time they spent doing so is not "as it should be".

    /Nothing left to cut.

  • Ken Shultz||

    My understanding is that you can hold suspects for 24 hours without charging them with a crime.

    These girls weren't even under investigation for a crime.

    Why is that not as it should be?

    I don't know why it took so long to release them, but releasing children suspected of being trafficking victims to anybody who claims to be their management is not what libertarianism is all about.

  • Free Market Socialist $park¥||

    Exactly one of those girls is under 18. They aren't "children".

  • Ken Shultz||

    Maybe she was the problem.

    I don't know.

    I just know that investigating whether someone is a victim of a crime is not necessarily a Fourth Amendment violation.

    And being investigated as a potential victim of sex trafficking doesn't change that equation one iota.

  • Free Market Socialist $park¥||

    Then why let them leave at all? Was the point just to send those poor young whores back to their own country so we don't have to deal with them?

  • Loki||

    Of course, we have more than enough whores here. Except we call them "politicians".

  • Citizen X||

    That, sir, is an insult to honest whores everywhere.

  • JW||

    releasing children suspected of being trafficking victims to anybody who claims to be their management is not what libertarianism is all about.

    But, obviously, licking the addled jackboots of mongoloid border agents, is.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, that's exactly what I'm saying.

  • JW||

    Pretty much.

    Another "libertarian" for the state's Goon Squad, ladies and gentlemen.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "These girls were not convicted of prostitution and thrown in prison? No one was indicted for trafficking because of this? The authorities released them after confirming their story?

    Sounds like a terrific example of everything being as it should be."

    If thinking that these three things are all as they should be:

    1) These girls not being convicted of prostitution and thrown in prison,

    2) No one was indicted for trafficking because of this.

    3) The authorities released them after confirming their story.

    ...somehow makes me a statist in your eyes, then you're a fucking idiot.

  • GILMORE™||

    You seem to be conveniently leaving out the part where they took 15 hours to determine that a single person was traveling with legal guardians. And detained EVERYONE while they struggled with that one 'problem'.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I don't see that anyone was held longer than it took for them to confirm their story. When they say the company was "detained", I suspect it means they were prevented from walking through the entry turnstile--not that they were cuffed and put in holding cells.

    Reading the LA Times article, it looks like there were other complications. For instance, they didn't have a performance visa--despite having all the evidence that they intended to give a performance with props, costumes, etc.

    Regardless, I don't think it's great that these girls were held up for 15 hours. I just don't think it's a good example of a Fourth Amendment violation. In fact, holding this up as a great example of a Fourth Amendment violation cheapens the awfulness of other very real Fourth Amendment violations that happen every day. Holding this incident up as an example of what libertarians are all about makes us look silly.

  • GILMORE™||

    I don't see that anyone was held longer than it took for them to confirm their story

    You don't know that they actually "confirmed" anything, because the group turned and left the country. If it had been confirmed, they'd have been let through.

    Did you even know there was such a thing as a "performance visa" before just now? and don't lie.

    You're still pretending it takes 15 hours to 'confirm' that this is an internationally-recognized pop-group with a single minor in tow? And that no one could provide any reasonable proof that they were guardians? If they were missing any technical visa components, then that's an issue for other authorities, if anything. It shouldn't bar them entry to the country.

    You're retarded. No, its not the slightest bit reasonable. No one is claiming its the greatest 4th amendment violation on earth, despite that staw-man (and i'm not sure it even applies to foreigners not in US territory). Its idiotic, totalitarian bureaucratic incompetence. You seem to think it is "as it should be"; that says nothing about anything other than your own horribly shitty standards.

  • GILMORE™||

    Also = re your fallback claim of "missing performance visa"

    "The group had arrived there for a photo shoot for their next album cover. They were also to promote themselves at the Unforgettable Gala of 2015, an event gathering Asian-American entertainers and producers in L.A. on Saturday."

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Did you even know there was such a thing as a "performance visa" before just now? and don't lie."

    Hell no!

    But I know that holding suspected sex workers for less than 24 hours doesn't violate the Constitution.

    I know that the authorities had reasonable suspicion based on some screwy answers, too.

    I just don't think that adds up to an excellent Fourth Amendment violation.

    "Hold onto your Fourth Amendment rights, folks, a new kind of racial profiling is coming to America. Because, really, why would a group of young Asian women come here if not to enter the sex trade?"

    I think it fits into ENB's sex trafficking narrative--and we should leave the Fourth Amendment out of it. If people think this is an excellent example of what libertarians are complaining about when we complain about Fourth Amendment violations, then we're going to have a lot of PR problems.

    When I complain about Fourth Amendment violations, I'm serious.

    This is not.

  • Loki||

    3) The authorities released them after confirming their story.

    Where the fuck does it say the authorities "released them" (which implies that they were in fact being held against their will) after confirming their stories? Nowhere does it say the authorities confirmed their stories. They gave up and went home.

    First you assumed they were ALL minors, then when that was called out above you moved the goal posts. "One of them was still a minor, maybe it took 15 FUCKING HOURS to contact her parents back in Korea" (as if that's even remotely reasonable) and now you still seem to be assuming facts not in evidence, specifically that the authorities "confirmed their stories before releasing them." No, they didn't. The group gave up and went home instead of dealing with God knows how much more bureaucratic horseshit.

    Why the fuck are you so intent on assuming the DHS goons were even remotely in the right here? Is this the most egregious case of 4th amendment violations out there? No, but for fuck's sake, there's no way these bureaucratic asshats actions are even the slightest bit excusable.

  • GILMORE™||

    ""One of them was still a minor, maybe it took 15 FUCKING HOURS to contact her parents back in Korea" (as if that's even remotely reasonable)"

    And during those 15 hours no one bothered to point out that this was a well-known international pop-group, not a highly-sophisticated cover for smuggling a single Korean girl into the US.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Where the fuck does it say the authorities "released them" (which implies that they were in fact being held against their will) after confirming their stories? Nowhere does it say the authorities confirmed their stories. They gave up and went home."

    So we're assuming this is much worse than it was?

    I thought they were being held on suspicion of being sex trafficking victims.

    "First you assumed they were ALL minors, then when that was called out above you moved the goal posts."

    Why make up shit when you can see what I actually wrote:

    "Like I said below, I don't know why it took 15 hours. Do you?

    If any of these girls are minors, it may have been necessary to confirm with their parents back in Korea that it was alright to release them into the custody of their management. If all of them are minors, it may have been necessary to contact each and every one of their parents--and confirm the identities of their parents--before these girls were released."

    https://reason.com/blog/2015/12/14/ asian-women-profiled-as-sex-workers #comment_5769965

    I threw that up as a reasonable explanation for why it might take 15 hours to release someone who was being held as a suspected sex trafficking victim. The subject of this post is about them being held as sex trafficking victims.

    You pointing out that they were simply denied entry, gave up, and left puts a different spin on things, though, doesn't it. In fact, it have been that they came with the wrong visa.

  • JW||

    ...somehow makes me a statist in your eye

    "I want the state to consider every person they encounter to be presumed of being involved in a criminal enterprise by default and have the agents of the state seize them and imprison them until they can show their innocence."

    Duck. Walks. Quacks.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "I want the state to consider every person they encounter to be presumed of being involved in a criminal enterprise by default and have the agents of the state seize them and imprison them until they can show their innocence."

    I never wrote that, you lying sack of shit.

  • JW||

    I never said you wrote that. That is, in essence, what you are saying.

    I thought that would be absurdly obvious.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Quotes are for quotes, jackhole.

  • R C Dean||

    My understanding is that you can hold suspects for 24 hours without charging them with a crime.

    These girls weren't even under investigation for a crime.

    Why is that not as it should be?

    They were detained for 15 hours even though they weren't being investigated for a crime? And that's as it should be?

    I'm baffled, Ken.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Should the cops be able to hold suspects for 24 hours while investigating them for a crime?

    I think so. I think that is as it should be. Certainly, they shouldn't be able to hold suspects for longer than that.

    There girls were not under investigation for a crime.

    Yeah, I think that is as it should be, too.

    Why is that hard to understand?

  • Free Market Socialist $park¥||

    If they weren't under investigation for a crime then why is it cool to hold them for 24 hours as if they were being investigated for a crime?

    FFS, Ken, don't you even see that you're contradicting yourself?

  • Loki||

    He's like a dog with a bone. When he gets it in his head that the State's goons were actually in the right, there's nothing anyone that can convince him otherwise, no matter how many of his assumptions are thrown back in face.

    "Oh, they weren't all underage? Well one of them was, so it's totally reasonable to assume that in this day and age of instant global communications it took 15 hours to contact that one girl's parents. And holding them for 15 hours when they weren't even being investigated for a crime is totally legit too."

  • Ken Shultz||

    "If they weren't under investigation for a crime then why is it cool to hold them for 24 hours as if they were being investigated for a crime?"

    Well, there are a couple of likely explanations.

    One is that they needed to confirm that it was okay for them to release the minor to management with the consent of the minor's parents.

    A second likely explanation that has come up from reading the LA Times story is that they weren't "detained" the way you may be thinking. Their visas were simply denied--maybe on the basis that although they were obviously coming to perform, they did not have a performance visa. In which case, they were never released from custody--because they were never put in custody. They simply gave up and went home, and maybe that wasn't because they were being held on suspicion of sex trafficking connections--but because customs wouldn't release their props and costumes because they didn't have a performance visa.

    If indeed that is the case, then this is an even worse example of a Fourth Amendment violation than I thought. I mean, the government shouldn't deny entry based on whether performers have a special visa, but that is not an excellent example of a Fourth Amendment violation.

  • R C Dean||

    A second likely explanation that has come up from reading the LA Times story is that they weren't "detained" the way you may be thinking.

    What definition of detained do you have in mind? This is what they said:

    And in the previous step, our phones were seized and it was an extreme situation where we could not contact anyone outside. The company was detained for a long period of 15 hours,

    Not allowed to contact the outside world, possessions seized. Sounds like detention to me. And I'm quite sure that they were not allowed to leave customs/immigration while this was going on.

  • Ken Shultz||

    They were not being held against their will. They could presumably go where they wanted--they were simply being refused entry to the Untied States.

    When most people say they're being "detained" by law enforcement, they generally mean they aren't free to leave. If I'm refused a visa into North Korea, does that make me a political prisoner?

    That isn't the only thing in their statement that is . . . a little different either:

    "They thought it was strange that we were not blood related, but said that we were 'sisters'. And so they took extra attention to the large quantity of items and outfits we had. And since the members are young girls, they were mistaken as 'working women' (prostitutes)"

    The way they wrote it, you'd think it was all about prostitution.

    The extra attention to the "large quantity of items and outfits we had" was not about them having so many outfits--like professional sex workers or hostesses in Koreatown. It was about them having all the accouterments of intending to do a performance--without them having a performance visa.

    The problem with the visa isn't mentioned in their statement anywhere, but then the statement appears to be intended as PR damage control for missing a performance and causing anxiety among their fans. The visa problem isn't mentioned in EBN's post anywhere either.

  • Ken Shultz||

    My mother set up an office for her company in London, and she had to go there for a year on a visa. Hired 150 people or so. She took Daddy-O with her, but he had the wrong kind of visa. It was a real pain in the ass.

    They were stuck at Heathrow for hours and hours.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Their visas were simply denied--maybe on the basis that although they were obviously coming to perform, they did not have a performance visa.


    It's not as simple as that, of which the band management's statement notes.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I'm sure it's not that simple, and I'm sure the band's management has their own side.

    My point is that we all accidentally step on better examples of Fourth Amendment violations every day.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    With all due respect, everyone else on this thread is saying "black"; whereas, you're saying "blue". I suspect the point of contention for most people is not the justification for the amount of time spent in detention, but the reason these women were suspected by the TSA in the first place. These women were detained based on lurid stereotypes of Asian women held by the agents. If you want to have a conversation about the justifiablility of ethnic profiling, then let's have that conversation. However, based on your previous posts, I have a feeling that if these case involved, say, the members of a Jordanian boy band who were detained on account of being young men from the Middle East possibly unknowingly traveling on the wrong visa, you would be losing your shit...and, perhaps, understandably so.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "These women were detained based on lurid stereotypes of Asian women held by the agents."

    That's what they're alleging--despite the fact that they had the wrong visa.

    Regardless, my point is and always has been that the reference to the Fourth Amendment is off.

    I do not see where their Fourth Amendment rights were violated.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I do not see where their Fourth Amendment rights were violated.

    I believe the argument is that the seizure of their phones and their extended search was unreasonable, as, outside of Maricopa County, ethnicity is currently not a reasonable justification to conduct searches and seizures.

    Now you don't have to buy that argument. You can argue that they had probable cause based on the visa alone; however, the burden would be on you to show how a reasonable person would deduce sex trafficking merely from trying to enter the country on, possibly, the wrong visa.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "If they weren't under investigation for a crime then why is it cool to hold them for 24 hours as if they were being investigated for a crime?"

    That was for comparison purposes.

    You can hold an accused criminal for 24 hours before charging them.

    If these women were suspected prostitutes, then they could be held for 24 hours without being charged. Getting stuck at the DMV for two hours seems like cruel and unusual punishment to me, but holding accused sex workers for 15 hours without charging them with a crime is not unconstitutional.

    The LA Times article talks about women coming to Koreatown to work as bar hostesses--and that appears to be what the authorities thought was happening. I suspect it might have helped their cause if the girls had a performance visa. They didn't.

    If they were suspected victims of a sex trafficking ring and any of them were underage, then not treating them as criminals is better than treating them as criminals, isn't it?

    Surely, the government has a responsibility to care for such suspected victims--especially if they're children. I don't think it's government thuggery to hold suspected child victims of sex trafficking until they can confirm who the parents are and get consent to the release the child to someone--was all I was saying. That is not a violation of the Fourth Amendment.

  • Galactic Chipper Cdr Lytton||

    Do cops hold possible victims of a crime for 24 hours?

    Of course all of that is moot because this is a border entry and the wise Nazgul have ruled the constitution doesn't apply.

    And further data points, most airlines will allow minors 15-17 to fly alone, and 5 and over with their Unaccompanied Minor program (and additional fee). CBP's own website says minors flying alone (and really without both parents) may, not must, need a notarized consent letter from both parents.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Do cops hold possible victims of a crime for 24 hours?"

    They hold them if they're underage.

    If they can't figure out who the parents are, they send the kids to foster care by way of Child Protective Services. Underage sex workers are likely to end up in a group home, which may seem like a prison but isn't.

    Releasing an underage and uncharged sex worker to her pimp after he posts bail would be equivalent to the government participating in child molestation. If there isn't a policy against doing that in every single jurisdiction, there should be. The state shouldn't be able to do anything with a child without a parent's knowledge and consent.

    Regardless, it doesn't look like these girls were ever "detained", as in locked up. I was detained on my way to breakfast by a conference call, but i was not locked up by the police. It appears that this company was simply refused entry, and they got tired of arguing and waiting and went home. I bet whoever was in charge of getting the visas got fired.

  • ||

    but releasing children suspected of being trafficking victims to anybody who claims to be their management is not what libertarianism is all about.

    Holy fucking straw man, this has nothing to do with trafficking. One of the tenets of libertarianism is securing the rights of the individual to be from from unreasonable detainment by the state. "Sex trafficking" is the excuse given for why they were stopped. That does nothing to explain the 15 hours of their lives agents of the state took from them. If there are enough of these assholes to spend 15 hours on something they can do the same thing in 15 minutes.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Holy fucking straw man, this has nothing to do with trafficking"

    Suspected sexworkers coming in through LAX has nothing to do with trafficking?

    Customs agents holding them under the suspicion that they might be the victims of sex trafficking has nothing to do with sex trafficking, like, for reals?

  • ||

    Suspected sexworkers coming in through LAX has nothing to do with trafficking?

    This is about individuals being detained against their will for an unreasonable period of time by agents of the state and you know it.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Your definition of straw man seems circular.

  • CE||

    Sounds like a terrific example of everything being as it should be.

    So you're fine with innocent people being arrested and detained and questioned for 15 hours, just in case?

  • Ken Shultz||

    They were not arrested.

    If refused entry to the U.S. based on having the wrong visa is what you mean by "detained", then apparently they were detained.

    Where does it say they were questioned for 15 hours?

    After 15 hours, they apparently gave up on being let in on a tourist visa in time for their performance, and so they went back home.

    Regardless, it's one thing not to be fine--quite another to hold this up as a Fourth Amendment violation specifically.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yeah, I just saw a special on sex trafficing and they talked about LAX racially profiling young asian girls. It was bullshit. Maybe the traffickers should start using middle eastern women since racially profiling them is huge no no. Obama would be most displeased at that.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I should add that most of these women being harrassed were of adult age. No one really seems to worry about them feeling unwelcome. Bizarro world.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Meanwhile while the TSA is harassing young girls, Godzilla is sneaking in under the ocean.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Wasn't he invited for some broken windows urban renewal?

  • AlmightyJB||

    Think of what a Godzilla rampage would do for the economy. /Nobel prize winning economist Paully Krugnuts. *My spellcheck changed Nobel to Novel. Might be more accurate

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Kaiju request refugee status. Trump's hair explodes.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    I've seen enough Bond movies in my day to know that these young women were most likely working undercover on behalf of a powerful, evil villain*, so I am glad DHS harassed them into leaving this great country.

    *Most likely the more evil of the Koch brothers.

  • GILMORE™||

    ....that would be Tomax & Xamot Koch

  • F. Iron-Ass Stupidity, Jr.||

    That's a plus one...

    ...for the GI Joe reference!

  • GILMORE™||

    Asian Girl Band Detained at LAX Because Officials Think Hope They Must Might Be Sex Workers

    FTFY

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Who the FUCK needs Sharia law when you have the motherfucking Christians, American authoritarians, and progressive Feminists sculpting pseudo copulation monstrosities out of their own goddamn nasty baby-head filled turds?

  • Citizen X||

    I'm having trouble unpacking that sentence. Does one of y'all have some ayahuasca i could take?

  • Free Market Socialist $park¥||

    "A bunch of young Chinese girls with lots of clothes? Obviously prostitutes!"

    /TSA "agent"

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I'm sure the TSA agent would have pronounced it, "Chinee".

  • JW||

    Going full retard is something we all do together.

  • Loki||

    Hold onto your Fourth Amendment rights, folks, a new kind of racial profiling is coming to America

    Racial profiling is only a problem when used against black or brown skinned people. Yellow skinned people (e.g. Asians) are considered "white" for SJW purposes due to their tendency to be successful without relying on help from the State. /DERP

  • mardybum||

    They were traveling under a visa waiver as tourists but had costumes for performing (because they were going to perform at a promotional concert). Their management company screwed up, or tried to save money, and were caught. Instead of saying, "we didn't think they needed a work visa since we aren't paying them for the concert", they blamed customs and turned a management mistake into lots of buzz for the group.

  • R C Dean||

    Or, maybe management didn't screw up, because they weren't going to perform:

    "The group had arrived there for a photo shoot for their next album cover. They were also to promote themselves at the Unforgettable Gala of 2015, an event gathering Asian-American entertainers and producers in L.A. on Saturday.

    Photo shoot, and go to a party/convention. The kind of thing that people do under tourist visas all the time.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    As someone who recently traveled on business to Communist China, I can tell you it's a fuck-lot easier to get into communist China than it is to get into the U.S.

    Irony? I'll let you decide.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    With the exception of the clusterfuck Chinese do in lieu of making a line at a counter, I agree.

  • ||

  • Harun||

    I had an Asian employee detained for a couple hours at LAX.

    You couldn't even ask what the problem was. It was all "back off buddy."

    Finally the guy comes out and told me he waited for hours for one person to finally ask him 3 questions and let him go after 45 seconds.

  • JeremyR||

    I think it was actually a confusion in language.

    They were turned away because they were "working women" and this was understood (wrongly) to mean they were being accused of prostitutes.

  • Alan@.4||

    Re this latest fiasco,I'm given to ask What Next. Note that while I'm so driven, I'm almost afraid to ask, lest my inquiry be answered.

  • Galane||

    Darn. There goes my plan to bring over SNSD and four or five other all female K-Pop bands for an "Asian Invasion" tour of the USA and Canada.

    Would it be better or worse that two members of SNSD are actually Americans who were born in the same hospital in California but never met until their families moved to SK where the girls got the singing gig?

    What's worse than having a song stuck in your head? Having a song in a foreign language stuck in your head. I shall now infest all your brains with "Mr. Taxi"!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgK8WpkWpkc

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    You are right, that dumb song is rather catchy. Remember when Little Apple came out? That shit was stuck in my head for like a week:

    https://youtu.be/znWuROdYnNQ?t=1m17s

  • toolkien||

    Well, there was one easy way to find out. I'd even volunteer to be the "sex investigator" - have them have sex with me and if they weren't very good at it, they probably weren't prostitutes.

  • geo1113||

    Still proves nothing, but I would volunteer for the same duty...of course, not with the 16 year old girl.

  • Fun at Parties||

    I's detain them too... for personal reasons. .

  • Cloudbuster||

    Good grief, how long does it really take for all of you to come to the point?

    "If we start turning away k-pop bands, the terrorists have won!"

  • Patent Attorney Here||

    Someone else pointed out above, it's more likely they were hoping they were sex workers and that they could get a free sample in exchange for letting them go.

  • dchang0||

    What were the financial damages to the band for being denied entry?

    Cost of plane tickets that were wasted +
    Cost of hotel and intra-US transportation bookings (limousines, etc.) +
    Cost of their time (15hrs in detention) +
    Cost of proceeds lost from not being able to perform at whatever functions they were contracted to perform
    and so on...

    Would be nice to see how much harm was wrongfully done to them.

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