SR3496 From Switzerland, joined May 2000, 792 posts, RR: 22 Posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 1719 times:
I just want to tell you what I have experienced one week ago in the US.
We drove on I-8 East between Yuma and Tucson, Arizona with our rent-a-car. There are from time to time such ‘inspection pullouts’. I think it’s for the trucks, but I’m not sure. Anywayz at that inspection pullout every car had to leave the highway and drive to this point. And there were some police officers and each car had to stop. There weren’t many cars in front of us. Each car stopped at the line and about 10 seconds later it drove away back to the normal highway. Then we were next and stopped next to the police officer. He asked how we’re doing and where we came from. We said we came from Mexico over Yuma and wanted to go to Phoenix. He looked at us and asked for our passports. Then he realised that we were Swiss. He took the passports and browse through one. Page by page, this took a lot of time. Then he said if we could park our car next to a police car. And another officer came. We had to leave our car, open the boot and so on. They made a control. Look under the seats and into our baggage. After some minutes they have finished and we drove away direction Phoenix.
This does not really seem special, just a routine control. Yes, that’s right. But the reason why we were controlled is not normal. This was not a random control. Like they took every 100th car, every car with 4 people in it or every car with a California plate.
No, they controlled us because the officer saw the stamps and visas in our passport. Ok, there were stamps from countries where he didn’t even know where they were exactly like São Tomé, Mozambique, Mali, Azerbaijan, and many more but should he care about that fact!? This can’t be a reason to check us. This is too ridiculous and even discriminating. My father asked him (after they finished their work) why we wanted to control us and he said that so many stamps in a Swiss (!) passport wouldn’t be normal and he bacame suspicious. This is soooo stupid. If we’d have had a ‘clean’ passport he wouldn’t have controlled our car.
Well, I do not have something against the increased security within the US. But such a control is senseless, a waste of time and does not increase the security in the states at all.
We didn’t expect that the police officer would say thank you for travelling to the US. But this form of discrimination shouldn’t exist in a nation like the US. Where is the nation where everyone is equal in front of the police, where is the tolerance...gone?
That’s it. Thank you for reading and I whish I can come to the US again as a tourist without having such stupid controls, because it’s a great place and I like to travel to the United States.
Lindy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 2, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 1607 times:
Do you have problem with that??? I was stopped many times just for rutine control. Sometimes it take ages for police officer to check driver licence and crap like that.
Because you had passports not regular ID he checked you. It doesnt matter if you have plenty of stamps from other countries, he did it because you are outsider. ANd they are scared.
Alpha 1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 3, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 1601 times:
It's called taking no chances. Unfortunately, the days where we just trust everyone are over. It's not like you were held in prison, SR3496. You're car was checked. I think you'd find a lot more intrusive searches going on in other places around the world.
Alpha 1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 6, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 1591 times:
Discrimination? Did they stop only Swiss citizens with passports and rental cars? I doubt it. What they did is the same thing we're now doing at the departure doors at airports here-continuous, RANDOM checks and searches. They probably couldn't tell you were Swiss until you showed your passports! What about the Arizonan, the Mexican, the Californian, who probably got stopped as well? It's only discrimination if you're checking one certain group. I doubt that Swiss citizens in rental cars are in great numbers in Arizona. Get a grip.
SR3496 From Switzerland, joined May 2000, 792 posts, RR: 22 Reply 7, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 1586 times:
I know that this seems strange for you that I come along and complain about such a detail. (But your all from the US.)
And look, I just want to say that in Switzerland e.g. this wouldn't happen to any of you.
And I never had such a control before in the US.
I do also know that in other countries (mostly third world counrties) that's routine. You don't have to tell me that, I experienced it already a lot of times!
SR3496 From Switzerland, joined May 2000, 792 posts, RR: 22 Reply 9, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 1575 times:
No, that's exactly my point. They stopped all cars. But we were the only one who were really checked (and not only say hello and goodbye). And the officer even said that our passport (with the stamps and the visas) were the reason for this control. It was not a random search.
Alpha 1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 10, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 1575 times:
Sr3496, if in Switzerland, you find yourself in the wake of an attack that killed 6000 people on your soil; when a group of people or a country declare war on you in such a way, such things may very well happen in Switzerland. Remember that in all your complaining. Remember whence this "discrimination" came from. It was from an act of war. Clear enough?
OH-LZA From Finland, joined Jun 2001, 1000 posts, RR: 5 Reply 11, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 1575 times:
The moment i saw this topic i thought it would be something like this, checking someone because of being Swiss and having many stamps in your passport!!!!
This is just CRAZY. I hope they won't check me for being a Finn who has been to Russia when i (hopefully) visit The US next summer.
SR3496 From Switzerland, joined May 2000, 792 posts, RR: 22 Reply 12, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1568 times:
I know about who started that war. But I went to the US for vacation. Remember: I brought money into your country as a tourist and I did not attack the US. So why check me? Give me a good reason. Can you find one?
I travelled to these countries for vacation. All these are great places. I've been in a few more African countries, if you like more information, please send me an e-mail.
Alpha 1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 13, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1558 times:
I'll give you 6000 good reasons!! The fact is that look what happened when we just trusted everyone to be good sports-we got attacked! The fact you got picked out was RANDOM!! Stop taking it so personally!! You'd think they were looking at you from the second you entered the country. That's not the way it happened!
You say "why me?" Why the native of Arizona who ended up getting stopped? And I guarantee you more than one Arizonan got stopped! I'll bet among the hundreds that were being stopped ,you were probably the only Swiss citizen to be stopped. The rest were mostly Americans. But they obviously understand why, even though the reasons seem to fly right over your head.
Delboy From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 722 posts, RR: 0 Reply 14, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1563 times:
So you went to the US on vacation and took a few dollars to spend, so what.
Some of the pilots Bin Laden hired each had $50,000US to spend in America.
Don't be so paranoid, as Alpha 1 said, had the boot been on the other foot and someone had killed thousands of Swiss wouldn't you want to know that your authorities were checking people out. I know I would. A little delay is a small price to pay knowing that you are going to be a lot safer than you were pre September 11.
Heavymetal From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 15, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1559 times:
I sense a "Why check on me? I'm WHITE!" vibe here, but thats way too much assumption on my part. For what its' worth, I was born and raised here, I'm a big, white, buzzcut drill sargent looking dude, and I had to spend 5 minutes as my car was searched inside and out just going to the airport to pick my mom up last night!
In any case, Alpha is 100 percent correct....you say none of this would happen to visitors in Switzerland. I dont expect you to understand, you come from a country that has been carefully neutral for a great while. But if a group had committed a barbaric act of terrorism on your soil, then made it clear they can't wait to do it again....I have no doubts that security in your country would be just as abrupt.
As an American, I apologized that you felt slighted. I simply ask your understanding about what kind of a world we're living in now.
Sccutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 5246 posts, RR: 27 Reply 16, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1554 times:
On behalf of all US Citizens, I apologize for any offense you may have taken. We (collectively) are pretty new at this "internal security" thing.
But remember this. Before September 11th, most of the attackers could have said, in similar circumstances, "I brought money into your country as a visiting student, spent thousands patronizing your fine flight schools and paying sales taxes, and I did not attack the US [yet]."
They are operating upon the premise (mostly valid, one thinks, with notable exceptions- see, Timothy McVeigh) that the majority of potential terrorists are from outside the country; and that the more time you have spent outside the "mainstream" countries (whatever that might mean), the more likely it is that you have potential connections with subversive or terrorist elements.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
TWFirst From Vatican City, joined Apr 2000, 6346 posts, RR: 53 Reply 17, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1549 times:
Boo hoo SR3496. I don't feel sorry for you. You feel violated because you think you were checked because you were a foreigner here in the U.S. How do you think WE feel as Americans having to be checked in our own country!?!??
Get over it. This is why the terrorist acts of 9/11 affected ALL people of the world, not just Americans. Consider yourself educated now.
Staffan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 18, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1545 times:
Nothing to worry about, our passports were checked when we drove into Switzerland with a Belgian registered car, doubt they check passports on Swiss cars....
Why did they check us and not everyone else? We're foreigners...damn....discrimination...I think not! Just checking who they are letting in to the country.
SR3496 From Switzerland, joined May 2000, 792 posts, RR: 22 Reply 19, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1535 times:
I do not have anything aganist these controls, I have nothing against that they check us, but I have something against the fact that the did this control due to the fact that I have a lot of stamps and visas in my Swiss passport.
And look, I do not hide where I've been. I could also make a new passport in Switzerland before travelling to the US and come with a 'clean' one. But no, I do not because I've nothing to hide. The fact that someone has no stamps in the passport does not mean that he/she didn't travel before...
JetService From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 4798 posts, RR: 12 Reply 21, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1525 times:
SR3496, sounds like you're complaining more that they DIDN'T discriminate. You're whining because a Swiss passport should have exempted you from a search. That's what I'm hearing. If you think you should get the same treatment as locals, then you're out of your mind.
Carioca Canuck From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 22, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1521 times:
Don't talk to me about control if you're Swiss.
The Swiss have had submachine gun toting soldiers in their airports for the last 10 years or more....what's that ???
So they checked you out...boohoo...I'm a white male from Canada and have been profiled by my own customs people at the border and had my car gone thru with a fine tooth comb. It's no big deal....grow up.
SR3496 From Switzerland, joined May 2000, 792 posts, RR: 22 Reply 23, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1510 times:
I know about the Swiss banks and the 'neutral' and so on...tell me a country which is innocent!
Look, they checked me because of the combination of two things:
- Foreign passport
- a lot of stamps and visas
But this combination shouldn't be a reason to check someone, at least in my opinion.
Alpha 1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 24, posted (12 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1497 times:
Let me ask you something SR3496: did they know about your passports and stamps BEFORE they pulled you over? If the answer to that is no-and that is the correct answer-then I don't understand your gripe. So they asked for ID. And when you showed them a lot of passports with stamps, it's a good bet they were looking for stamps from countries that support and protect terrorists. I'm willing to bet. And they obviously looked carefully, so what's the big deal. Just because you come from a neutral country doesn't exclude you from being checked!
25 Redraider: I would be willing that if you had a US Passport with all of those countries, you would have received the same treatment. What is a reason to check so
26 Ihadapheo: SR3496 if you know about the Swiss banks etc and the U.S. government's stand on terrorist bank accounts being "frozen" and are such a world traveler
27 Iainhol: I do not see what the big deal is. The US police do tha all the time, in Socal, if you are young and in a nice car, you will get pulled over by the po
28 OH-LZA: JetService But did the Americans get searched this way? No. Zulu Alpha
29 Iainhol: OH-LZA read my posts, we get the same crap from police you did! Iain
30 Ikarus: Don't take it personal: He probably did not think you had anything to do with terrorists. He probably thought you were just smuggling drugs. Had you n
31 Jtb106: Keep in mind that in the Southwest US, and that part of AZ in particular, there is the huge problem of smuggling both people and drugs across the Mexi
32 Mls515: I remember being stopped with my mom in southern Arizona back in 1993 for an agricultural checkpoint. Perhaps this is what it was and they figured fo
33 Jtb106: Mls515: That's another very good point I had meant to mention, but forgot while writing that short novel above... j
34 USAir1489: Going west on Interstate 80 just after the California border (after leaving Nevada), there was a checkpoint where guards asked us if we were carring a
35 De727ups: SR3496 said "I do not have anything aganist these controls, I have nothing against that they check us, but I have something against the fact that the
36 Turbolet: More and more I'm beginning to fancy the idea of breaking up the army, police and whatever authorities there are and introduce a Wild West system wher
37 Sabena332: The American cops are very thorough. The same thing happend to me when i was in the Staates, during a regular traffic control the cops started to sear
38 SR3496: I don't know which police/force it was. But definitly not the Border patrol (they stopped us twice before) and not a fruit check (these I know from va
39 PanAm747: >>Envy of your family's wealth might have been a factor, too.
40 The747Man: SR3496, It's what you call "security". You posted this just because you got checked more than American citizens because you're a foreignor??????? Good
41 The747Man: Let's say I was going to Sweden Ooops, I meant Switzerland. My bad.
42 Hepkat: Well, I see the terrorists' plans have worked out superbly well. Not only are we divided by fear and suspicion, but our freedoms have been curtailed a
43 Klaus: As long as they stay reasonably polite and don´t harrass people, I don´t have a problem with controls. We all would like to be back in those innocen
44 Klaus: Hepkat: Well, I see the terrorists' plans have worked out superbly well. Not only are we divided by fear and suspicion, but our freedoms have been cur
45 Mx5_boy: SR3496, Mate, I don't know what on earth you are complaining about. Just be thankful you were not thoroughly searched! (snap of rubber gloves) You hav
46 Whistler: I agree with what Mx_5 boy (and others). Doing that is their job. They have to look for the slightest suspicious thing, and sometimes search people fo
47 Mx727: SR3496: I agree with you. American officers get nervous about foreigners. And that's before sept.11. I once crossed the border from Tijuana to San Die