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A pleasant border-crossing experience

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And what, pray tell, did the Canadian couple plan to do while in their snowbird place?  Denied entry because they don't like the president - isn't that beyond the pale?

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48 minutes ago, Barbaraok said:

Denied entry because they don't like the president - isn't that beyond the pale?

I wasn't there so can't be sure what happened, but I find that really hard to believe. 

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We had great experiences this past summer going in and then coming back to the US...in fact coming back in to the US the computers had crashed and the crossing guards were very apologetic when they asked us to please wait for a few minutes while they rebooted their system...we then struck up a very pleasant conversation with the guard while we waited.

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22 hours ago, FL-JOE said:

Pulled up into U.S. Customs lane and before I could even bring my bike to a complete stop he said something, which of course with the bike running and my helmet on I could not hear.  Shut bike down and as I was starting to take my helmet off he demanded in a loud and unfriendly voice "take your sunglasses off".

I got the sunglasses and helmet off and he just as rudely ordered us off the bike, which without a word we complied.  He then looked at our documents, walked around the bike asking us their list of questions.  Looked at our documents for another couple of minutes and told us to go.

He was not "just doing his job", he was a "badge heavy" individual who probably should be in a different line of work.  

So by raising his voice so he could be heard, he was rude and he became a complete jerk? Not discounting your encounter at all  just trying to understand how he was badge heavy in that instance,  perhaps it was a had to been there kinda moments to be able to  see his demeanor and attitude. 

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Let's just say, I was having a great day and apparently he wasn't.  I was a FTO (Field Training Officer) for my old department and I can safely say if an officer I was training had his attitude and treated the general public in that manner he would never have gotten passing grades from his time with me.

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On 8/31/2019 at 6:55 AM, docj said:

A month ago we had to drive back to Calais ME in the CR-V (not the MH) to get Rx refills at Walgreens. We were in the US for less than an hour.  When we went back across into Canada I was tempted to say that we had come to the US "just to buy drugs!" but I decided there was a better way to phrase that statement!  😂  Sometimes the problems are of our own making!

Sometimes not.

For years I had no issues going back and forth across the Canadian/US border. Living within a 100 miles of the border I did it fairly often......and then the trips to the little rooms started.

I for the life of me couldn't figure why suddenly in my senior years I became a threat to the BOTH the United States and Canada. I took several years, but I finally determined it had to do with my birthplace......Venezuela.

But I could never figure out what was special about Venezuela.....well, it turns out the Obama Administration put restrictions on Venezuelan's entering the US.  Even though, I had a US passport....right there on the front facing page.....birthplace= Venezuela.

That was fine, but I kept asking the border folks. I am fine, with the inspection, the little room, and special treatment, but why me??   NOBODY ever mentioned Obama's Executive Order.  That was a public record, that granted most people were not aware of, but at least I finally understood why.  BTW...found that out in the comment section of a newspaper article on immigration.

The part I did to myself.....my favorite jacket, given to me by Columbia Sportsware. A camo jacket. My favorite hat....from Dave Smith Motors....a camo hat.  Then I couldn't find my favorite polarized safety glasses in black...all out...so I bought the camo glasses since it was all they had. Then I crossed the Canadian border in my one-ton diesel truck, dressed up in camo for the spring fishing trip in BC. Yep, a real special trip to the little room.  After a 45 minute wait after the Canadians searched for ALL THE CRIMES I had committed in my life I was allowed entry into Canada.

They were really disappointed I had NEVER been arrested in my life!!!  But I learned my lesson, ditch the camo when crossing the border.

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A Canadian friend of mine has no hair so she wears a head scarf  most of the time along with long skirts. She got stopped at the border. She learned to wear her wig and blue jeans for border crossings. Better to wear less comfortable clothing than check someone's "profile" list.

Linda

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54 minutes ago, sandsys said:

 real experiences about border crossings have nothing to do with politics.

If you read carefully it apparently does.

Edited by hemsteadc

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When I drive, walk, or ride up to a port of entry I:

1. Consider it to be knocking on the door of a foreign country, requesting permission to enter as a visitor. 

2. Am fully prepared to be denied entry as a visitor.

3. Totally honest in my brief to the point answers to any questions pertaining to my planned visit.

4. Not inform the border guard how “we do it in (insert home here)”. News flash: they don’t care.

5. Would, if asked “what I thought” of a current President or Prime Minister, or whatever the leader’s office is called, attempt to satisfy the border guard that I really don’t think most of the time. As in, “I don’t really follow the “news”... who is in that office at the moment?” 

I sure as h e double hockey sticks would not go off on some smart ass tangent. What a way to wreck a good trip to see some scenery and meet some local people. 

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Amen noteven! I've never had trouble crossing anywhere in the world and have crossed into Canada in 1999 with guns! No problem. Never even had issues when we were assigned to Germany 1990-1997. We were there when they had closed borders in Europe then open borders, and when France had their Metro station bombed with seven or eight killed we crossed not expecting the tanks and heavy machine guns they had at the border. The following year at that same crossing it was open and the guard shack was even deserted. We went against strong urging not to go when our military dive group from SHAPE Belgium and Spangdahlem AB Germany went to Hurghada Egypt to dive the Red Sea for a week in May 1996. On the day before we flew we could not dive so they bused us and we toured Luxor and the Temple of Karnak, then crossed the Nile by boat and did the Temple of Hatshesup, and the Valley of the Kings, visiting Tut in his tomb under Plexiglas in a controlled environment. We'd cross into Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, and skied Austria, Switzerland, France, and Italy. Every winter for my leave and four day weekends. Never an issue and they were impressed that we spoke their languages and so, politely, switched to English because they couldn't stand to hear me butcher their language any more. ;)

But I don't doubt some of the negative stories. Just never expected trouble and never got any. I agree, it is their country, and if I respect their home, I've always been treated as a their guest. We were not allowed to discuss politics on duty or off for officers so it is no problem for me to avoid instigation with LEOs or Border guards in or out of the country. I use my military ID instead of my Driver license unless they ask for it, Passport and military ID sufficed. No advice except that we tend to get what we expect: Self-fulfilling prophecies. All y'all made it back, right?

Edited by RV_

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Just remember, anybody can have a horrible day. They may have just gotten horrible news, have a bad headache and just got done dealing with several jerks in a row.  Showing respect and kindness in the face of jerk will most often change the exchange for the better vs bristling which will only make the exchange worse.

 

 

 

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On 9/1/2019 at 8:23 PM, Barbaraok said:

And what, pray tell, did the Canadian couple plan to do while in their snowbird place?  Denied entry because they don't like the president - isn't that beyond the pale?

I'm like Kirk, that story is a little hard to believe, or at least the short version as posted on this forum.  Now, if the complete version was more like:

Border Agent:  "Do you have any strong feelings about the U.S. government?"

Canadian Citizen:  "yes I do, I wish someone would do away with your stupid President".

Now in this conversation I would expect at the very least for them to be kept out for at least 5 years.  Which when you think about it they will be able to return after our Presidents second term expires.

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I believe they said the people were asked what they thought of our president.   I would like to see where that is on the list of questions to ask.  

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I did not write my post to be called a liar nor to be told i should stay on my side of the border! The lawyer who relayed the story is a family member and the "guilty" party was a client of his.  I made my post to hopefully help forum members have a smoother border crossing going either way but instead got flamed by the trolls!  WOW 

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Orca, I understand your feelings completely.   Maybe people on this forum haven't seen the news of all of the people who are getting asked inappropriate questions and detained/turned away at the border.  Even US Citizens have been having a hard time coming back in.    I think your notice for anyone who is not a citizen entering the country is a warning of how things have changed in the past few years and to be very cautious about their answers.

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" Even US Citizens have been having a hard time coming back in. "  They may give you some grief, but it is my understanding that a US citizen can not be denied reentry into the US.

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2 hours ago, pjstough said:

They may give you some grief, but it is my understanding that a US citizen can not be denied reentry into the US.

Something that I have wondered is, what happens if a person should loose his passport when traveling in another country? I'm sure that does occasionally happen, but have never spoken to anyone who has experienced it. 

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6 minutes ago, Kirk W said:

Something that I have wondered is, what happens if a person should loose his passport when traveling in another country? I'm sure that does occasionally happen, but have never spoken to anyone who has experienced it. 

A few years ago while in Quartzsite a few of our friends went to Los Algodones  for the day and one of the guys didnt know you needed a passport, when he tried to come back through they gave him some grief but did accept his driver's license as an ID.  He was the one that told us that they cant keep you from returning to your home country.

Edited by pjstough

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FWIW it's very convenient to carry a Passport Card that is acceptable for travel to Canada and Mexico by vehicle.  It's credit card sized and easy to carry in your wallet.  I think they cost an additional $25-30 when you are renewing a passport.  When we're in Canada my wife carries her passport in her person, but the wallet card is great for me.

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12 minutes ago, pjstough said:

He was the one that told us that they cant keep you from returning to your home country.

Trip advisor's website says that same thing but I can't find anything on the US site to confirm that. I did find instructions on what to do when traveling overseas and your passport is lost or stolen, which starts with a visit to the nearest US consule office. It talks about an emergency passoprt that is good for 24 hours for those departing soon, but nothing about arriving at the border to discover you don't have one. What I was wondering was not so much returning from Canada or Mexico as when returning from some other country?

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1 minute ago, Kirk W said:

Trip advisor's website says that same thing but I can't find anything on the US site to confirm that. I did find instructions on what to do when traveling overseas and your passport is lost or stolen, which starts with a visit to the nearest US consule office. It talks about an emergency passoprt that is good for 24 hours for those departing soon, but nothing about arriving at the border to discover you don't have one. What I was wondering was not so much returning from Canada or Mexico as when returning from some other country?

I agree, returning to the US from Los Algodones is one thing but returning after a month long trip around the world may be more difficult without a passport.

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3 hours ago, pjstough said:

" Even US Citizens have been having a hard time coming back in. "  They may give you some grief, but it is my understanding that a US citizen can not be denied reentry into the US.

A young US Citizen,  Francisco Galici,  spent several weeks held in a detention camp in Texas  because the agents wouldn't believe his birth certificate, his passport, his driver's license, etc.   Of course, he is Latino and  his mother and brother are immigrants.

Edited by Barbaraok

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48 minutes ago, Kirk W said:

Trip advisor's website says that same thing but I can't find anything on the US site to confirm that. I did find instructions on what to do when traveling overseas and your passport is lost or stolen, which starts with a visit to the nearest US consule office. It talks about an emergency passoprt that is good for 24 hours for those departing soon, but nothing about arriving at the border to discover you don't have one. What I was wondering was not so much returning from Canada or Mexico as when returning from some other country?

Kirk, Francisco Galicia has a different look at it.  

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1 hour ago, pjstough said:

A few years ago while in Quartzsite a few of our friends went to Los Algodones  for the day and one of the guys didnt know you needed a passport, when he tried to come back through they gave him some grief but did accept his driver's license as an ID.  He was the one that told us that they cant keep you from returning to your home country.

Documentation needed is ONE of these:

Passport, Passport Card, Enhanced Driver's License, Nexus, Sentri or Fast Program Cards

https://www.visityuma.com/going-to-mexico.html

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