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LAXintl
Posts: 24823
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RE: Avoiding Travel To The US?

Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:07 am

Quoting lewis (Reply 22):
As far as I know, the US Constitution applies to everyone within the jurisdiction of the United States, regardless of citizenship or residence status
Quoting lewis (Reply 27):
was surprised that ESTA requires you to waive your right for protection by the most basic constitutional rights - at least according to the post I was quoting - and this is what I find very weird if not unacceptable. I do not use ESTA to enter the US and I do not recall agreeing to something similar in order to get my work visa.

For info - and supported by US Supreme Court decisions - Constitutional Rights DO NOT APPLY at border points.
Matter or fact, courts have found border check-points as a special category of land, essentially grey area where common laws are not applicable.

The USCBP, and other agencies have powers of search, seizure, detainment, and ultimately refusal of entry at border checkpoints beyond what normal law enforcement has in day to day abilities.

This is why people can have their items and persons searched and confiscated without the need of things like warrants, or other due process. By presumption by appearing at such border checkpoints, you voluntarily subject yourself to such further review.

And this is not new - there is case law going back to shortly after the founding of the nation - and the ability to government to inspect and review persons, and cargo's coming and going. Matter of fact there is even a law that allows border agencies to work and inspect people and goods as far inland as 100 miles of a national border entry point.

And no - this is also not a US thing. In Canada for instance courts have also found that citizens Charter Rights are severely limited against search and seizures needed to facilitate customs and security at border post.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
Pyrex
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RE: Avoiding Travel To The US?

Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:50 am

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

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 long time, but when they roll out the electronic system the name of which I am forgetting to other countries even that should be easier).

BTW, Portugal recently refused to extradite to the U.S. a convicted murderer who escaped from prison in the U.S. and hijacked a plane (yes, you read it right, he hijacked a plane). The excuse for not extraditing him was that he apparently was now a Portuguese citizen even though he applied for his nationality under a false identity. The fact that the U.S. has allowed Portugal to remain a visa waiver country despite the fact we clearly showed them we have no control whatsoever on whatever scum can apply for a Portuguese passport is frankly more than I can ask.

Quoting FingerLakerAv8r (Reply 12):
I never understood why people were afraid to come visit the USA...

I have figured that out... U.S. main-stream media frequently puts out self-loathing articles denegrating everything about the U.S. to satisfy their EW (enemy within) requirements. Those articles get selectively picked up by fellow-minded journalists abroad who use them to paint a totally misleading image of the U.S. - after having lived in the U.S. for a few years, reading the coverage on U.S. topics in European newspapers is just pathetic, focusing in on totally non-issue articles that don't even get seriously picked up by their U.S: colleagues.
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Maverick623
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RE: Avoiding Travel To The US?

Fri Feb 03, 2012 8:00 am

Quoting something (Reply 10):
Or to any of the people in the thousands of youtube videos that document police brutality.

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 people by your police, and that doesn't stop me from visiting your country.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 50):
For info - and supported by US Supreme Court decisions - Constitutional Rights DO NOT APPLY at border points.

Yes, but I believe the wording of the ESTA disclaimer leads one to believe that foreign visitors have zero rights outside of the border area, which is completely not true.
"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
 
Quokkas
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RE: Avoiding Travel To The US?

Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:27 am

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 pre-clearance and are denied entry to the US on arrival you accept that you do not have a right to appeal or to request a review. If you are denied pre-clearance before departure it does not prevent you applying for a visa by the usual method. Should you be admitted to the US you will enjoy the same protection under law as any other person legally present in the US.

Second, you already submit lots of personal information whenever you book a flight as many countries require APIS data. This information which the airlines must submit to the competent authority includes not only details of your name, age, nationality, passport number, date of issue and expiry, place of issue as might be expected but also all the PNR, giving access to additional information. May include who made the booking, how it was paid, any booking changes, first point of departure, points of transit, last point of departure and/ or arrival, seat allocation, number of bags checked in, the total weight, baggage receipt numbers, etc, etc. All this is in line with ICAO protocols.

As might be expected, all this information is cross-checked, may be shared with other agencies and data mining is used to flag possible suspect passengers who warrant further investigation. But this is not something limited to the US. It occurs in many countries and as passenger numbers grow we can expect greater use of APIS simply because processing passengers the old way would cripple the industry.

I did read a review of APIS in relation to its voluntary adoption by Amtrak and passenger coach services on the US CBP website, so it seems that you may still need to provide some information anyway if you use one of those methods to enter from Canada.
“Not to laugh, not to cry, not to hate, but understand.” Spinoza
 
ltbewr
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RE: Avoiding Travel To The US?

Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:27 am

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 no getting around the intrusive qualifications you despise.

If I travel to Europe, the USA government requires the same standards to get on a plane. Within Europe, some countries used to require one to have their hotel stay registered with the local police authorities. In many areas of Europe, street cameras are all over urban areas, mainly to combat terrorism and crime. I would be reluctant to travel to Greece or many other countries due to political and social unrest. Within the USA, I would be more afraid of street crime and violence, not of 'intrusive' policies.
 
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OA260
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RE: Avoiding Travel To The US?

Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:36 pm

Quoting UAL747 (Reply 49):
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 feel violated at all, not one bit.

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 officer. I have to say I was apprehensive before I left purely because I had not been to the States for years but I was pleasantly surprised and would not be worried again . I did find the lines long for customs at SJU Cruise port though but the rest of the checks at MIA and departing SJU were fine.

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 51):
after having lived in the U.S. for a few years, reading the coverage on U.S. topics in European newspapers is just pathetic, focusing in on totally non-issue articles that don't even get seriously picked up by their U.S: colleagues.

Or the smart person watches all news media from Europe and USA / Middle East etc...and then makes their own balanced opinion. Never take any media for gold.

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 54):
I would be reluctant to travel to Greece or many other countries due to political and social unrest.

I can assure you just like my initial apprehension travelling to the USA ,travelling to any country in Europe including Greece is safe for the vast majority of tourists.
 
ozglobal
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RE: Avoiding Travel To The US?

Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:02 pm

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 as to what they experience entering the USA as non-Americans. Don't you get it? What is being claimed is that as non-Americans, subjected to very DIFFERENT treatment, including a wholesale written renunciation of rights, protocols reserved elsewhere for someone being arrested by the police (fingerprints, agressive questioning, etc), often abusive treatment by Border Protection (although this aspect has improved), some non-Americans feel they are compromising on their dignity.

Saying this is all necessary because of 9/11 is quite rich: ALL of the 9/11 terrorists would have been spared this treatment today, as they were ALL on DOMESTIC flights of US airlines and were US residents. I like how agressive treatment of overseas arriving visitors is the logical control for what was an entirely domestic event and failure of domiestic alirport security.

To the OP however, I as an Australian citizen entering the UK, am subjected to systematic borderline abusive treatment by your Immigration Officers every time I visit. I have been tempted to feel the same way about the UK that you do about the US.
When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
 
windy95
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RE: Avoiding Travel To The US?

Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:28 pm

Quoting something (Thread starter):
Are there other people out here with similar problems as me?



Not to many. You should see the planeloads of Brits, Germans, Koreans, Japanese and all types of South Americans unloading everyday in Orlando and Tampa. All without a complaint. And on top of that they even have the nerve to buy timeshares, condos and homes all without the Stasi takeing them out back with a rubber hose and beating them.

Quoting something (Thread starter):
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.



The answer is no unless you come across the southern border with the illegals then it is okay to enter this country without a passport or being searched. You can then also receive free health care, a job and a tax refund.

Quoting something (Reply 7):
rule the USA out as a vacation destination though



Just like I have ruled out Europe due to the excess taxation. Cheaper and easier to visit other Continents.

Quoting something (Reply 7):
But surrendering my entire privacy, and having all of that monitored and saved in a database?



Is not London surrounded by a million cameras?

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



Since when do non citizens get that right?
 
Quokkas
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RE: Avoiding Travel To The US?

Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:50 pm

Quoting windy95 (Reply 57):
Since when do non citizens get that right?

Persons legally in the US are afforded the protection of law regardless of their citizenship status. People present illegally may find things a bit different.

I agree that something is being a bit over cautious and sensitive but one reads the number of posts from US citizens ranting about how their civil liberties are being infringed by the "nudiscope" and the "freedom grope", alleged violations of the 4th Amendment or whatever. It seems that barely a week goes by without a US poster pointing to an article about an old lady having her sanitary pads inspected or an old man being yanked out of a wheelchair. In the light of these postings by, presumably otherwise well-balanced, US members is it not understandable that a person who has never enjoyed a visit to the US might feel a little apprehensive?


Edited to correct spelling.

[Edited 2012-02-03 05:52:00]
“Not to laugh, not to cry, not to hate, but understand.” Spinoza
 
jwenting
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RE: Avoiding Travel To The US?

Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:26 pm

Quoting flymia (Reply 20):
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.

You'd get the same rights to protection from unreasonable search and seizure (which is protected for US citizens under the constitution...) as UK citizens. By signing an ESTA waiver you lose that, you're not fair game for unlimited detention by any DHS Agent or cop in the country, or for having them take your belongings for any reason or no reason whatsoever.

And that's just the start of it.

I've decided as well to not visit the US until this idiocy stops and foreigners are no longer automatically treated as terrorists. North Korea is right now more friendly to foreign visitors than is the US.
I wish I were flying
 
Quokkas
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RE: Avoiding Travel To The US?

Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:52 pm

Quoting jwenting (Reply 59):
you're not fair game for unlimited detention by any DHS Agent or cop in the country, or for having them take your belongings for any reason or no reason whatsoever.

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 the US and they have grounds to suspect that you are barred from entry for some reason you may be detained. True.

If however, you are admitted you have the same rights as any other person who has been lawfully admitted to the US. Now,if you attract the attention of law enforcement you may be arrested. The same would apply if you had arrived under the visa application system.

But I wonder how different this is to alleged illegal immigrants being arrested and held in detention while their status is determined in other countries, including my own. In Europe countries that are members of the Schengen agreement still allow checks to be carried out to determine whether people might have entered illegally. For example, when the fighting was going on in Libya French officials checked to make sure that people moving from Italy into France were entitled to, despite the Schengen Treaty suggesting that movement between those states that have signed the agreement is free after the initial point of entry.

Your final point I find a bit bizarre. Things may have changed but when close friends of mine visited North Korea they were required to hand over their phones and were accompanied by an official guide wherever they went. I admit that this was about three years ago and things may have changed, but I do not recall the US ever insisting that mobile phones be surrendered or that you must be shadowed everywhere you go.

The restrictions may be irksome: let's not exaggerate them.
“Not to laugh, not to cry, not to hate, but understand.” Spinoza
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: Avoiding Travel To The US?

Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:38 pm

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 national, rather it is a privilege. I have already given my personal details to British Airways, indeed they are held on their system for my convenience in order to save me the effort of inputting them each time I fly. In addition I have now completed my ESTA which grants me permission to step on the plane at LGW.

I would like to think of myself as a law abiding person of reasonable standing with no secrets to hide, bearing this in mind what objection could I have to not only providing this information, but to it being stored for a period of time ?

I would suggest to anyone from any nation who wishes to travel abroad, remember that entry is a privilege and you might then answer the questions with the correct attitude. If you aren't prepared to do so, stop at home.
 
flymia
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RE: Avoiding Travel To The US?

Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:20 pm

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 56):
failure of domiestic alirport security.

Actually the security did fine, the objects they used were allowed under FAA rules then.

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 56):
an entirely domestic event

Not exactly since the highjackers were not from the US, it was an intelligence failure.

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 61):
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 national, rather it is a privilege.

Great post

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 61):
I would suggest to anyone from any nation who wishes to travel abroad, remember that entry is a privilege and you might then answer the questions with the correct attitude. If you aren't prepared to do so, stop at home.

Another great statement, it is not someones "right" to visit another country.


Crossing a border you do lose any rights to resist a search and of course the country you are trying to travel in has the right to turn you away if they wish. Just like I have the right to not let anyone who I want into my home or car.

It seems that the OP has not really commented much anymore, maybe he realized his statements were a bit out of line.
To the OP.. Do you still plan on not coming to the US? Have some of the opinions changed your mind at all? I am interested to see if you still feel the same on this matter.
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
lewis
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RE: Avoiding Travel To The US?

Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:38 pm

Quoting windy95 (Reply 57):
Since when do non citizens get that right?
Quoting czbbflier (Reply 48):

I don't think that is correct.

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 about due process, freedom of speech, the right to remain silent etc. Based on the status of the non-citizen, the punishment for small crimes may be immediate deportation and I am not talking about rights that are reserved for citizens such as the right to bear arms. I am talking about the basic rights the Constitution guarantees. Correct me if I am wrong but I thought the law of the land applies equally to all the people that are in a country legally.
 
skysurfer
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RE: Avoiding Travel To The US?

Fri Feb 03, 2012 5:21 pm

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?

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 into the office, explain where I was going, why, where I was coming from, what I did for a job and (this became new) the address i'd be visiting/staying at. Buy the visa (valid for 3 months) and off you go on your merry way.

I hate to say it but I actually had more hassle from a Canadian custom's guy than any US custom's personnel.
The only time i've had a bad experience with US officials is flying MSP when a woman treated me like an idiot as they were taking a digital scan of my finger...no need in talking to me like a 5 year old at all.

I don't agree nor like all of the security measures/rules but if I want to visit the states i've no choice but to be compliant. If not, well.....I can't go!

Stu

Edited to say I reside in Ontario, Canada but am from the UK.

[Edited 2012-02-03 09:41:37]
In the dark you can't see ugly, but you can feel fat
 
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zckls04
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RE: Avoiding Travel To The US?

Fri Feb 03, 2012 5:39 pm

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 56):
I really don't understand the logic of American posters drawing on their own experience of entering the USA as citizens

Note not everybody's flag here matches their country of citizenship  
Quoting jwenting (Reply 59):
By signing an ESTA waiver you lose that, you're not fair game for unlimited detention by any DHS Agent or cop in the country, or for having them take your belongings for any reason or no reason whatsoever.

Nobody has yet shown me this mythical text which signs away all your rights. All we've had is a bit of text which waives your rights to appeal the decision to turn you away if the DHS so chooses. So what?

Quoting jwenting (Reply 59):
I've decided as well to not visit the US until this idiocy stops and foreigners are no longer automatically treated as terrorists. North Korea is right now more friendly to foreign visitors than is the US.

If you, for example, took a photo of a plane in North Korea, there's a reasonable chance you'd be locked up and put to work every day until you starved or died of exhaustion. How is your statement even remotely rational?
Four Granavox Turbines!
 
vikkyvik
Posts: 12595
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RE: Avoiding Travel To The US?

Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:34 pm

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 56):
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 as to what they experience entering the USA as non-Americans.

All this....

Quoting something (Thread starter):
x-ray scanners, TSA's shenanigans, police brutality, unlawful arrests,
Quoting something (Reply 10):
Or to any of the people in the thousands of youtube videos that document police brutality.
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.

....applies to US citizens as well.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
docpepz
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RE: Avoiding Travel To The US?

Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:45 pm

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, immigration officers didn't even look at me twice. NYC was full of Arab tourists when I was in there in July.
 
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LAXintl
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RE: Avoiding Travel To The US?

Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:30 pm

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 61):
I would suggest to anyone from any nation who wishes to travel abroad, remember that entry is a privilege and you might then answer the questions with the correct attitude. If you aren't prepared to do so, stop at home.

  

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, Singapore, UAE, Russia or North Korea, stay at home.

Travel and entry into other nations is indeed a great privilege, not a right by an means.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
photopilot
Posts: 3101
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RE: Avoiding Travel To The US?

Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:55 pm

Quoting UAL747 (Reply 47):
it is the culture of New York to be crass, loud, bossy, etc. That's what makes New York, New York. Same can be said of Chicago in some cases. It's part of that culture, it's not part of some government reason to treat foreigners poorly, or to take away your rights. Heck, you should see how American treat Americans on the streets of New York! It's fun if you realize that is how New York is! It's loud, bossy, and very "New York."

Perhaps people find this repugnant because they come from countries where good manners, politeness and being friendly is the norm, not the exception. It's really a question of being civil and frankly, it's amazing how low down the civility scale some cultures can fall and still think themselves acceptable.

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 58):
Persons legally in the US are afforded the protection of law regardless of their citizenship status.
Quoting lewis (Reply 63):
Can you provide me a source that says non-citizens do not get protection from the Constitution? I am talking about due process, freedom of speech, the right to remain silent etc. Based on the status of the non-citizen, the punishment for small crimes may be immediate deportation and I am not talking about rights that are reserved for citizens such as the right to bear arms. I am talking about the basic rights the Constitution guarantees. Correct me if I am wrong but I thought the law of the land applies equally to all the people that are in a country legally.
Quoting zckls04 (Reply 65):
Nobody has yet shown me this mythical text which signs away all your rights. All we've had is a bit of text which waives your rights to appeal the decision to turn you away if the DHS so chooses. So what?

Boy guys.... do a little reading on the National Defense Authorization Act that gives US authorities the right to strip all rights away from a person and hold them WITHOUT CHARGE, WITHOUT TRIAL, and WITHOUT APPEAL forever!!!!!

Here, read what Forbes thinks....
http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain...to-civil-liberties-americans-face/

or read.....
Totalitarianism: The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Latest Chapter In the Road towards "Police State USA"
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=28611

Why on earth would any rational person present themselves at a US border point (who cares mode of travel) for admission to the USA and face what could be the loss of your freedom...FOREVER!!!! The scariest part is that you (foreigner or American citizen) have absolutely no recourse, no appeal, no nothing.... forever! Think about that then try to tell my you're living in "The Land of the Free"!!!!
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Avoiding Travel To The US?

Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:05 pm

Quoting photopilot (Reply 69):
Perhaps people find this repugnant because they come from countries where good manners, politeness and being friendly is the norm, not the exception. It's really a question of being civil and frankly, it's amazing how low down the civility scale some cultures can fall and still think themselves acceptable.

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 Luxembourg but I'm not gonna bash everyone in Luxembourg because there are some great people there. Never had a problem with "repugnant" NYCers, but whatever
 
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zckls04
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RE: Avoiding Travel To The US?

Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:17 pm

Quoting photopilot (Reply 69):
Perhaps people find this repugnant because they come from countries where good manners, politeness and being friendly is the norm, not the exception. It's really a question of being civil and frankly, it's amazing how low down the civility scale some cultures can fall and still think themselves acceptable.

After this load of xenophobic crap I can't believe I'm dignifying you with an answer, but.....

Quoting photopilot (Reply 69):
Boy guys.... do a little reading on the National Defense Authorization Act that gives US authorities the right to strip all rights away from a person and hold them WITHOUT CHARGE, WITHOUT TRIAL, and WITHOUT APPEAL forever!!!!!

Have a valium and calm down. The NDAA has nothing to do with ESTA, which was the OP's original concern, and as you state below (and contrary to what the media would have you believe) applies to US citizens just as much as non-citizens. It's a poorly thought out law which almost nobody in the US agrees with, but if you genuinely believe you are in danger of indefinite detention the next time you fly to the USA then put the valium back down again and find something stronger.

Quoting photopilot (Reply 69):
Why on earth would any rational person present themselves at a US border point (who cares mode of travel) for admission to the USA and face what could be the loss of your freedom...FOREVER!!!!

"Rationality" is about weighing risk. It seems to me that you are unable to do that. Why would any rational person get on a plane or in a car? You could lose your life!
Four Granavox Turbines!
 
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pu
Posts: 1364
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RE: Avoiding Travel To The US?

Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:54 am

Quoting something (Thread starter):
I just couldn't live with myself if I submitted mysel

I agree totally, a man such as yourself has no place in America, you should stick with your instincts.

Quoting GBLKD (Reply 2):
Do I really want myself, wife, and 12 year old son poentially treated like criminals on our holiday?

Read Pravda much? Or whatever the Iranian news agency is?

I fly BA 3-6 times a month between London and America, the Brits often are through immigration before the Americans are. Almost everyone of them I meet is in love with the place, which seems odd given they are 'treated like criminals' in at least someone's imagination.

Pu
 
luckyone
Posts: 3297
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:50 pm

RE: Avoiding Travel To The US?

Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:09 pm

Quoting photopilot (Reply 69):
Quoting UAL747 (Reply 47):
it is the culture of New York to be crass, loud, bossy, etc. That's what makes New York, New York. Same can be said of Chicago in some cases. It's part of that culture, it's not part of some government reason to treat foreigners poorly, or to take away your rights. Heck, you should see how American treat Americans on the streets of New York! It's fun if you realize that is how New York is! It's loud, bossy, and very "New York."

Perhaps people find this repugnant because they come from countries where good manners, politeness and being friendly is the norm, not the exception. It's really a question of being civil and frankly, it's amazing how low down the civility scale some cultures can fall and still think themselves acceptable.

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 shouldn't have an issue with that.

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

My worst TSA experience was actually at the San Juan airport (concourse B security for those who care). My bag and computer bag was scanned four times. Granted...I had a laptop, Kindle. and two external hard drives in there, so I can't complain. I hadn't had any issues the day before with the Kindle or hard drives when I cleared in ATL, so I pulled out my laptop and didn't give the rest a second thought. Oops. I did, however, get a brand new tube of toothpaste confiscated. The whole thing took like ten minutes. In Toronto you preclear with the same customs and border patrol rules that you do stateside.

I'm also curious how often you travel to Australia? How different is their ETA from the US' ESTA?
 
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seb146
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RE: Avoiding Travel To The US?

Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:02 pm

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, have my every step monitored and may end up getting arrested and deported over a ridiculous post on Twitter?

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 used the internet at a McDonalds there. The Mexican government tracked the one site I went to, probably. I sent a group e-mail to my family. Was I worried that the Feds in Mexico knew what I was up to? No. Why? Because I was doing nothing wrong. I read through the document American Customs makes us read and fill out. A lot of scary stuff in there. But, since I declared my 2 bottles of tequila and didn't have to declare my $20 worth of cheap Mexican trinkets, I didn't worry.

There are some things that are not worth my time worrying about. Routine things like border crossings and TSA screenings. These things happen. I do not do anything illegal, so I don't worry about them. I suggest you do the same!
You bet I'm pumped!!! I just had a green tea!!!
 
mham001
Posts: 5745
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 4:52 am

RE: Avoiding Travel To The US?

Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:40 pm

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 51):
after having lived in the U.S. for a few years, reading the coverage on U.S. topics in European newspapers is just pathetic, focusing in on totally non-issue articles that don't even get seriously picked up by their U.S: colleagues.

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 the blatantly poor journalism about the US coming from countries who believe themselves superior. It is even more surprising the amount of people who believe it.

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 56):
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 as to what they experience entering the USA as non-Americans.

But, have you understood the logic of the multiple posts from foreign travelers in this thread? How does their relatively easy experiences happen and where exactly are you seeing these differing opinions? Not in this thread.

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 58):
I agree that something is being a bit over cautious and sensitive but one reads the number of posts from US citizens ranting about how their civil liberties are being infringed by the "nudiscope" and the "freedom grope", alleged violations of the 4th Amendment or whatever.

Perspective. What many people do not realize is that Americans have always been known for robust self-criticism. Problems arise when those who hear it feel that they need to chime in. We do a fine enough job as it is, we really don't need help from outside.
 
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shamrock604
Posts: 2198
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2007 11:27 pm

RE: Avoiding Travel To The US?

Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:38 am

Quoting seb146 (Reply 3):
Geez!! You all make us sound like a police state; like North Korea.


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 Free societies in the "Western World" have gone exactly the same way.

Quoting zckls04 (Reply 5):
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.

I think that this is what the OP is suggesting. He simply finds that aspects of US entry requirements violate his personal ethical code, as he is quite entitled to do.

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 56):
Saying this is all necessary because of 9/11 is quite rich: ALL of the 9/11 terrorists would have been spared this treatment today, as they were ALL on DOMESTIC flights of US airlines and were US residents. I like how agressive treatment of overseas arriving visitors is the logical control for what was an entirely domestic event and failure of domiestic alirport security.

While the terrorists were allegedly Saudi, I agree to an extent - many security rules in the US are directed solely at International flights and not domestic ones (I'm not going to mention what they are for obvious reasons), which I find bizarre to a huge degree.

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 56):
To the OP however, I as an Australian citizen entering the UK, am subjected to systematic borderline abusive treatment by your Immigration Officers every time I visit. I have been tempted to feel the same way about the UK that you do about the US.

Unfortunately, you are right here. UK border staff can be complete arseholes when they want to be, along with the security staff, where rules are applied "BEYOND" the letter, to the point of the non application of ANY common sense whatsoever. As an Irish passport holder, I get no hassle from the UK border agency as I have a right of stay in the UK, but I have seen it metted out to the Ozzies on many occasions.

Quoting UAL747 (Reply 47):
BTW, the original poster's opinions are just so out of line of what really happens here. If I, an American citizen, fly to New York, it is the culture of New York to be crass, loud, bossy, etc. That's what makes New York, New York. Same can be said of Chicago in some cases. It's part of that culture, it's not part of some government reason to treat foreigners poorly, or to take away your rights. Heck, you should see how American treat Americans on the streets of New York! It's fun if you realize that is how New York is! It's loud, bossy, and very "New York."

Well, forgive me then - but if someone is rude, crass, bossy to me, then I have every right to be rude, crass and bossy back. The unfortunate reality though is that if I do so to a TSA staff member or Immigration officer, I will likely be denied entry. So, sadly, I cannot engage in the local culture and it strictly goes one way, which is a little unfair I think you will agree.

To the OP, I understand exactly where you are coming from regarding aspects of the entry "experience" to the US. I absolutely detest having to give my fingerprints like some criminal, and I totally hate the US government for making me do it when I come from a country with such long and positive relations with the USA, but if you can swallow your pride just until you get out of the airport, you will find that some of your other concerns are unfounded, and it's actually a wonderfully relaxed place!

Rudeness is just part of the air travel experience in the US. You will experience it at least once on every trip in the US, be it from the airline staff, security staff, or immigration staff, and in fact usually someone will be SO rude to you, it will actually leave you breathless for a second.......BUT, and I can safely say, you will not experience it outside the airport.

Americans are some of the friendliest and most welcoming people around, so just give it a chance. You'll come home saying "Sure, the airport was a nightmare, but the US was awesome!"  
 
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DocLightning
Posts: 21902
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:51 am

RE: Avoiding Travel To The US?

Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:04 am

Quoting seb146 (Reply 3):

Geez!! You all make us sound like a police state; like North Korea.

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 armed like our military (the OWS response demonstrated that) and often treat civilians like enemy combatants.

My advice to foreigners would be stay out if you don't have to come. Your rights and liberties are far safer in your own country (unless you're from North Korea).
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
ozglobal
Posts: 2597
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2004 7:33 am

RE: Avoiding Travel To The US?

Sun Feb 05, 2012 11:14 am

Quoting mham001 (Reply 75):
Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 56):
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 as to what they experience entering the USA as non-Americans.

But, have you understood the logic of the multiple posts from foreign travelers in this thread? How does their relatively easy experiences happen and where exactly are you seeing these differing opinions? Not in this thread.

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-entering their country. Even if some posters here have been lucky enough to have smooth experiences as non-US citizens on arrival, the differing requirements are an objective fact. Hence my point that, objectively, the situations are not comparable and, do a search, you'll find hundreds of horror stories of non-US citizens treatment by US Immigration and Border Security under these procedures which do NOT apply to US citizens.
When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
 
soon7x7
Posts: 2267
Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 10:51 am

RE: Avoiding Travel To The US?

Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:16 pm

Thats an easy answer...dress up like this and no one will bother you...
I'm just visiting!
 
windy95
Posts: 2782
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:11 pm

RE: Avoiding Travel To The US?

Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:49 pm

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 78):
Hence my point that, objectively, the situations are not comparable and, do a search, you'll find hundreds of horror stories of non-US citizens treatment by US Immigration and Border Security under these procedures which do NOT apply to US citizens.




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 Florida. If there was that much of a problem Disney and Universal would be closed. It is funny to hear a complaint like this from someone who lives in a country there are cameras on every part of the country. Big brother is watching everyone there but people are still complaining about a few extra hoops to cross to come into this country. Do i like the excess we have gone to on security in the name of protecting us, no. But it is not as extreme or as common as anyone would like to believe.
 
PanHAM
Posts: 9719
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 6:44 pm

RE: Avoiding Travel To The US?

Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:37 pm

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 which was / is filled out on board. It has to be accepted and agreed and basically that you have no right to appeal if the CBP officer does not like your face and refuses admittance to the promised land. Agreeed, I am a citizen of a country that let's in almost anyone and certainly most Americans unless they are members of the American Nazi Party which we don't want to see here for good reasons.

Now, that's nothing new, has been the fine print before as well I guess. Once you're in the country you have the full rights and obligations as anybody else, inclduing the consitutional rights. That is agreed in the consular traties countries usually sign and ratify. As a European you have to be aware that the US is over policed, that you should not say NO to a police officer or argue the way you can do here in Germany.

They don't like that and get nasty , so, skip it. Better, not get involved with the guys in first place. If caught parking wroing, accept the ticket and be friendly. Simple rules. OK, the country has changed since 9/11 , which is a pity, they should not see a potential enemy in very visitor. Follow the rules, which may sometimes be funny but OK, they are prudes and donÄt like people to drink alcohol in the public and they don't know what they are missing.
Was Erlauben Erdogan!!!
 
greasespot
Posts: 2968
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2004 10:48 am

RE: Avoiding Travel To The US?

Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:29 pm

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
Sometimes all you can do is look them in the eye and ask " how much did your mom drink when she was pregnant with you?"
 
UAL747
Posts: 6725
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 1999 5:42 am

RE: Avoiding Travel To The US?

Sun Feb 05, 2012 11:39 pm

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 jeans and had a tug at them. I was like, OMG, this guy is seriously grabbing my underwear inside of my pants. So forgive me if I don't see the irony of your post regarding US security.

UAL
"Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy. Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy.....Okay, fine, we'll just turn 190 and Visual Our Way
 
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shamrock604
Posts: 2198
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2007 11:27 pm

RE: Avoiding Travel To The US?

Sun Feb 05, 2012 11:47 pm

Quoting UAL747 (Reply 83):
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 jeans and had a tug at them. I was like, OMG, this guy is seriously grabbing my underwear inside of my pants. So forgive me if I don't see the irony of your post regarding US security.

UAL

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 even harder time than the passengers.

A recent frisk was a particularly uncomfortable experience - but i'd still take being felt up than being photographed naked.
 
Georgetown
Posts: 425
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 12:50 pm

RE: Avoiding Travel To The US?

Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:25 am

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 time. To the OP, please know that I do not mean this personally, but your view on the US is painfully ignorant. This is a backhanded way of trying to give you comfort, but you logic is consistent with refusing to fly on an A320 because they have crashed in the past. I have to admit that your naievete is such that it could very easily come off as contrived and that you have something to hide.
Let's go Hoyas!

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