Homeland Security Is An Embarassment With The Way It Treats US Citizens At The Border

from the this-needs-to-stop dept

A few months back, we wrote about the horrific treatment by Homeland Security's Customs and Border Patrol agents of On the Media producer Sarah Abdurrahman and her friends and family at the border. They were all US citizens and yet were detained for many hours for no reason, had their electronics seized and were generally treated terribly. Homeland Security has refused to explain why it stopped them -- though, the obvious answer is that they were Muslim. There is now a similar story from Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, the Emmy-nominated producer and host of Huffpost Live (full disclosure: he once had me on his show), discussing how he gets detained every time he returns to the country. This time, he was just coming back from the World Economic Forum at Davos, and he was given a document with a big X over his face and sent to a "special" line:
As he notes, the room was... full of "brown" people:
At the door, an Egyptian-American woman greeted me, "Al Salaam Aleykum," she said. I reluctantly responded "Wa Aleykum Al Salam," though I was hardly feeling at peace. The room was filled with rows of seats and several DHS officers with colorful folders (red, yellow, green, blue) lined up in front of them with passports and travel documents. The juxtaposition of the colorful folders with the rows of mostly brown people filling the seats was suspect in itself.

"Omar Mubarak... Juan Diaz... Sayed Hussain," the officers called us one by one.

I couldn't help but feel as though JFK itself was a bit racist.
And, just as Sarah and her family and friends discovered, despite being US citizens, DHS treats them all like criminals:
After a 14-hour trip, I wanted to stretch my legs. So I stood up, anxious to find myself back in the room, especially after having written to the DHS. "Take a seat," the officer at the door sternly said to me. I told him I wanted to stretch my legs after the long flight. He told me I wasn't allowed to stand up. You are also not allowed to use your phone or electronic equipment. I was also slightly surprised to find as many children in the room as there were cameras.

"Sir, I'm a U.S. citizen who wants to stand while being detained. Am I not allowed to stand?" I said, pointing to the Asian man and Pakistani woman standing with their toddler strapped to the man's chest. Anyway, there were only two empty seats in the room with a capacity of 60.

"Sit down!" he repeated for the sixth time, and came and confiscated my phone, which I was using to try to text my coworkers who were waiting to share a car home.
Like Sarah, DHS won't provide any information as to why he was detained. And it clearly wasn't random, seeing as this is the third time in a row it has happened. While he has applied to have his name removed from the list, as we noted with the lawsuit involving Rahinah Ibrahim, DHS seems to have no interest in correcting its mistakes until forced to do so.

Frankly, this is disgusting. It's sickening that we are treating American citizens this way as they attempt to return home. Homeland Security and the US government seem to have dropped all pretense of freedom if you happen to be brown, Muslim or have an Arabic name (and just imagine those who hit on all three). This is not what this country is supposed to stand for -- and the fact that we now have two very similar stories from prominent journalists, and DHS continues to respond by saying absolutely nothing, is even more disgusting. With On the Media, they've been trying to pressure Congress to investigate the matter, but to date, no one in Congress seems to want to take on this issue, which is a real shame.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Anonymous Howard (profile), Jan 30th, 2014 @ 7:48am

    It's sickening that we are treating American citizens this way as they attempt to return home.

    It's sickening and disgusting that you treat any people like this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 7:57am

    Welcome to the US

    Where you might be detained, tortured, wiretapped, spied on, tracked, beaten, raped, or even killed by "the authorities".

    But it's the Land Of The Free.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 7:59am

    Maybe protesting at the borders and/or making citizens arrests of the dhs officers involved for hate crimes, start by taking names of the detaining officers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 8:00am

    quite some time ago - before 9/11 - on a holiday weekend i drove from new york, where i was doing a contract assignment, up through new england for my first ever visit there. not accustomed to small states, i got to maine before i expected to.

    thinking it would be a nice experience to see a french canadian town, i drove up to saint-georges to look around. i had no idea the unpleasant experience i had ahead of me getting back into my homeland.

    i vowed to never again cross our border, and i've been true to that vow. i've rolled right up to our border crossing points a couple of times and waved to those guys, but i'll never again put myself at their mercy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 8:02am

    Welcome to America

    Where we just "think" we are free.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 8:08am

    i just spoke of visiting the french-canadian town.

    years before that i was working a contract gig in nashville, and caught the complaint of a scottish direct employee there talking about his treatment at the hands of our servents at the border.  i assumed the man was a kook and paid nearly no attention.  after i my own experience i realized i owe the scot an apology.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 8:09am

    This reminded me of the Sikh that actually created a T-Shirt because he was detained so often: Reddit

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jan 30th, 2014 @ 8:28am

    Re:

    "i vowed to never again cross our border, and i've been true to that vow"

    As a very seasoned international traveller, I find it depressing that the average American would find "OK, I'll roll over and never leave the country again" to be the perfectly acceptable response to this kind of thing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    TasMot (profile), Jan 30th, 2014 @ 8:29am

    Does anybody know...

    when and where they are going to start setting up the detention camps? It was done once for US Citizens of Japanese decent. Now, since any "brown, Muslim or have an Arabic name" people are automatically suspicious, won't TSA just start putting them under a watchful eye all in one place.

    After all, then they won't have to spend so much effort detaining them at airports they'll already know who and where they are. /sarc

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 8:38am

    Re: Re:

    I have thought about leaving and never coming back.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    pegr, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 8:38am

    Why cooperate?

    If you are an American returning to America, you have no requirement to answer any question. Why answer questions? Because you'll get through quicker? Well, it seems folks who cooperate spend four hours getting jacked up. How much time do you save?

    Just repeat, "I don't answer questions." Yes, they'll go through your stuff with a fine-toothed comb, but at least you have the satisfaction of pissing every one of them off. They CANNOT refuse entry of an American into America!

    Don't take phones or computers with you, of course. Unless, perhaps, you wish to be "harmed" and like to sue the government (expensive and not very likely to work).

    Or, perhaps, take an SD card filled with random data. Yes, they'll take it and try to "decrypt" it. What fun! ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Shmerl, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 8:51am

    Reminds me Papers Please

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 9:05am

    Re: Why cooperate?

    You must be white ; )

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 9:12am

    Re: Does anybody know...

    just google "FEMA camps"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 9:19am

    But, but, but, terrorism!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 9:20am

    Re: Re: Re:

    DO it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 9:23am

    Re: Re: Why cooperate?

    How very racist if you

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 9:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Why cooperate?

    How very racist OF you

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Mr Pond., Jan 30th, 2014 @ 9:43am

    Unbelievable.

    Land of the free. Take a look around you & tell me if you think that's really true any more.

    I visited the US years ago & had a fantastic time, loved the people & very welcoming, friendly atmosphere. Since the TSA bullshit started I refuse to visit, which is a shame as it really is one of my favourite countries in which to have a holiday.

    Friends, sort your government out. It's actively oppressing you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 9:49am

    Re:

    Yup, and while I guess they very much apply profiling, they certainly also treat innocent foreigners just coming in on a business or tourist trips like this (and worse). They do it to me as well. And once you're flagged, it'll happen every time. But I guess their goals is at least partly reached, because I certainly won't visit again unless absolutely necessary (which turns out to be almost never, I can skip the occasional conference if they are held in the US).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    AricTheRed (profile), Jan 30th, 2014 @ 9:49am

    Re: Unbelievable.

    It is on my to do lis, but like others here I'm too lazy to really do anything about it other than gripe on the internets.

    To do list attached:

    1. Teach new puppy that only the world outside the house is his toilet.

    2. Organize "Clean" garage so I can park the $20k car in it instead of safely storing garbage out of rain.

    3. Snipe that sweet old hand tool off ebay for less than $300 that will then be stored in the garage.

    4. Sort out government.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Edward, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 9:51am

    Not allowed to stand?

    Just wait until someone who has been detained after a very long international flight is forced to keep sitting for hours and develops deep vein thrombosis.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    limbodog (profile), Jan 30th, 2014 @ 9:55am

    Re: Why cooperate?

    > They CANNOT refuse entry of an American into America!

    I do not believe that for a moment. I used to, but no more.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 10:23am

    Re: Why cooperate?

    They CANNOT refuse entry of an American into America

    They can put them on a no fly list and strand them in a foreign country.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 10:25am

    i dont know why you think it's disgusting to treat US citizens in this way, it's disgusting to treat ANYONE in this way and shows how near we are to a complete police state! when officers of what is supposed to be a customs agency, what right have any of them to tell a person they cannot stand? it's getting out of hand, people and needs to be stopped!! all of the security agencies have the same attitude but are the first to decry treatment like this when it's against them at the customs checkpoint of another country! pot and kettle yet again!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Talion, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re: Why cooperate?

    Uh, sure... they can can't refuse you entry into America... but did you want to go home from the airport, or go to another extended interrogation?

    America is a big place, you might get lost or misplaced somewhere you really don't want to be if you piss off DHS. But hey, they didn't refuse you entry. Now exit on the other hand...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 10:44am

    Conferences

    Of course, since many people think the same, conferences will start moving out of the USA, to other countries.

    Which is great, since that makes it easier for citizens of these other countries to go to these conferences. When they happen in my country, they are often in a city which is an one-hour plane ride (plus the unavoidable one-hour "you are required to get to the airport early and sit in the lobby waiting") for me.

    Which is great, since making it easier to go to these conferences helps the technological advancement of these countries.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 10:56am

    Re: Re: Why cooperate?

    You are perfectly welcome to catch the nearest boat ride across the ocean. It's a perfectly reasonable method of intercontinental travel. (60 years ago anyway)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    PRMan, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 11:00am

    Re:

    True, but it's worse when any country treats its own citizens this way with no suspicion.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    icon
    art guerrilla (profile), Jan 30th, 2014 @ 11:40am

    Re:

    THANK YOU!
    EXACTLY what i was thinking...

    as an amerikan, OF COURSE i want 'my' rights (HA!), BUT I WANT EVERYONE ELSE TO HAVE THOSE SAME RIGHTS, too

    i don't care where they are from, THEY'RE HUMAN BEANS who deserve the SAME rights as i do, i don't care what 'The Law' says...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 11:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Why cooperate?

    That presumes that you can get to an ocean and borders and visa requirements can get in the way. From Uzbekistan, the nearest ocean requires crossing at least two borders, entering Afghanistan and then Iran or Pakistan; or via Turkmenistan to Iran. Or you can go round the Caspian sea, or by boat across it after entering Kazakhstan, to enter Russia and reach the Black sea, where you should be able to start a boat journey back to America, via various ports. Or how about via Kyrgyzstan to China a to reach the pacific for a boat home.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 30th, 2014 @ 11:53am

    Re: Re: Why cooperate?

    There are situations where a US citizen can be (and has been) denied entry in to the US. There are, broadly, three classes of reasons why this can happen:

    1) People who hold certain dual citizenships. When this happens, it's usually the result of marriage to a citizen of another nation where marriage automatically makes you a citizen of the other nation. Immigration agents can view this as an effective renunciation of US citizenship even when that's not the intention. This is rare, but is increasing in frequency as the amount of data required for passengers traveling increases. An example of how this can go wrong is on flights back from TLV a dual Israeli/US citizen is logged in the system as having entered Israel on an Israeli passport, but entering the US on a US passport.

    2) lacking the proper paperwork for reentry. Be sure you have your visa/passport!

    3) Being intoxicated. It is illegal to enter the US when you're intoxicated (a fact that totally amazes me). When faced with an intoxicated person, inspectors have two choices: allow them entry and arrest them as soon as they enter, or deny them entry. Most inspectors choose the latter.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Jan 30th, 2014 @ 1:09pm

    Re:

    thinking it would be a nice experience to see a french canadian town, i drove up to saint-georges to look around. i had no idea the unpleasant experience i had ahead of me getting back into my homeland.

    Just think - if you hadn't done that stupid "American Revolution" thing you could all be Canadians now - and you couold have done that trip without crossing the border.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 2:05pm

    Re: Re:

    As a very seasoned international traveller, I find it depressing that the average American would find "OK, I'll roll over and never leave the country again" to be the perfectly acceptable response to this kind of thing.

    @PaulT

    You need to re-evaluate what rolling over is. You are the one rolling over... doing nothing to resist the second by second abuse of the 4th by the TSA. Had YOU any stature, then perhaps you would participate with the rest of us in refusing to interact with these services and watch their economies fall.

    You have NO ROOM to speak!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 2:13pm

    He should have demanded a lawyer. Tell them that if they're going to treat him like a criminal, he wants all the protections afforded to people accused of a crime.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    icon
    krolork (profile), Jan 30th, 2014 @ 2:31pm

    We need a revolution.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 2:48pm

    Re: Welcome to the US

    Where you are free to live at the sufferance of the Authorities, as Darth Vader quiped to Lando, 'Pray I don't alter the deal again!"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 3:10pm

    Re: Re: Why cooperate?

    because You Still need to prove to TSA that you are an American to gain Entry to the US, Don't expect your accent will help you inside the US is over 4000 accents, Don't expect your Drivers License to help you that could be forged.

    The do not presume you are a US citizen until proven other-wise. You can easily be turned back, more likely is an Indefinite Detainment while the Majestic Wheels of Officialdom turn and turn and TSA determine whether you are wanted for anything, or a terrorist, only then, will they check if you are an American, If you have gotten a passport at some stage of your life, they will recognize your citizenship a bit sooner, I hope anyone at their mercy Know how to meditate.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 3:16pm

    Re:

    they already passed laws putting custom zones like waiting areas for inbound US passangers' outside the zone the
    US constitution works.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 3:59pm

    I have to say that I'm kind of OK with American citizens being treated the same way as citizens of other countries.

    Of course, it would be better if the equal treatment was a bit more humane, but at least we have some equality...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    icon
    Eldakka (profile), Jan 30th, 2014 @ 9:42pm

    Re: Re: Welcome to the US

    /pedant

    Pray I don't alter it any further.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Jan 31st, 2014 @ 1:13am

    Re:

    Too bad your country is your prison. At least it's easier for those who are outside to avoid the madness. I myself only go to the US because I have family and friends there. I also avoid the UK and a few other countries that seem to hate visitors. Seriously, there are plenty of places to go without this bullshit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jan 31st, 2014 @ 1:44am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Sigh... would it kill you idiots to check who you're talking to before ranting about random crap (hint: I don't give a shit about your constitution for a reason that should be obvious if you click on my profile). Would it really kill you to look at facts before letting loose on yet another random fiction?

    Even so, WTF are you talking about? I'm rolling over because I'm not letting the TSA's antics impede my freedom to travel even when I do visit your nation? The TSA is an economy that profits from higher numbers of people travelling?

    Huh? Are you really that stupid?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    icon
    mdpopescu (profile), Jan 31st, 2014 @ 1:46am

    Re: Re: Unbelievable.

    Don't worry, I got it covered.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    icon
    Chris in Utah (profile), Jan 31st, 2014 @ 3:57am

    Carlin strikes again....

    ..."you have brown people in your country? BOMB THEM!"...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    icon
    RocRizzo (profile), Jan 31st, 2014 @ 6:35am

    DHS is not an embarrassment...

    They are an abomination!

    The whole thing should be disbanded. If you look at the money, you will find that the full body scanners that are used by airports comes from a company that was started by the former head of DHS, Michael Chertoff.

    This tells me that the DHS was only formed to rip off the public, and put the money into the pockets of corporate cronies. It also tells me that they want the public to be more fearful of things, so that they can further monitor their whereabouts, in an attempt to further control them.
    Get rid of them, and replace them with something more constructive.

    Ben Franklin said, "He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither." We are sacrificing freedom for security here in the US, so therefore we deserve neither!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Jan 31st, 2014 @ 7:19am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Good Riddance.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Jan 31st, 2014 @ 7:25am

    All of this rhetoric comes from the same people who stand on their soap boxes at Thanksgiving dinner faulting the government (and their "lazy government employees") for not protecting you from 9/11, or whatever other disastrous tragedy you chose to reference. Then, as soon as your subject to this increased security/scrutiny that you so fervently demanded of your government, you cry foul and want a lawyer. Sorry they don't rub your shoulders and pat you on the back when they inspect you...grow up. If you're immigrant and don't like it here, leave. If you're a native and don't like it here, catch up with the former. Ridiculous that all I read is cry babies who are like middle school adolescents. Crossing the border isn't supposed to feel like an amusement park. It's about securing this country from bad things and bad people. Period.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    icon
    Gwiz (profile), Jan 31st, 2014 @ 7:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Welcome to the US

    /pedant


    [*** waves hand ***] This is not the Star Wars Fan Site you are looking for.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 31st, 2014 @ 9:28am

    Re:

    All of this rhetoric comes from the same people who stand on their soap boxes at Thanksgiving dinner faulting the government (and their "lazy government employees") for not protecting you from 9/11


    Wow! Do you have access to some kind of information about all of these commenters? It's hard to see how you could know this to be true.

    I, for one, never actually faulted the government for failing to stop 9/11. I do fault the government for turning into a tyrannical state as a result of it, though.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    icon
    RocRizzo (profile), Jan 31st, 2014 @ 11:29am

    Re:

    It wasn't "lazy government employees" who did not protect us from 9/11, it was the Bush Crime Syndicate, who was warned of it at least a month prior to it occurring, and then doing NOTHING.
    Personally, I believe that they let it happen, so that they could start this stuff, and turn this country into a Police State!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2014 @ 11:47am

    Re: Re:

    On behalf of all Canadians: HELL NO!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Jan 31st, 2014 @ 4:16pm

    Re: Re:

    they already passed laws putting custom zones like waiting areas for inbound US passangers' outside the zone the
    US constitution works.


    Well, if US laws don't apply in such zones, then he should be free to do what he likes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    S.M.I., Feb 3rd, 2014 @ 4:22am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You're not alone, friend. Not even close.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    S.M.I., Feb 3rd, 2014 @ 4:26am

    Re: Re: Does anybody know...

    Was going to say something similiar. Those camps to which you refer are already set up, only they're not intended just for people of a certain flesh tone.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    S.M.I., Feb 3rd, 2014 @ 4:36am

    Re: Re:

    Not unlike Pearl Harbor, then..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    mike, Feb 3rd, 2014 @ 8:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Why cooperate?

    to reply to your answer.
    #1. The U. S. Customs and Border Protection does not care about care about the passport you travel on. Only about the one you entry on.

    #2. This is very true even if the airline let you board with a expired U.S.Passport they still let you in.

    #3. Being intoxicated. It is not illegal to enter the US by air so you're wrong about this one. Only if you intoxicated driving and CBP turn people over to the local police.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    identicon
    coward (anon), Feb 3rd, 2014 @ 2:20pm

    Not just "brown" people

    Not to minimize the problem of racial profiling, but this behavior of Customs folks is nothing new. My daughter went to Canada on a high school field trip. Had a great time, got her first tattoo (she was too young to get one in the US). This was before 9/11 and Homeland Security's existence. She was stopped at the border and denied entrance to the US for almost an hour because, according to the Customs inspector, her middle name was misspelled on her passport. Her middle name is Caitlin, a traditional Irish name. But the inspector insisted that it is spelled Kaitlin. My daughter is 6 foot, blond, thin and blue-eyed. If Sweden had a history of female terrorists, she would fit the profile. But she was pulled out of line and hassled for a "misspelled" middle name.

    Customs and HLS have always been populated with "little hitlers" as my grandmother used to say. People who get off on asserting what little authority they actually have. And the system is rigged to let them get away with it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymouis, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 6:07am

    Re: Not just "brown" people

    You couldn't be more wrong. These guys have a job to do and no one, NO ONE, ever wants to be subject to it. Everyone has a story (albeit 75% fabricated and 25% truth) about how they were mistreated, had their car taken apart bolt by bolt (which does NOT happen), etc. But it's like anything in this country, damned if you do and damned if you don't. If your daughter, god forbid, had been abducted and a human trafficker, who was also a foreigner and spoke English as second language, created a fraudulent document to smuggle her over the border, you would have been awfully happy that the agent stopped and question the passport. You probably would have been calling him/her a hero at that point. But all anyone ever looks at is the negative aspect, the inconvenience, the "terror" of being looked at a little closer to determine that everything is on the up and up. It just baffles me. People talk about police state and internment camps. Yeah, I've read all of the conspiracy theories on the internet too but jesus, at some point you have to apply a little reason and logic, don't you? If we're such a terrible country who treats their citizens like garbage, why are we still the most sought out country by immigrants? Why, because the "American Dream" isn't just a saying. The right wing is killing this country (not that the left wing is doing much better) and if they had it their way, there would be no government law enforcement, only social/welfare programs. Does any commenter on here have any idea what it's like to be in a third world, lawless country with no law enforcement, or corrupt law enforcement at best? Well I do. I happen to have quite a bit of experience in that realm. You have no idea what you're talking about and you're watching too much right wing media. And frankly, it seems like our next generation is finally grown up and polluting the atmosphere with their "sense of entitlement" attitudes. The current generation loves to go around talking about how they "deserve" this and "deserve" that. It's sad. There used to be a time when you had to work for what you had. Now all these unmotivated degenerates only want to work hard for "economic equality", which to them means take from the guy/girl who actually got off their ass and made something of themselves, and give that to lazy, pot smoking, video game degenerate who has no work ethic or desire to achieve anything more than their minimum wage job. Oh yeah, and while you're at it, raise their minimum wage by $3 per hour just because. Unbelievable. The folks with that mentality, who appear to be dangerously close to the majority, are going to be responsible for the disgusting degradation of this country. One more thing, can you please stop picketing and rallying to support all of the illegal immigrants here? There's laws in place that govern how you can enter the country and they didn't follow them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Feb 6th, 2014 @ 6:10am

    Re: Re: Not just "brown" people

    *Correction to above - right wing and left wing were obviously reversed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This