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Friday Night Rant: US Customs/Border Patrol  
User currently offlineJCS17 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 8065 posts, RR: 39
Posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3176 times:

Yep, my car was officially searched (and we were thorougly questioned) tonight at the border crossing in North Dakota--third time (out of four) being searched at that border crossing. Good job guys, I feel so much safer knowing that white college students (all with student IDs and US passports) coming from the bar just over the border are being so thorougly searched. Its not that I really care that they search my car--they won't find anything, its the "guilty until proven innocent" attitude that the customs officers always have. Every time I have gone to a secondary screening at customs--whether its on the MB/ND border, EWR, or YYZ, the officers are the biggest fucking assholes no matter how polite and willing to answer their questions you are. It was great tonight, I was asked five times if I had anything to drink, "Umm, one beer...I'm sort of driving." By the time I was asked the fifth time, I just replied, "Look, there is the breathalyzer right over there, why don't you test me. Don't try to intimidate me." That shut that piece of shit, federal employee up. I especially liked the question, "Have you ever tried drugs?" Do you really think I will answer that question honestly, dumbshit? Another great question was "Are any of you guys on any sort of medication?" The funniest part of the whole ordeal was that I had a blanket and two pillows in my trunk from a campout a few days earlier, they throughly checked the gas tank with a fiber-optic cable, but the blanket and pillows raised no suspicions. I've realized though, the more pissed off and sarcastic you are, the less they bother you. My buddy made the remark, after being thorougly hassled, "Yeah, we really look like your drug couriers or terrorists, don't we?"

Listen, I'll never talk badly about law enforcement officers, but these guys have a serious case of small dick syndrome and are about as intelligent as the rest of the Dept. of Homeland Security--including the burger-flippers at the X-ray machines. They all act as if you're name is Mohammed traveling on a fake US passport with a few stamps from Afghanistan. They're all looking for that big bust and are just plain assholes in the process. If you want to check my car, fine, but do me a favor, realize that a few college students (studying Aviation!) aren't going to be blurting out some of Al-Qaeda's plans during your pathetic lines of questions.


America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
34 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineTheCoz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3161 times:

That reminds me of one time I crossed the US/Mex border back into the US with two friends. My friend Iyad (He's Palestinian) was a fellow student at my university. Upon pulling up to the border, the guy asked if we were all US citizens. My friend Kurt, who was driving, just blurted out 'uh, yes' forgetting that Iyad was in the back seat. Iyad was like 'no kurt!'. Anyway, Upon finding out that he wasn't a US citizen, the border agents had kittens. They made us park the car, get out and walk into their building. They took Iyad into a back room and interviewed him, called washington to verify a bunch of info on his passport etc. Meanwhile, my friend Kurt and I had to wait near the front desk. The border agent sitting there was a prick. He told us that we couldn't talk, but we were so busy laughing at how stupid the whole situation was, we couldn't. He had small-dick syndrome too.

Another thing, when they ask you what your citizenship is, it's best not to say 'Yo Quiero Taco Bell' cause they get pissed. I did that once while we were in highschool. We'd go down to Mex to drink at the age of 18. Good times.


User currently offlineSenorcarnival From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3152 times:

I think they just get bored in those small towns... I got hassled like that at a checkpoint near Las Cruces, NM pre-9/11.

User currently offlineMDorBust From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3149 times:

Quoting JCS17 (Thread starter):
I've realized though, the more pissed off and sarcastic you are, the less they bother you.

This could actually be the worst policy possible when dealing with LEO's.

Some things you may not believe:
- Being college students actually puts you at a higher suspicion level.
- They very much intentionally ask you the same question multiple times. Not to piss you off, but to trip up actual offenders who may not remember their lies.
- They are scopeing your tank for weed... a common enough item amongst fore-mentioned college students and not exactly a rarity in Canada
- The medication question was for presciption drugs. If you are legitamately on a presciption and you tell them so, that might save your butt from trouble if they had found the pills first and you try to explain just what they are doing there. Illegal transport of prescription drugs is a big market.

Quoting JCS17 (Thread starter):

If you want to check my car, fine, but do me a favor, realize that a few college students (studying Aviation!) aren't going to be blurting out some of Al-Qaeda's plans during your pathetic lines of questions.

You might be surprised at some of the things that come out of peoples mouths during routine questioning.

...For real fun with border patrol checkpoints... If you ever get stopped at the immigration checkpoint on highway 10 in west Texas.. When the inspecting officer asks if everyone in the vehicle is an American citizes, answer "Si, senor"


User currently offlineBasas From Canada, joined Jun 2005, 216 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 3119 times:

Quoting JCS17 (Thread starter):
Yep, my car was officially searched (and we were thorougly questioned) tonight at the border crossing in North Dakota--third time (out of four) being searched at that border crossing. Good job guys, I feel so much safer knowing that white college students (all with student IDs and US passports) coming from the bar just over the border are being so thorougly searched.

I cross that border quite often. We have got our car totally searched once (last year), but most time its those Canadian guards who go through every single one of your shopping bills, adding it all up, and asking seemingly irrelevant questions that get to me.


User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 3096 times:

Quoting MDorBust (Reply 3):
For real fun with border patrol checkpoints... If you ever get stopped at the immigration checkpoint on highway 10 in west Texas.. When the inspecting officer asks if everyone in the vehicle is an American citizes, answer "Si, senor"

 rotfl 

Quoting JCS17 (Thread starter):
Its not that I really care that they search my car--they won't find anything, its the "guilty until proven innocent" attitude that the customs officers always have.

US Customs is designed that way . . . the ONLY law enforcement entity that does NOT require probably cause or a warrant prior to searching you or your belongings.


User currently offlineClipperhawaii From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 2033 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 3086 times:

Sorry but you fit the profile. Profile you ask? Yes, young white college males with disposable income traveling across the border to do excessive and underage drinking and possibly bringing back illegal drugs for recreational use. You are no Mohammed form Afghanistan nor are your Pablo from Mexico but you are a Jonathan from college.

With your young college boy attitude (judged by your post) you got just what you asked for. Are you even 21?

Take my advice and purchase your liquor and good times in the U.S. and leave the international travel for "legitimate" reasons and not cross border partying.



"You Can't Beat The Experience"
User currently offlineMrniji From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3043 times:

Quoting JCS17 (Thread starter):
My buddy made the remark, after being thorougly hassled, "Yeah, we really look like your drug couriers or terrorists, don't we?"

White, wasted, spoiled, ugly and fat college students, who reinterpret laws in terms of being drunk and stoned, do indeed look suspicious, more suspisious than people "from the other world"..  Wink  sarcastic 


User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20394 posts, RR: 62
Reply 8, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3026 times:

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 5):
US Customs is designed that way . . . the ONLY law enforcement entity that does NOT require probably cause or a warrant prior to searching you or your belongings.

I'd never really thought about that, but you're right. I had always assumed that it was that you implied your consent to a search by the mere act of entering the country. If you're not actively crossing the border, does Customs still have that right? Just a curiosity.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offline11Bravo From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1717 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3015 times:

Quoting Clipperhawaii (Reply 6):
With your young college boy attitude (judged by your post) you got just what you asked for.

I think that's exactly what's going on here; bad attitude. That and the fact that they probably have to deal with a bunch of liquored-up UND students all the time. Wanna be a smarmy little smart-ass, fine, I got somethin’ for ya.



WhaleJets Rule!
User currently offlineArrow From Canada, joined Jun 2002, 2676 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3010 times:
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Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 8):
If you're not actively crossing the border, does Customs still have that right? Just a curiosity.

Once you've made the approach at the border, you're in their clutches and you can't suddenly change your mind. In fact, you're already in US territory when they stop you for questioning.

This can be a big issue at US immigration posts attached to Canadian airports like Vancouver, Toronto, etc. Canadians think that somehow the US guys have to let them go because technically they're still in Canada. Only difference is the US agents have to involve RCMP if they want to go beyond the hold and deny entry stage, and actually "arrest" you.

But if they snatch you at a land border crossing, the Gitmo express bus is idling somewhere in the back.

My advice is be reasonable and polite no matter how snarly the agent is. They have supreme power over you, and they have been known to use it against people who weren't really doing anything wrong, they just got very mouthy.



Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20394 posts, RR: 62
Reply 11, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3007 times:

Quoting Arrow (Reply 10):
Once you've made the approach at the border, you're in their clutches and you can't suddenly change your mind.

Oh I realize that ... my question really centers on once you've crossed the border and are in the country, does Customs still have the right to search you without probable cause or a warrant, since as ANC said, the laws are designed to make that agency the only one that doesn't require it to proceed.

It's rhetorical really, such as, if I were sitting at a table in a restaurant and there was a Customs agent at the next table, could he legally, without anything other than the desire, search me and my belongings if he wanted to, not that he would.

It's just a general knowledge sort of thing. Where does the authority to search stop?

Curiously, I've never ever been stopped or searched by Customs in any country. The closest I've come was entering the U.S. at Houston, and they sent me over to Agriculture because I'd bought some chocolate at duty-free and when I got there the agent said, "Oh boy, someone must be REALLY bored today."



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineFalcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2997 times:

I guess Jcs only approves of searches when it involves non-white, non-American "foreigners".

You hypocrite, Jcs.


User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 13, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2986 times:

Quoting Arrow (Reply 10):
My advice is be reasonable and polite no matter how snarly the agent is. They have supreme power over you, and they have been known to use it against people who weren't really doing anything wrong, they just got very mouthy.

Good advice! Remember this, they have a box of rubber gloves and they are also authorized to use them. Cranky over having your car's cavities searched? wideeyed 

Quoting JCS17 (Thread starter):
its the "guilty until proven innocent" attitude that the customs officers always have

Again, innocent until proven guilty is mostly just part of a jury's instruction. It mostly just applies to criminal matters. Tax code and Federal Aviation Regulation both have you guilty until you can prove your innocence in their court. Anyone who so readily utters "innocent until proven guilty" is living in a legal Disneyland. Most of the world's rules are not like that.

Al Qaeda is not the only thing these guys are looking for, as has been pointed out.
Watch that movie Midnight Express again:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077928/
Most people watch it and say "oh that poor kid, those awful Turks" I think "what a moron - trying to take drugs through customs"



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineMrniji From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2980 times:

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 12):
I guess Jcs only approves of searches when it involves non-white, non-American "foreigners".

That guy needs to be laid by some hot latino or so...  devil  (he needs to be laid by SOMEONE, regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender...... )


User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2977 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 8):
If you're not actively crossing the border, does Customs still have that right? Just a curiosity.

If you've actually made it to a Customs Official - as Arrow pointed out - it's rather too late really . . . you're already in the "new" country. Case in point . . . the Alaska Highway crossing at Port Alcan. US Customs is 1/2 mile inside US Territory. Canada Customs however, is 13 miles (+/-) inside Canada in Beaver Creek. The only thing actually at the international border is an obelisk and a Gazebo with the appropriate tourist crap.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 8):
I had always assumed that it was that you implied your consent to a search by the mere act of entering the country.

No consent necessary, implied or otherwise actually. If you get there and decline the vehicle or person search, well, it's gonna happen regardless . . . simple as that.

Quoting Arrow (Reply 10):
But if they snatch you at a land border crossing, the Gitmo express bus is idling somewhere in the back.

 redflag  Dang, your post was making such good sense right up until this part.

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 13):
Quoting Arrow (Reply 10):
My advice is be reasonable and polite no matter how snarly the agent is. They have supreme power over you, and they have been known to use it against people who weren't really doing anything wrong, they just got very mouthy.

Good advice! Remember this, they have a box of rubber gloves and they are also authorized to use them. Cranky over having your car's cavities searched?  wideeyed 

Quite correct . . . searches at US border crossings are not limited to external components of the vehicle or the body . . .

Here's some advice . . . don't act like an ass, answer the questions asked, don't complain, act like an adult. I've never had any problems at any border crossings - U.S. or otherwise - and I've had my things searched a time or two - unlike the fucked up useless TSA I find the Customs officials actually do their jobs.


User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20394 posts, RR: 62
Reply 16, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2971 times:

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 15):
If you've actually made it to a Customs Official - as Arrow pointed out - it's rather too late really . . . you're already in the "new" country. Case in point . . . the Alaska Highway crossing at Port Alcan. US Customs is 1/2 mile inside US Territory. Canada Customs however, is 13 miles (+/-) inside Canada in Beaver Creek.

Right, and that's really my question. Does the right of Customs to search without warrant or probable cause stop once you've made the border crossing, or does it continue inside the country.

It's just a curiosity of the law that I've never thought about before, and was inspired when you said that the laws governing the agency were designed the way they were.

Once you're accepted into the country, passed through immigration and customs, would a Customs officer then need a warrant or probable cause to do a search later after you've been cleared?



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineMidnightMike From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 2892 posts, RR: 14
Reply 17, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2962 times:

Quoting JCS17 (Thread starter):
Yep, my car was officially searched (and we were thorougly questioned) tonight at the border crossing in North Dakota--third time (out of four) being searched at that border crossing. Good job guys, I feel so much safer knowing that white college students (all with student IDs and US passports) coming from the bar just over the border are being so thorougly searched.

Normally, they have a process of checking every 4 cars or every 5 cars....



NO URLS in signature
User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2961 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 16):
Does the right of Customs to search without warrant or probable cause stop once you've made the border crossing, or does it continue inside the country.

Once you've cleared Customs and you're on your merry way, they have no further rights (at least in the US) to search you without proper Search and Seizure rules. They have no jurisdiction beyond the borders . . . it is then the pervue of the local constabulary . . .

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 16):
Once you're accepted into the country, passed through immigration and customs, would a Customs officer then need a warrant or probable cause to do a search later after you've been cleared?

Customs would NOT have that duty . . . they could request the local authorities conduct such a search, but the search would be subject to the law - in the U.S. - and therefore probable cause would have to be established.


User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20394 posts, RR: 62
Reply 19, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2958 times:

Okay, thanks for the info. It was just a curiosity of how far that aspect of the arm of Customs could reach since they're now under the supervision of the DHS.


International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 20, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2938 times:

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 18):
Once you've cleared Customs and you're on your merry way, they have no further rights (at least in the US) to search you without proper Search and Seizure rules. They have no jurisdiction beyond the borders . . .

Makes perfect sense from a chain-of-custody point of view. Once you depart the customs checkpoint, every car, every door, every person you pass is an opportunity for contraband to appear or disappear. Your defense attorney would laugh them out of court.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineArrow From Canada, joined Jun 2002, 2676 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2907 times:
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Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 15):
Dang, your post was making such good sense right up until this part.

Guess I should have put a little happy face after it -- but I hate those things. I wasn't serious.

On the other hand, they do have the power to throw you in the can, and they don't have to tell anyone they did it-- a la the Patriot Act. That's why you're nuts if you mess with them in any way.



Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
User currently offlineCaptOveur From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2892 times:

Quoting Arrow (Reply 21):
they do have the power to throw you in the can, and they don't have to tell anyone they did it-- a la the Patriot Act. That's why you're nuts if you mess with them in any way.

And that is the part of the whole thing that is just plain wrong. Civil Rights are starting to have waaaay too many ifs attached to them.


User currently offlineJCS17 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 8065 posts, RR: 39
Reply 23, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2883 times:

Quoting Mrniji (Reply 7):
White, wasted, spoiled, ugly and fat college students, who reinterpret laws in terms of being drunk and stoned, do indeed look suspicious, more suspisious than people "from the other world"..

Ugly? Man, I'm too lazy to find your pictures, but you calling me ugly is like Falcon84 calling a McDonald's burger-flipper unsuccessful and poor.



America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2875 times:

Quoting Arrow (Reply 21):
On the other hand, they do have the power to throw you in the can, and they don't have to tell anyone they did it-- a la the Patriot Act.

Interestingly enough, Customs and INS (pre 9/11) didn't have to tell anyone about then either . . . .

Quoting Arrow (Reply 21):
Guess I should have put a little happy face after it -- but I hate those things. I wasn't serious

No worries . . . it's only that the GitMo thing is a little overused and too often tossed out there when there isn't any other point to be made . . .

Quoting JCS17 (Reply 23):
Ugly?

What? No bitch about White, Wasted, Spoiled and Fat?  rotfl 


25 Logan22L : Good to see you might actually find a liberal point of view to be just. Well, just maybe. Typical Daddy-rich beat on the poor. I hope your dad disown
26 Post contains images Falcon84 : Logan, Jcs is just a bitter young kid. All he knows how to do, vis-a-vis, is attack what I do for a living. He thinks it makes me angry, but it doesn'
27 Jaysit : Last week Congress declared Hostess Twinkies bought from Canada to be illegal as they are depressing the prices of Hostess Twinkies in the United Stat
28 Post contains images ANCFlyer : Excellent.
29 Arrow : Were they mad hostess twinkies?
30 Post contains images Falcon84 : Maybe they had that new viral strain "Twinkie Flu"
31 CaptOveur : I was never totally opposed to the social liberal point of view, in fact, that is how I see things.. I just could not bring myself to vote for the la
32 Molykote : Try explaining to US customs that you made a 4,000 mile round trip to party in SXM for one night.
33 Post contains images Mrniji : ... moreover: White, wasted, spoiled and fat basically = ugly! Thanks for finally conceading.. Btw, people who are not even able to see their own bal
34 Post contains images LH423 : Well, I didn't think it would work but I think their "sensitivity training" has helped a bit. I've found that officers are less intrusive than before.
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