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US Immigrations And Their Useless Questions  
User currently offlineB707321C From Norway, joined Sep 2005, 172 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 2147 times:

Maybe someone can help me to understand? I have been visiting the US regularly the last 20 years (2-3 times pr. year) and still do not understand the purpose of the questions on Green VISA Waiver Form I-94W, which have been in use since 1991.

On this forms there are several questions, which in my humble opinion are rather strange and useless. My favourite question is the end of question B.

“. …OR ARE YOU SEEKING ENTRY TO ENGAGE IN CRIMINAL OR IMMORAL ACTIVITIES?

I would like to see a criminal that actually answered YES on those questions. Of all the millions of visitors to the US, I don’t think that many (if any) actually have answered Yes. Did Mr Atta answer yes on his form before entering the US prior to 9/11?
I find it very hard to take the immigration officers and their questions seriously, when being presented with obviously useless questions like this. Or is there something that I am missing here?

33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSaxdiva From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 2382 posts, RR: 41
Reply 1, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 2136 times:

Drop them a note and ask them to explain the "immoral" part. Given the current administration, you might get some interesting answers...  Wink

User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20640 posts, RR: 62
Reply 2, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 2112 times:

If they didn't ask that question, and you were found to have entered the country for criminal or immoral activity, then they couldn't deport you for a visa violation if you were caught.  Wink

It's one of Washington's create paperwork initiatives. Sort of like giving you a tax deduction for your safe deposit box rental so they can track who has one when you die.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineB707321C From Norway, joined Sep 2005, 172 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 2101 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 2):
If they didn't ask that question, and you were found to have entered the country for criminal or immoral activity, then they couldn't deport you for a visa violation if you were caught.

Thanks for your feedback, but wouldn’t the criminal action itself qualify for deportation?


User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20640 posts, RR: 62
Reply 4, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 2092 times:

Quoting B707321C (Reply 3):
but wouldn’t the criminal action itself qualify for deportation?

Not knowing the ins and outs of how deportation works, but having a little insight into how Washington works, it would seem that that question is there solely because a visa violation would make things easier for them to a) deport you, or b) track you for future visa applications if you did have a violation, or c) as a red herring. But enjoy your trip anyway! LOL



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5712 posts, RR: 18
Reply 5, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 2057 times:

I'm surprised that you're surprised. Since when do government forms make any sense anyway??? In any given country.

User currently offlineB707321C From Norway, joined Sep 2005, 172 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2043 times:

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 5):
I'm surprised that you're surprised. Since when do government forms make any sense anyway??? In any given country.

I did not say I was surprised. I taught the questions was useless and strange, which is not unique for US. This is just a prime example of forms and qustions that does not make any sense.


User currently offlineManuCH From Switzerland, joined Jun 2005, 3011 posts, RR: 46
Reply 7, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2041 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

I think it gets even more funny if you tick "Yes" on a question on the I-94W form  Smile


Never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself
User currently offlineBigOrange From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 2365 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks ago) and read 1986 times:

It's like the police report you have to have to get an immigrant visa.

The UK report only goes back 10 years, so if you have a conviction before that it doesn't show.


User currently offlinePope From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1958 times:

Quoting B707321C (Reply 3):
Thanks for your feedback, but wouldn’t the criminal action itself qualify for deportation?

Yes, but you would need to be convicted of the crime before the deportation could occur. The alternative probably allows deportion with less than a criminal conviction.


User currently offlineB707321C From Norway, joined Sep 2005, 172 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1926 times:

Quoting Pope (Reply 9):
Yes, but you would need to be convicted of the crime before the deportation could occur.

BUT, wouldn't you need to be convicted for a crime before they prove that you ticked the wrong box on the I-94W aswell? What's the difference!


User currently offlineGeoffm From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 2111 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1915 times:

Another question I've read, when applying for a J work visa to the US: Do you intend to assassinate the president? (or words to that effect). Yeah, my guns are in my carry-on case.

Geoff M.


User currently offlineOldeuropean From Germany, joined May 2005, 2091 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1911 times:

Quoting Geoffm (Reply 11):
Do you intend to assassinate the president?

This question from the visa forms was the first thing comming in my mind, as I read the topic of this thread.
What a stupid question, what do they expect as response?
It shows how fixated the Americans are on their president. That`s ridiculous.

Axel

[Edited 2005-10-06 10:28:08]


Wer nichts weiss muss alles glauben
User currently offlineDoona From Sweden, joined Feb 2005, 3771 posts, RR: 13
Reply 13, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1898 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 2):
If they didn't ask that question, and you were found to have entered the country for criminal or immoral activity, then they couldn't deport you for a visa violation if you were caught.

But who the hell can dictate what's moral and what's immoral to another person? Each and everyone has his or her own definition of morality. Especially when dealing with people from other countries (which you ALWAYS do when it comes to the I94W). I believe it is immoral for a country to execute it's citizens. The US government apparently thinks it is moral. There's a difference of opinion there, and I leave it at that.

Does this question mean that I should let the US government impose it's right-wing, christian hard-on morals on me? Where's the personal freedom in that?

Cheers
Mats



Sure, we're concerned for our lives. Just not as concerned as saving 9 bucks on a roundtrip to Ft. Myers.
User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20640 posts, RR: 62
Reply 14, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1897 times:

Quoting Doona (Reply 13):
Each and everyone has his or her own definition of morality.

That's where you say "it was ambiguous so I answered it according to my conscience".



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineDoona From Sweden, joined Feb 2005, 3771 posts, RR: 13
Reply 15, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 1883 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 14):
That's where you say "it was ambiguous so I answered it according to my conscience".

I'd like to do that, but I'm too chicken to mess with the Customs and Immigration agents... My grandmother's friends did that (read; joked about the questions on the form) when travelling the the US, and got thrown in the "holding room" for 12 hours at ORD... And we're talking sweet little 85-year old ladies from Ireland...

Cheers
Mats



Sure, we're concerned for our lives. Just not as concerned as saving 9 bucks on a roundtrip to Ft. Myers.
User currently offlineNoelg From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 1876 times:

I'm sure I remember a question on mine last time that was something along the lines of "Are you planning to carry out terrorist activity while you are in the country".

Yeah I can really imagine a terrorist going "Yes!"


User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20640 posts, RR: 62
Reply 17, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 1872 times:

Quoting Doona (Reply 15):
I'd like to do that, but I'm too chicken to mess with the Customs and Immigration agents

I'm not talking about joking. You're not planning on doing anything that you believe to be immoral are you? If so, then maybe rethink your visit.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineUsnseallt82 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 4891 posts, RR: 52
Reply 18, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1840 times:

Quoting B707321C (Thread starter):
I find it very hard to take the immigration officers and their questions seriously, when being presented with obviously useless questions like this. Or is there something that I am missing here?

Its also a matter of your demeanor. They've done this for years with all types of law enforcement agencies and the like. When they ask you a question like this, obviously you're not going to come right out with an answer if you WERE guilty. But, for the vast majority of people trying to sneak into the U.S., these questions raise a sense of nervousness that can be detected when you reach the customs gate. If you notice, when they stamp your passport, they are almost always looking directly in your eyes the entire time. The guilty ones who are amateurs at it are usually pretty easy to read.

Now, this is all based on the premis that a customs officer is actually DOING his or her job. I've seen it so many times, especially on overnight flights arriving very late or very early, where the customs officers are half asleep when you arrive and just stamp you on through as quickly as possible so they can turn it all over to the next shift. If the personnel isn't doing their part, then you're right....the questions won't do a whole lot.

Other than this, like many have already said, its a paperwork thing. You may blow it off at first, but if you do something illegal, they have a signed legal document saying that you wouldn't do such a thing. Then they ship you to GITMO.  Big grin



Crye me a river
User currently offlineGeoffm From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 2111 posts, RR: 6
Reply 19, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1833 times:

Quoting Usnseallt82 (Reply 18):
when you reach the customs gate. If you notice, when they stamp your passport

Customs are more concerned with the import of goods, legal or otherwise. Immigration deal with passports and whether you're allowed to enter the country or not.  Wink

Geoff M.


User currently offlineB707321C From Norway, joined Sep 2005, 172 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1831 times:

Thanks usnseallt82 for your detailed explanation, I believe that a lot of your comments explains the reason for the questions. But still most visitors to the US find the questions strange/amusing and thereby give them a very special first impression. However, last time I entered the US, the immigration officer was more concerned about making his computer work correctly with the new photo and finger printing system. I don’t think he even looked at me and he did not ask one single question.

Quoting Usnseallt82 (Reply 18):
The guilty ones who are amateurs at it are usually pretty easy to read.

Don’t worry about the amateurs, professionals are what you should focus on.

Quoting Usnseallt82 (Reply 18):
Other than this, like many have already said, its a paperwork thing. You may blow it off at first, but if you do something illegal, they have a signed legal document saying that you wouldn't do such a thing

It must be strange to live in a country, where it is easier to get in trouble for giving false information regarding ones intention, rather than actually do the crime in question. No offence, but I think that lawyers must have too much influence in the US.


User currently offlineSenorcarnival From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1829 times:

When I applied for a Green Card in 1999, there were a couple of questions that asked whether you had been involved in any way with the Nazi Party in Germany between the years of 1932 and 1945 and IIRC there was something also regarding the Soviet Union.

User currently offlineUsnseallt82 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 4891 posts, RR: 52
Reply 22, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 1816 times:

Quoting B707321C (Reply 20):
I don’t think he even looked at me and he did not ask one single question.

I think that's one of the major pitfalls of our system. As long as we pay people barely over minimum wage to do those jobs, you'll never get officers that are actually concerned with doing the job correctly and efficiently. To be honest, our borders are probably the most easily penetrated in the world today.

Quoting B707321C (Reply 20):
No offence, but I think that lawyers must have too much influence in the US.

All I can say is, welcome to America!  Big grin

We've known this for years!



Crye me a river
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 23, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 1812 times:

Quoting Usnseallt82 (Reply 22):
I think that's one of the major pitfalls of our system. As long as we pay people barely over minimum wage to do those jobs, you'll never get officers that are actually concerned with doing the job correctly and efficiently.

"Minimum" wage?

Do you actually know any Government employees? The customs officers at one western port (with which I was familiar) every single year ran up against the Federal MAXIMUM earnings rule for civil servants. That was about $65,000 a year at the time. I was making less than half that as a commuter captain at that time.

Several of them had luxury homes that I could not afford today.

On top of that they will have a fully-funded pension, something probably not one airline employee today will have.

Minimum wage my weary ass.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineUsnseallt82 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 4891 posts, RR: 52
Reply 24, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1801 times:

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 23):
Do you actually know any Government employees? The customs officers at one western port (with which I was familiar) every single year ran up against the Federal MAXIMUM earnings rule for civil servants. That was about $65,000 a year at the time.

Yeah, I think I know a government employee.....  eyepopping 

Good for that guy then. But I beg to differ about the rest of the U.S. Customs payroll, the majority of them at least, making that much a year. Perhaps he was hitting it big with a major port, but I can promise you that most government jobs at entry level are just a little more than minimum wage. Try 25,000-30,000 a year.



Crye me a river
25 JGPH1A : I like the one about genocide - Have you ever taken part in genocide ? Like anyone is ever going to say "Well, ermm, there was that spat with the Bosn
26 57AZ : All I can say is that if the question is there, it's there for a reason. However I am certain that anyone who knows why it is there would never say an
27 B707321C : Well, great to hear that have such a great confidence in the system. No need to be critical in the US, I guess.
28 Jaysit : Many of the TSA/INS people at immigration get a bad rap. I have always had pleasant and smiling individuals who welcome me back home. Quite recently,
29 B744F : What happened? You took off your Conservative hat for a minute... are you OK?
30 B707321C : My critique was not directed to people doing their work and doing what their being told. My examples of useless questions were taken from I-94W and s
31 Post contains images Scbriml : I smile every time I fill one of those forms in! At work we have to sign a code of ethics form each year. The form has about 20 question on it with YE
32 Post contains images Usnseallt82 : The majority of my views are fairly conservative and aligned with conservative leaders, but there are some that break from this routine. Its called f
33 Prebennorholm : Yeah, always strange questions when entering the USA. I remember very well first time, it was some 10 - 15 years before WWI on a ship docking on Long
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