Sponsor Message:
Non Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Avoiding Travel To The US?  
User currently offlinesomething From United Kingdom, joined May 2011, 1633 posts, RR: 21
Posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3280 times:

Hello all,

even though I had long come to terms with the thought of never going back to the USA again, I am now finding myself in a position where this seems inevitable. It's the sheer number reports of x-ray scanners, TSA's shenanigans, police brutality, unlawful arrests, people being arrested over twitter posts, not being granted constitutional rights as a visitor (you have to agree to that in the ESTA visa waiver form) and lastly having all of my private data stored for 15 years (picture of iris, fingerprints, signature, email address, etc.) in a US database that I just can't, and don't want to, accept.

In the eyes of most, I live a very boring and surprisingly law-obedient lifestyle (I don't even use Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr etc.). Aside from a few stamps in my passport to nations the USA is less than pally with, I really shouldn't have anything to worry about - but seeing how easily even the most innocent of people have gotten caught up in such situation terrifies me. That's one part. The other part is: I just couldn't live with myself if I submitted myself to these stasi-like methods. All of this goes very strongly against my fundamental values and beliefs, that at this point I am considering leaving my job to avoid having to enter the USA.

But that's nothing I would want to do at all, so I have been wondering if there aren't ways to circumvent these ''counter terrorism measures''. What if I flew into YYZ and then entered the USA on a Greyhound bus? Or what if I flew into, say, Puerto Rico and then took another flight from there to the mainland? I would still need to be afraid of being arrested over taking pictures of aircraft (which happened to a friend of mine at JFK), but those are risks I could mitigate by simply remaining inside the hotel or the business meetings I need to attend. Having my personal belongings scrutinized and my personal data stored however, is not quite as easy to avoid.

So my question is: Are there ways to enter the USA without losing my dignity and if so, what are they? Because if there aren't, and I've made this clear to my current employer, there's no way he'll see me state-side.

P.S. I know in the eyes of most my reaction seems exaggerated. But to be perfectly honest, I find every other reaction to these measures nothing short of reprehensible. I just don't comprehend how anybody could possibly be okay with this.

Are there other people out here with similar problems as me?

Thanks for all suggestions in advance!


..sick of it. -K. Pilkington.
85 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8969 posts, RR: 39
Reply 1, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3265 times:

I'm sure Puerto Rico is full of TSA too, but Toronto may work.


"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlineGBLKD From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2011, 345 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3265 times:

Myeslf, my wife, and my son have a real desire to visit New York but I feel the same way that you do about the way foreigners, even those of us who are citizens of America's closest ally, are treated.

I find myself asking if it's really worth the hassle to be honest. Do I really want myself, wife, and 12 year old son poentially treated like criminals on our holiday? Not sure I do.

[Edited 2012-02-02 08:26:24]

User currently onlineseb146 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 11721 posts, RR: 15
Reply 3, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3247 times:

Geez!! You all make us sound like a police state; like North Korea. Not everywhere is like that and it is not like that all the time. JFK is one of the most recongnized ports in the country and one of the busiest for international travel. Our government has a tendancy to react after the fact. If security is tight at JFK, it is because of 9/11. I have taken many pictures at SFO, SLC, SEA, PDX, LAX and have never seen security. If I were to be on the other side of the fence, I would see TONS of security! You will also see security forces if you rob a store or drive drunk or protest for more than an hour. However, if you are enjoying a picknik in the park at noon, or touring a museum, or streched out on a warm beach, no one will probably even notice you are there!

Point is: As long as you don't do anything stupid, you won't have a problem. United States is more than just JFK or New York. Try Denver. Beautiful city on the edge of the Rocky Mountains. Or, fly to YVR and rent a car to see SEA and PDX. Don't let one experience at one airport keep you away from a beautiful and friendly place!



Life in the wall is a drag.
User currently onlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8726 posts, RR: 43
Reply 4, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3236 times:

You already supply a photograph when you get a passport and you supply one or more with many visa applications. IIRC, getting a German passport also entails having your fingerprints taken - I'll soon find out anyway because I need a new one. I don't like it either, but I see it as an additional layer of identification rather than being treated like a criminal.

A job that I have takes me to the US about once per month on average and I usually need some goodwill from TSA, CBP, airline and airport staff to do it well. Once they know why (one of the best possible reasons), almost all of them are helpful and courteous. The keys to that are openness, cooperation and common courtesy on my part. You can be completely calm and relaxed as long as what you're doing is completely legal, so naturally the goverment staff will take a second and third look at you if you've worked yourself up over the horror stories. Just avoid that and you will almost certainly be fine.



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlinezckls04 From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 1415 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3220 times:

If you come in by bus you'll still have to fulfill the visa requirements. In fact as far as I know there's no way around those.

I don't have a lot of sympathy for this point of view to be honest. If you're not prepared to abide by the rules of the country you're visiting don't go. You might not agree with those rules (neither do I), but nevertheless they must be respected since you are a guest in that country.



If you're not sure whether to use a piece of punctuation, it's best not to.
User currently offlineANITIX87 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 3308 posts, RR: 13
Reply 6, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3218 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Wow....

Quoting something (Thread starter):
I just can't, and don't want to, accept.

You can't accept that the world has changed, we have more advanced ways of keeping people safe, and that this is just one way of helping ensure that citizens of the world aren't threatened as easily?

Quoting something (Thread starter):
but seeing how easily even the most innocent of people have gotten caught up in such situation terrifies me.

Incorrect. You've only heard of the few innocent people who have gotten caught up because they have a reason to make a case. You haven't heard about the hundreds of millions of people who travel to/from the USA every day and don't have a single problem. There are two sides of every story. You can't only cite one and claim it's the general condition.

Quoting something (Thread starter):
I just couldn't live with myself if I submitted myself to these stasi-like methods. All of this goes very strongly against my fundamental values and beliefs

What you're basically saying here is, "I refuse to allow the authorities to ensure the safety of those around me." You're claiming that what the TSA and related agencies are doing is a complete violation of personal rights. It's not. It may be a violation of your privacy, especially if they do their job poorly, but nowhere does it state (in any civilized country) that you are allowed to travel unimpeded and undocumented wherever, whenever, and with whatever personal items you choose.

Quoting something (Thread starter):
I have been wondering if there aren't ways to circumvent these ''counter terrorism measures''

Yes. Stay in your house and never leave. Police, ambulance, firefighting, military, and security services are all here to protect us and make sure we live our lives safely. Would you do away with all those organizations I just mentioned, too?

Quoting something (Thread starter):
Are there ways to enter the USA without losing my dignity

Yes. Millions of people do it every year. And if you do get stopped, as you said, you have nothing to worry about. So nobody's going to throw you in a prison cell with a big guy named Bubba and let you fend for yourself. You're being controlled by extreme media, frightened by rare cases of TSA having some agents who don't perform their duties well, and letting your decisions be influenced by unjust fear.

Quoting something (Thread starter):
I know in the eyes of most my reaction seems exaggerated

Not exaggerated. Just a little bit ignorant and juvenile.

Listen, I'm an American citizen, so I'll admit I might be a little biased. I don't agree with all of the TSA's methods and policies. But I'm more than willing to subject myself to security screening and questioning if something in my documentation doesn't add up for some reason. It's in the interest of everyone around me that the TSA is checking me out (not that they ever have, but it's an example) just as it is in my best interest if they check you out. You mentioned someone getting arrested for plane spotting at JFK. That's a case of the officer taking advantage of someone who didn't know their rights. There are bad eggs in every basket, but you only heard about this situation because it was out of the ordinary. I've been spotting at JFK for years (along with hundreds of other poeple) and have never had a problem when I presented ID and was aware of my rights as a citizen. If your friend had not been arrested, he never would have mentioned anything out of the ordinary, and you'd have no qualms about it, I'm guessing.

You need to do a bit more reading of unbiased media, and talk to more people who have traveled to the USA recently. The professional organizations (in any country) are there to protect you and those around you. If they weren't, we'd have far too many problems all over the world.

TIS



www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4
User currently offlinesomething From United Kingdom, joined May 2011, 1633 posts, RR: 21
Reply 7, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3218 times:

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 1):
I'm sure Puerto Rico is full of TSA too, but Toronto may work.

Toronto is a decent place, Montreal is even better. But I've never crossed the Canadian-USA border and don't know if I'd still need to fill out the ESTA to enter the USA this way?

Quoting GBLKD (Reply 2):
I find myself asking if it's really worth the hassle to be honest.

If it were only a hassle, I wouldn't have too much of a problem with it as I am getting paid for my time there. It would, in any case, rule the USA out as a vacation destination though.

I am just extremely uncomfortable with the idea of having everything I do protocolled and stored inaccessible to me for 15 years, especially if I don't even know what is being protocolled and what information about me is accrued.

But glad I'm not the only one who feels that way.

Quoting seb146 (Reply 3):
You all make us sound like a police state

It's the USA that does, not ''us''. Which is exactly the dilemma I am facing. I would love to love the USA. New York is an interesting place, Chicago is beautiful, I have great friends in Dallas, San Francisco is gorgeous, Seattle is a place I could see myself live in, Hawaii is ridiculously gorgeous, Anchorage is breath taking and I could go on like that for hours. But when I am asked to agree that I will not be protected by the most basic constitutional rights as a visitor, have my every step monitored and may end up getting arrested and deported over a ridiculous post on Twitter?

Like I said.. I could tolerate taking the risk, or whatever you want to call it, by keeping a low profile and not even doing anything crazy as renting a car and driving without my birth certificate on me. Nothing I am happy about, but something I could live with.

But surrendering my entire privacy, and having all of that monitored and saved in a database? I'm not 5 years old, and the USA gov't are not my parents. Calling the US a police state might be a bit of stretch, but meekly submitting myself to all of these things I disagree with so vehemently (as I think everybody should) is shameful and undignifying to me. I know it may sound a bit petty, but I just couldn't live with myself if I whored out my principles like that.



..sick of it. -K. Pilkington.
User currently offlineANITIX87 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 3308 posts, RR: 13
Reply 8, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 3187 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting something (Reply 7):
But surrendering my entire privacy, and having all of that monitored and saved in a database? I'm not 5 years old, and the USA gov't are not my parents. Calling the US a police state might be a bit of stretch, but meekly submitting myself to all of these things I disagree with so vehemently (as I think everybody should) is shameful and undignifying to me. I know it may sound a bit petty, but I just couldn't live with myself if I whored out my principles like that.

What do you think happens every time you come to this website? Your visit (IP Address, Operating System, Geographical Location, Referring Link, and even browser type) get documented. Anyone running the site can explore this information and contact you.

Every search you make into Google gets recorded. Every website you visit gets logged so that online advertising can be targeted directly to you. If you're living under the illusion that you can be invisible, you really don't know anything about technology.

TIS



www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4
User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8969 posts, RR: 39
Reply 9, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 3170 times:

Quoting something (Reply 7):
But I've never crossed the Canadian-USA border and don't know if I'd still need to fill out the ESTA to enter the USA this way?

It's been a while since I've crossed that border by car, but I would think you still need it. The advantage is probably not getting groped/irradiated by the TSA. I would think unreasonable searches and seizures are less likely to happen as well since you're not getting on an airplane.



"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlinesomething From United Kingdom, joined May 2011, 1633 posts, RR: 21
Reply 10, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 3171 times:

Quoting aloges (Reply 4):
The keys to that are openness, cooperation and common courtesy on my part. You can be completely calm and relaxed as long as what you're doing is completely legal, so naturally the goverment staff will take a second and third look at you if you've worked yourself up over the horror stories. Just avoid that and you will almost certainly be fine.

Tell that to the tweety bird at LAX. Or to any of the people in the thousands of youtube videos that document police brutality. I'm sorry, but I'm just not that kind of person who can do that.

Quoting zckls04 (Reply 5):
If you're not prepared to abide by the rules of the country you're visiting don't go. You might not agree with those rules (neither do I), but nevertheless they must be respected since you are a guest in that country.

No, I absolutely agree with you there, which is why I started this thread in the first place. If I can't find a way to get around ending up on the US's ''guest list'', I will not go. I'm looking for a legal work-around, a loophole if you will. I wouldn't enter the USA illegally for that purpose.

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 6):
Quoting something (Thread starter):
I just can't, and don't want to, accept.

You can't accept that the world has changed, we have more advanced ways of keeping people safe, and that this is just one way of helping ensure that citizens of the world aren't threatened as easily?

Yes, I should be thankful that there are people out there, who day and night put their lives on the line so I can wake up in a safe world. I wonder how we could even survive before 9/11 and all the laws, rules and regulations that brought us. How reckless we all were..

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 6):
Quoting something (Thread starter):
but seeing how easily even the most innocent of people have gotten caught up in such situation terrifies me.

Incorrect. You've only heard of the few innocent people who have gotten caught up because they have a reason to make a case. You haven't heard about the hundreds of millions of people who travel to/from the USA every day and don't have a single problem. There are two sides of every story. You can't only cite one and claim it's the general condition.

Please visit any sizeable spotter-forum in the USA you can find and you will see they have a dedicated ''Run Ins With The Law'' sub-section, where members discuss issues they've been having with the police and security at the various spotting locations. Then find me a single European forum that has something comparable established.

It's obviously true that the majority of visitors don't have any noteworthy problems with the authorities. But neither do most women in Saudi Arabia. Does that mean I should just shut up, rock my burka and be happy my existence is being tolerated? That's not the philosophy I live my life by..

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 6):
Quoting something (Thread starter):
I have been wondering if there aren't ways to circumvent these ''counter terrorism measures''

Yes. Stay in your house and never leave. Police, ambulance, firefighting, military, and security services are all here to protect us and make sure we live our lives safely. Would you do away with all those organizations I just mentioned, too?

If by employing this reductio ad absurdum you are trying to suggest it's either the way things are, or total anarchy, I regret having to point out that it's not.

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 6):
You mentioned someone getting arrested for plane spotting at JFK. That's a case of the officer taking advantage of someone who didn't know their rights. There are bad eggs in every basket, but you only heard about this situation because it was out of the ordinary.

But that's the joke about it. The cop asked him to delete the images he took, when he refused to comply he was taken to the police station for ''disorderly conduct''.

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 6):
You need to do a bit more reading of unbiased media, and talk to more people who have traveled to the USA recently. The professional organizations (in any country) are there to protect you and those around you. If they weren't, we'd have far too many problems all over the world.

Look, I read this article in a German newspaper the other day about a study that conclusively proved that ''data preservation'' (storing phone and online histories of people for a certain period of time) has not helped criminal investigation at all. What is the error rate of these x-ray machines? 70-80%?

If America wants to become a safer place, they should start by making less enemies; not by pissing off the few remaining friends they have.

But this is all good and well, and I know neither I, nor you, nor anybody else on here is able to change the way things are going as of now and that's not why I am here either. I know people's personal definitions of 'privacy', 'civil liberties', 'freedom', etc. vary greatly and if you believe that the way you are conducting yourself is conducive to making America safer, great. I don't believe it and therefore, I am in no way compelled to budge even an inch from my stance. (By the way, 20 years ago, most Americans wouldn't have expected me to, either).

If I can find a work-around to enter the USA without having my aureolas licked, then I'll thank the person who explained to me how to go about it. If that's legally impossible, I'll stay here at least until I have acquired full diplomatic immunity. I will still be the exact same person, but suddenly, entirely harmless.

Edit:

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 8):
What do you think happens every time you come to this website? Your visit (IP Address, Operating System, Geographical Location, Referring Link, and even browser type) get documented. Anyone running the site can explore this information and contact you.

Every search you make into Google gets recorded. Every website you visit gets logged so that online advertising can be targeted directly to you. If you're living under the illusion that you can be invisible, you really don't know anything about technology.

That's different. As long as I am surfing without using proxies, my IP address will only provide you with vary vague information about me. The fact that I am running Google Chrome on Windows 7 and use an internet provider, whose server is not even located in the same country as I am, will make it very hard to trace me down. Especially since said internet provider is required, per law, to delete my connection information within 12 hours after they've changed (I get assigned a new IP address every time I log in and for that reason alone, re-connect my internet every 12 hours).

Again, I know I am not invisible, I know I can't be anonymous and I know that I never will be. But just because I can't have full anonymity, doesn't mean I shouldn't have any. If the US were to store ''A British cititzen entered the USA at JFK inbound from LHR on British Airways'' for a reasonable time period (72 hours or so), I'd have no objections whatsoever. But having my iris, my finger prints, email address, residency, and who knows what else stored for 15 years? Unacceptable.

[Edited 2012-02-02 09:38:26]


..sick of it. -K. Pilkington.
User currently offlineSOBHI51 From Saudi Arabia, joined Jun 2003, 3506 posts, RR: 17
Reply 11, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 3152 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

As a Saudi Citizen i can say that every time i travel to the USA (twice a year at least) via IAD , i never felt humiliated nor discriminated against. TSA, immigrations and customs are there for the safety of the people including myself while i am there. Even immediately after 9/11 getting extra security did not bother me. Always be ready to answer any question with a clear and honest response, smile, be friendly and don't try to be a smart a,,


I am against any terrorist acts committed under the name of Islam
User currently offlineFingerLakerAv8r From United States of America, joined May 2011, 259 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 3118 times:

I never understood why people were afraid to come visit the USA...



Just keep your valuables and cash out of sight and you'll find we are a friendly people who are only more than happy to show you our great country!

(satire only, don't get all up in "arms" over it)


User currently offlinezckls04 From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 1415 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 3113 times:

To answer the original post, ESTA is not required when entering by land, as if that makes a blind bit of difference to your rights or lack thereof.

Hopefully they'll turn you away, and you can go somewhere nice like Blackpool instead.



If you're not sure whether to use a piece of punctuation, it's best not to.
User currently offlinemham001 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3682 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3098 times:

Quoting something (Reply 7):
I am just extremely uncomfortable with the idea of having everything I do protocolled and stored inaccessible to me for 15 years, especially if I don't even know what is being protocolled and what information about me is accrued.

You may not realize it, but the great collector of information is not the government, but private enterprise. Whether you want to believe or not, everything you google, everything you purchase, every place you go is tracked. What is really amusing is that you seem happy to live with the millions of cameras tracking your every move in England, by the government, something most of us here abhor. In fact, many of us shake our heads at things that others accept in your country. Did you know that British Telecom, is planning to use deep packet inspection technology provided by companies such as Phorm in order to examine the contents of the pages that people visit?

Quoting something (Reply 7):
But when I am asked to agree that I will not be protected by the most basic constitutional rights as a visitor,

What ever made you believe that you live under our Constitution? You live in a country whose government has tried to block Twitter and Facebook, and you complain about the loss of rights you never had in a country you don't live in.


User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 7931 posts, RR: 52
Reply 15, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3089 times:

I see your concerns, and I hope more civil liberties return to the US, but honestly, as long as you're not posting weird stuff on the internet and you're not a jerk to any policemen, you'll be fine. Most police here are reasonable anyway.

I do think you make the situation sound worse than it really is. Sure, in the worst case, some tourists have been questioned for a while, but no one has been sent to Gitmo, and it's not like some countries that will accuse you of spying and lock you up for a while. The US has plenty of great sights and cities (honestly, I don't see everyone's big obsession with NYC, it's a cool place to visit but there are many other great/better places IMO.)

I'm optimistic and I think all this craziness / neoconservationism will die down soon (within the next 10 years.) Don't completely write us off.

And very anecdotal, but I actually feel quite safe in the US. I missed and earthquake / tsunami in Japan, missed riots in Greece, missed a rebellion / coup in Egypt, missed bombs in Israel, missed a grenade / machine gun attack in Belgium, missed a bomb in Norway, and didn't get kidnapped by Los Zetas in Mexico. I missed many of these events by a matter of weeks, yet have lived in America all my life, unharmed  



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently onlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8726 posts, RR: 43
Reply 16, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3084 times:

Quoting mham001 (Reply 16):
everything you purchase (...) is tracked.

I'd really like to know how anyone is going to track a cash purchase when no loyalty card is shown. Face recognition?



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10109 posts, RR: 26
Reply 17, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3074 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting something (Reply 10):

Please visit any sizeable spotter-forum in the USA you can find and you will see they have a dedicated ''Run Ins With The Law'' sub-section, where members discuss issues they've been having with the police and security at the various spotting locations. Then find me a single European forum that has something comparable established.

That's a terrible example. It's a VERY select group of people, engaging in an activity that I think is understandably viewed a bit suspiciously (not just by law enforcement, but by some other people as well).

Whether or not you agree with our long-term reaction (I certainly don't agree with it all), we had a huge terrorist attack involving airplanes. People see that, and hear the news or whatever, and think "oh man, anyone plane-spotting might be up to no good!"

Kind of like how you watch the news or whatever, and think "oh man, the USA is an authoritarian tyranny like Saudi Arabia!"

FYI, being of Indian ethnicity, I have dark skin. Also have a goatee, and (currently) not-short hair. Yet I go shoot airplanes at LAX all the time, and have never been hassled. I've taken photos in airport terminals, and never been hassled. I've taken many flights around the country, and have never been hassled (hell, I've never even been pulled aside for a "random" search). I was shooting airplane light trails on the beach by LAX one night, and a cop drove up to me. This was the ENTIRE exchange:

Cop: Hey bro, what you up to?
Me: Just taking some long exposures.
Cop: OK. [Cop drives away]

I've been pulled over for speeding, and never been treated like anything other than a normal person who was driving too fast (I've also never been ticketed for it).

While the US keeping your info for however long is something over which you have no control, I honestly wouldn't worry about it. But obviously people have different beliefs about that sort of thing.



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently onlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8330 posts, RR: 9
Reply 18, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3073 times:

Quoting aloges (Reply 4):
I am now finding myself in a position where this seems inevitable. It's the sheer number reports of x-ray scanners, TSA's shenanigans, police brutality, unlawful arrests, people being arrested over twitter posts, not being granted constitutional rights as a visitor

My first experience with a scanner was at LHR. London's Heathrow. In the UK. The gent was very polite, asking me if I would take part in a trial for these "new machines". Not a problem for me and it really shouldn't be for anyone. You are "viewed" by a person of the same sex who sees a thousand "views" a day and could care less what the size of your "anything" is.

I have also been randomly selected for additional security questioning at LHR. Pretty thorough and very professionally done. Again, not a problem and I ended up being pretty impressed with the lass who carried out the questioning. (She was a BA employee, BTW.)

So you can get involved in airport security anywhere you go. In the US you might feel the experience is different than the UK because of the personalities of people around the country. In NYC they might be more brisk and brash. Go through Atlanta and they may well have a different approach.

Police are generally polite if you are polite to them. Works the same in the US as the UK and anywhere else. Showing respect tends to get it back.

If you are really worried about the brisk & brash attitudes then I would go through a different city, like Atlanta, and then enjoy the more relaxed parts of the country. New Orleans is back with the French Quarter. DisneyWorld is a great place for a family, especially with Epcot included. And Harry Potter is close. San Francisco is really a great place for visiting, with LA a short flight (or long drive) away. There are a lot of places in the US to visit, just like we have a lot of places across the pond we would enjoy - and the wife & I are headed back around September.


User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3017 posts, RR: 8
Reply 19, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3066 times:

Quoting something (Reply 10):
If I can find a work-around to enter the USA without having my aureolas licked

Fly to Cuba, on VS or Cubana, then find a small boat and cross under cover of nightfall to Florida. Or go to Canada in winter, and walk accross a frozen lake. Of set up a fake identity, get yourself a "genuine" passport in this new ID and use that to enter the US. Though they might find you out...

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineflymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7213 posts, RR: 9
Reply 20, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3060 times:

Quoting aloges (Reply 18):
I'd really like to know how anyone is going to track a cash purchase when no loyalty card is shown. Face recognition?

Well I assume purchases are either online or by card, but with the GPS technology on phones now days its not too difficult.

Quoting something (Thread starter):
Quoting something (Thread starter):
constitutional rights as a visitor

Visitors should get full consitutional rights? I highly doubt when I go to the UK I get all the rights someone from their would get.

Quoting something (Thread starter):
and lastly having all of my private data stored for 15 years (picture of iris, fingerprints, signature, email address, etc.) in a US database that I just can't, and don't want to, accept.

You do understand this happens everywhere and anywhere. Are you on facebook? You do understand that facebook OWNS everything you have ever posted on their site.

Quoting something (Thread starter):
All of this goes very strongly against my fundamental values and beliefs, that at this point I am considering leaving my job to avoid having to enter the USA.

Then don't bother. Have fun being afraid of nothing.

Quoting something (Thread starter):
Or what if I flew into, say, Puerto Rico and then took another flight from there to the mainland?

The federal government would treat Puerto Rico differently why?

Quoting something (Thread starter):
Having my personal belongings scrutinized and my personal data stored however, is not quite as easy to avoid.

Oh yea, this never happens in Europe? You know one day in Zurich I had to wait 15mins for them to check something I purchased on board my SWISS flight, man that was horrible I will never go back there again.

Quoting something (Thread starter):
I would still need to be afraid of being arrested over taking pictures of aircraft (which happened to a friend of mine at JFK),

Ask anyone here, this is the absolute small minority. There are plenty of places in the world which do not even allow photography at airports. I have taken thousands of pictures in airports.

Quoting something (Thread starter):
So my question is: Are there ways to enter the USA without losing my dignity and if so,

Just don't come.

Quoting something (Thread starter):
seems exaggerated

Seems? Seems is an understatement.

When I applied for a student visa to live in Spain I gave them everything, I could not care less if they stored my e-mail adress or picture in a file for 100 years. I have nothing to hide, I wasnt going there to break any laws. Who cares.



"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently onlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8726 posts, RR: 43
Reply 21, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3054 times:

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 19):
FYI, being of Indian ethnicity, I have dark skin. Also have a goatee, and (currently) not-short hair. Yet I go shoot airplanes at LAX all the time, and have never been hassled. I've taken photos in airport terminals, and never been hassled.

Do you remember Boston?
www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/non_aviation/read.main/1620190#87
Even the gun boat guarding a gas tanker didn't bother us or anyone else while we were spotting on Castle Island.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 20):
Quoting aloges (Reply 4):

I'm afraid you may have clicked the wrong "quote selected text" button.  



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlinelewis From Greece, joined Jul 1999, 3657 posts, RR: 5
Reply 22, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3055 times:

I think you are exaggerating. Even if someone stores your information for that long (I don't fully agree with it), they do that for millions of other people. Nobody is going to go through that data again unless your fingerprint is found in a crime scene. I would like to believe that the people who have access to that information have better things to do than randomly check for a tourist's fingerprints and look at your iris scan. This information is of no use to them.

Quoting something (Thread starter):
police brutality

That exists everywhere and it is just a case of bad apples. Should I be afraid to visit London because a paraplegic student demonstrating was thrown out of his wheelchair and beaten up by a police officer?

So far, all the times I have been stopped by the LAPD (who are considered very bad for some reason) I have had courteous officers ask for my DL and my registration, maybe some chit chat and that was about it.

Quoting something (Reply 10):
If the US were to store ''A British cititzen entered the USA at JFK inbound from LHR on British Airways'' for a reasonable time period (72 hours or so)

I haven't researched this in detail but I am pretty sure that a foreign national visiting the UK gets his passport scanned and all the information, including name, nationality, date of entry, date of departure and biometrics are stored in a database somewhere, on behalf of the UK government. Same thing happens whenever someone visits any European country. For how long that data is kept, I have no idea.

Quoting mham001 (Reply 16):
Quoting something (Reply 7):
But when I am asked to agree that I will not be protected by the most basic constitutional rights as a visitor,

What ever made you believe that you live under our Constitution? You live in a country whose government has tried to block Twitter and Facebook, and you complain about the loss of rights you never had in a country you don't live in.

  

As far as I know, the US Constitution applies to everyone within the jurisdiction of the United States, regardless of citizenship or residence status, unless someone commits a war crime or is considered an enemy combatant. It should equally apply to visitors and tourists. Are you really supporting that a tourist visiting the US has no right to due process, freedom of speech and all the other wonderful rights that your Constitution provides within your country's borders? The fact that ESTA requires you to basically waive those rights (something I was unaware of), is unacceptable. I am assuming that if you ever visited a western country which protects certain rights you would expect the same fair treatment as everybody else there. I am personally glad to be living in a country like the US, knowing that my rights are protected in the same way as an American's and that I will have equal treatment in case I ever get in minor trouble with the law (worse case scenario - I get deported).

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 17):
missed riots in Greece

So did I, and I lived in Athens back then.

Edit:

Quoting flymia (Reply 22):
Visitors should get full consitutional rights?

Just wanted to specify that I am talking about the basics and not something irrelevant like the right to bear arms. And yes, if you visit the UK, you should expect the same rights and same treatment from the law. They won't throw you in a dungeon if you ever get arrested, for example, and you will have a right to legal representation etc. These are the rights we are talking about.

[Edited 2012-02-02 10:40:20]

User currently offlinezckls04 From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 1415 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3057 times:

I remember going through immigration a couple of years ago and having the most intense and aggressive questioning I have ever faced at a US airport. The border guard insisted- in fact demanded- that I tell him whether I though the US or England were going to win their World Cup match.

I thought it would probably be England (seems so silly now I know), so I told him as much, and he informed that he was sorry, but I did not meet the eligibility requirements for entry into the US. I wrestled with my conscience for a bit before agreeing reluctantly to change my answer, at which point my passport was stamped and I was on my way.



If you're not sure whether to use a piece of punctuation, it's best not to.
User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10109 posts, RR: 26
Reply 24, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3022 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting aloges (Reply 23):
Do you remember Boston?
www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/non_aviation/read.main/1620190#87
Even the gun boat guarding a gas tanker didn't bother us or anyone else while we were spotting on Castle Island.

Of course I remember! I was actually looking at that thread not too long ago for some reason.

(though to be honest, I never actually understood the thread title)

But yes, good point - they are serious about security for those tankers - they clear the channel, and if I remember correctly, they even stop air traffic over it (I forget where I heard that....I think from someone who was a consultant for the LNG-in-Boston thing).



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
25 Post contains images aloges : Neither do I anymore... IIRC, I had googled for typical Boston food whose name you can shout like you can a call for a meeting.
26 flymia : Of course anyone should get a attorney, the right to remain silent etc.. But at the same time they may be treated a little differently if they are no
27 lewis : Yeah exactly, the punishment may be a bit different, possibly deportation as I said, since by getting a visa someone has agreed not to get involved i
28 Post contains images GrahamHill : Sorry, but do you think that all incomers must go through Guantanamo before being allowed to step a foot on the US mainland? Last time I've been to t
29 airtrainer : My last visit was last month, and I was really pleased to see how things have improved. The immigration officer at IAD was nice, the only questions h
30 lewis : Huh... I thought all that was standard procedure and not based on random selection.
31 zckls04 : I don't think I've ever had to apply for ESTA, so I've never seen this rights waiver, but I checked with a friend and he doesn't remember anything si
32 Post contains images airtrainer : Well that's what I was thinking too I can't recall of any use of the scans for other people that day...
33 GrahamHill : Was it because everything was in their system already? When was the last time you went to the US prior to that one?
34 imiakhtar : Apart from the constitutional rights issue, most of the above are also applicable to the UK. As is the norm for many Pakistanis, I have a very large
35 airtrainer : Here's the link to the application form. Also note that info such as phone number and email address are not stated as mandatory (but of course one ne
36 airtrainer : I don't think so, my last visit prior to this one was in 2010, but it was the first time for my girlfriend. Also we were told that the famous green c
37 lewis : I enter the US a few times per year and I have to re-submit photo and fingerprints every time during re-entry. I went on the ESTA website and up to t
38 Post contains links rfields5421 : http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/1697862.stm http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...rs-facing-years-Indian-prison.html I guess these guys missed the
39 zckls04 : So you can't appeal the Border Patrol's decision. Seems reasonable- granting appeals to everyone refused who isn't seeking political asylum would be
40 Post contains images aerorobnz : I have done at least 3 extended trips to the USA (Florida/Washington/Illinois/Minnesota/Michigan/Georgia/Alaska/California/Texas) specifically for th
41 photopilot : 100's of millions of people per day??? Now that's funny as hell, but somewhat overblown. So yuou've gone from "reckless" to complete paranoia. It's i
42 aloges : If Global Entry ever does get extended to more foreign nationals than Canadians and the Dutch, that will be less of an issue in general terms... fing
43 ual777 : Oh jeez...... Its EXTREMELY rare...like getting struck by lightning rare... Sounds like he was joking.
44 zckls04 : Er, yes, he was. That was kind of my point.
45 sccutler : I am not fond of the TSA, and the notion that we even have an agency with an Orwellian name like "Department of Homeland Security" gives me the bejee
46 mham001 : I'm sure it is. Cuba doesn't have boatloads of defecting Americans landing on it's shores.
47 UAL747 : Not to mention, countries in great economic distress care more about tourist dollars than tourist's security. Nor do they have the funds to properly
48 czbbflier : Not a good idea. You can see footprints in the snow right up to the nearest road. Better to use a boat in a different season. A row boat. Onyx black
49 UAL747 : And BTW, the ONLY time I've come across a full body scanner, in my 1,000 plus flights, is at TUL of all places! It's a simple process, and I did not f
50 LAXintl : For info - and supported by US Supreme Court decisions - Constitutional Rights DO NOT APPLY at border points. Matter or fact, courts have found borde
51 Pyrex : Portuguese citizen living in the U.S., probably cross the border around 8 times a year. Never had any hassle whatsoever (sometimes I have to wait a l
52 Maverick623 : Oh give me a friggen break. Greater than 95% of videos posted as "police brutality" are bogus. I've seen far harsher treatment of completely innocent
53 Quokkas : A couple of points. First, the ESTA waiver does not require you to renounce any Constitutional Rights. It simply states that if you wish to apply for
54 ltbewr : Even if traveling to Canada by air, I believe many of the same rules apply as to airline security and information that is needed to be given. There is
55 OA260 : On my recent trip to MIA/SJU there was one in operation at SJU and I opted out , no big deal and the staff were friendly as was the immigration offic
56 OzGlobal : I really don't understand the logic of American posters drawing on their own experience of entering the USA as citizens to refute the claims of others
57 windy95 : Not to many. You should see the planeloads of Brits, Germans, Koreans, Japanese and all types of South Americans unloading everyday in Orlando and Ta
58 Quokkas : Persons legally in the US are afforded the protection of law regardless of their citizenship status. People present illegally may find things a bit d
59 jwenting : You'd get the same rights to protection from unreasonable search and seizure (which is protected for US citizens under the constitution...) as UK cit
60 Quokkas : Maybe you mean "you are fair game" ? But is there any evidence for this? ESTA applies only to pre-clearance procedures. If you arrive at a airport in
61 Bongodog1964 : In July I will be boarding a plane to Florida, when I deplane at MCO I will be a guest of the USA, it is not my right to enter as I am a foreign natio
62 flymia : Actually the security did fine, the objects they used were allowed under FAA rules then. Not exactly since the highjackers were not from the US, it w
63 lewis : I am repeating myself but anyway... Can you provide me a source that says non-citizens do not get protection from the Constitution? I am talking abou
64 skysurfer : I used to cross numerous times at the 1000 Islands crossing. I never had a problem and after the customary questioning it was: park the car, head int
65 Post contains images zckls04 : Note not everybody's flag here matches their country of citizenship Nobody has yet shown me this mythical text which signs away all your rights. All
66 vikkyvik : All this.... ....applies to US citizens as well.
67 Docpepz : My passport has stamps from Iran, Oman, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt. I've entered the USA twice in the past 6 months and both times, immig
68 Post contains images LAXintl : As they say, when in Rome..... So unless people are willing to jump through the hoops required, and accept the law of the land whether in the US, UK,
69 Post contains links photopilot : Perhaps people find this repugnant because they come from countries where good manners, politeness and being friendly is the norm, not the exception.
70 DeltaMD90 : Everything is an attack against America with you. I'm well traveled and I have seen good and bad in all cultures, probably the rudest guy was in Luxe
71 zckls04 : After this load of xenophobic crap I can't believe I'm dignifying you with an answer, but..... Have a valium and calm down. The NDAA has nothing to d
72 Pu : I agree totally, a man such as yourself has no place in America, you should stick with your instincts. Read Pravda much? Or whatever the Iranian news
73 luckyone : New York is a country???? That is news indeed!!! Beyond that...some of the rudest, most abrupt people on the planet hail from the UK, so the user sho
74 seb146 : I went to Mexico last year on a cruise. Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo. In Mazatlan, I felt like I would be shot at any second for no reason. I u
75 mham001 : Thanks for saying that, I see the same thing but of course, my opinion means little because of the flag next to my name. I am often surprised about t
76 Post contains images shamrock604 : Hmmm... sorry, but the patriot act took America very sadly in that direction. But, and it's only fair to point out, you are not alone, many so called
77 DocLightning : Well, we're not quite North Korea yet. But we are a police state. More of our population is in prison than any other "democracy." Our police are arme
78 OzGlobal : As I hope everyone here knows, the treatment of non-US citizens on arrival is governed by different and additional protocols vs US citizens re-enteri
79 Post contains images soon7x7 : Thats an easy answer...dress up like this and no one will bother you...
80 windy95 : But you still have millions over the year that have no problems. Including the many Brits and South Americans that are buying property here in Florid
81 PanHAM : Getting a bit late into this discussion and did not read most of it, but: I checked the ESTA rules which is basically nothing else than the green form
82 greasespot : Kind of Ironic that the user has these fears yet comes from a country with more public CCTV cameras that any other country on earth. GS
83 UAL747 : Okay okay. I just flew through LHR today as a "CONNECTING" passenger. I was frisked, to the point where the guy grabbed my underwear underneath my jea
84 shamrock604 : It's a fair point - UK security is pretty draconian, and you should try being crew passing through a British Airport - they just love giving you an e
85 georgetown : I usually try to come up with well thought out and measured responses here, and I'm very glad that some have, but I'm really not going to bother this
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Russian Forces Took 4 Humvee's Belonging To The US posted Tue Aug 19 2008 12:47:37 by Mortyman
Chavez: "We Aren't Going To Send Oil To The US" posted Sun Feb 10 2008 15:31:20 by FriendlySkies
Bringing Chocolate To The US posted Thu Dec 13 2007 23:58:12 by TurkishWings
HIV Came To The US From Haiti posted Tue Oct 30 2007 08:55:45 by SKYSERVICE_330
Zombies: The New Threat To The US posted Sat Sep 15 2007 04:04:42 by ShyFlyer
Why Is Israel Important To The US? posted Tue Feb 27 2007 02:28:00 by Mbj-11
Entry To The US For Under 18s? posted Wed Jan 24 2007 00:24:39 by Wildwing64
Abandoned Lebanese Pet To The US posted Sat Sep 23 2006 11:20:03 by OD720
What Happened To The US Airways Merger Video? posted Fri Oct 14 2005 05:45:19 by PanAm330
The Real Threat To The US.. posted Sun Aug 14 2005 18:24:42 by Soyuzavia