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> If you are a US citizen, you can't be turned away at the border or forced to unlock the device.

There's an important divide between what customs is supposed to do, and what they might actually do in practice. Going through customs means putting yourself at the whims of people that you do not control.

If you're a white male, there's perhaps less of a chance that a bad employee will feel they can take advantage of you, but there's still the chance.






Eventually they have to let you through though. They can't send you to a detention center for not unlocking your phone, you're a US citizen and you're not being compelled by a court to do anything. They might keep you in a room for many hours but at the end of the day they will let you go and you'll have a good story to tell the news channels.

"Eventually" can be a really long time if they want it to be.

In my experience, refusing to unlock/answer questions results in a 3-30 hour delay, depending on the mood of the border pigs.

You have actual experience? Like first hand? Lots of horror stories out there though, including people claiming they were sexually assaulted. Seems like a major blow to civil rights, even recently a mayor was detained but haven't been following the entire story.

I also have first hand experience as a US citizen refusing to answer any questions each of the ~couple dozen times in the past half decade or so I have crossed the US border. In my experience, not only should you decline to answer any questions, you should demand to have an attorney present for any questioning. This should end the interrogation fishing expedition, though in my experience you need to repeat yourself 3-4 times, sometimes to the supervisor, before CBP officers get the message.

My experience is nearly always (but not always) being sent to secondary screening for anywhere from 20 minutes to 3 hours. When due to the detention I have missed an onward domestic connection, my airlines have always re-booked me without charge. My luggage is manually searched probably 2/3 of the time. Treatment from CBP officers varies from respectful just-doing-my-job (maybe 1 in 10 officers) to outright hostile (maybe 5 in 10 officers).

So long as you provide evidence for your claim to US citizenship--especially a valid passport--a 30 hour detention is certainly unreasonable, and @sneak should seriously consider filing a lawsuit against the director of the DHS for the constitutional tort and for violating his civil rights under color of law. Ideally he/she would seek injunctive relief preventing DHS/CBP from detaining people presenting themselves at the US border and claiming US citizenship for any longer than is necessary to verify the validity of the claim to citizenship.

Airport CBP checkpoints are extensively surveilled, and documentary proof of these violations can be subpoenaed. If actually filing a lawsuit is too much, you can submit a FOIA and Privacy Act request for all data CBP holds on you, including your TECS records. I doubt you can get audiovisual surveillance data without litigating a FOIA case, but it's also worth a shot. Prepare to wait 1+ year in any case.


Yeah, good point on suing, I know I've heard suing the feds is a whole other ordeal than suing states or political subdivisions such as cities under the state. For the states/cities, it's a section 1983 lawsuit, while the feds they refer to it as a Bivens action. Sadly though people can't afford that, but I know some lawyers will take a cut if you win.... but some lawyers don't even want to help because they want to be friends with the judge and prosecutors. If you go after them hard on a civil rights case, they might be less likely to give your clients deals on traffic tickets. Just seems our entire system is rigged.

Also, read stories of them saying you have no rights to an attorney or even to film them since they don't technically consider you in the US. You are in some limbo between countries. An entirely different ballgame than a traffic stop. But some of that stuff might just be some misconception, some they can lie to you but you can't lie to them.

Also stories of citizens, especially minorities who were even born in the US who say sometimes they get more trouble entering their home country than other places. Pretty sad stuff, I don't know if it's worse with the current administration or if this is a thing. Not something I've thought much about really much before but seeing it in the news more and more, pretty concerning stuff that seems to go against the founding principles of this very nation.

Then watching Orange is the new black, even though it's scripted it does touch on some very real issues. I don't think most people really think about these issues unless it affects them directly, but some pretty horrible stuff going on. The private prisons are contractually guaranteed a minimum number of inmates for example, and you can even buy stocks in them. So then if you are a shareholder, I guess more crime is than in your financial interest so the prisons you own a small piece keeps making money. Doubt any of those shareholders would even want to live anywhere near the prisons they invest in though either.


> Also, read stories of them saying you have no rights to an attorney or even to film them since they don't technically consider you in the US. You are in some limbo between countries. An entirely different ballgame than a traffic stop. But some of that stuff might just be some misconception, some they can lie to you but you can't lie to them.

I have had CBP officers tell me that I have no right remain silent. I have had CBP officers tell me that I have no right to an attorney. I have had CBP officers tell to me that they will not let me into the country until I answer their questions. They are indeed liars. Stick to your guns and they will fold.

A US citizen is admissible once their claim to citizenship is verified and they have completed a written customs declaration. At some airports, CBP eschews written customs declarations and has a policy to interrogate passengers instead. In that case, simply demand to complete (or, better, bring along an already-completed) Form 6059B and maintain your refusal to answer questions.


> I have had CBP officers tell me that I have no right remain silent. I have had CBP officers tell me that I have no right to an attorney. I have had CBP officers tell to me that they will not let me into the country until I answer their questions. They are indeed liars. Stick to your guns and they will fold.

Same, to all of it. They also told me they were going to arrest me and charge me with interfering with a border control point. Somehow after another 4 hours of declining to answer questions I was released without charge (into a northern Vermont snowstorm where I had no cell service and had to hitchhike to not freeze, due to them having sent the Montreal-Boston bus on without me, but that’s another story).


Interesting, I know I seen on cruise sites apparently they stopped using the paper version at some ports. I think it's odd they want to know all the countries you visited in the past, like if you took a long trip that'd be a lot to remember and repeat off. I think they just want to know to profile and stereotype things more though based on where you went.

I know I seen there's world cruises for about 6 months, would be a dream for sure to be able to go on! Probably a lot of retired people or business owners.


> The private prisons are contractually guaranteed a minimum number of inmates for example, and you can even buy stocks in them. So then if you are a shareholder, I guess more crime is than in your financial interest so the prisons you own a small piece keeps making money.

I don't think so. Private prisons hold less than 10% of total inmates, so there's no way they'll be short even if suddenly the US started to jail half the people it does now.


> some they can lie to you but you can't lie to them

Isn't lying to a federal agent a criminal offense in the US?


Same with lying to police. Talking about them lying to you, but you can't lie to them. It's a tactic used to lie to people to try to get them to speak more, etc.

Yes, for several years I declined to answer any of their rude and invasive questions, on about a dozen border crossings.

Interesting. Wonder if they target you for some reason? but I think some questions are just following a script, so it might seem invasive but they do this all day.

My dream is if ever got rich from tech or won the lottery, is to travel full time. By plane, train, cruise ship and then buy an RV to explore more of the US. I think RVs are super cool but feel they are a bit outdated compared to modern cars. So hoping by then they'd improve.

But I feel like living an alternative lifestyle would subject me to harassment at some point. I also dream of a mansion in central FL and supercars, but I'm also into minimalism and feel like there's more to life than just buying a bunch of fancy things, that need to be taken care of.

But even starting out as a nomad, I know many states give people trouble at the DMV for full time RVing since mail forwarders aren't considered a valid address, so a lot of people have to change their domicile to a friendlier state such as South Dakota which recognizes people who travel full time. You have a affidavit to fill out, bring proof you rented a mailbox and stayed a night in the state. it's estimated about a million full-time RVers. Then some people live out of boats or a suitcase traveling around.

There's a guy who goes by Super Mario who lives on cruise ships full time. https://youtu.be/bcBzOesw7sc - I think he's a investment advisor who works remotely now. However instead of going from ship to ship, he books on a ship that circles around the same area back to back for 6 months in advance so he can get the same room. The New York Times did a little min doc on him, but traveling over and over again like that wouldn't surprise me if they think he's a drug runner based on travel patterns unless they are aware of him by now for doing this so much times. There's some other interviews with him, pretty interesting lifestyle. I can see the pros and cons.

Dreaming about things is a bit of motivation, but also a bit of distraction too.


> My dream is if ever got rich from tech or won the lottery, is to travel full time.....But I feel like living an alternative lifestyle would subject me to harassment at some point

I quit my job and spent 2 years driving from AK to Argentina, then again to spend 3 years driving around Africa. I'm now a full-time nomad, and doing everything I can to never sit at a desk again (freelance writing, photography, published books, etc.)

I certainly get some good interactions at "first world" borders, but nothing really bad. When I drove into the US on my way to Argentina it was obvious the officer simply didn't believe I was going to drive into Mexico. Even with the map on my hood [1].

Recently I drove into the US with my passport full of visas from 35 different African countries (even Sudan, Congo, Nigeria, etc.). The border guard flipped through it and said "Wait, WHAT do you do?".. utterly confused. I told the whole story, showed him the new map on my hood and again he was just confused. Friendly, but confused.

I was detained once at the border coming in by bus from Canada... the border guard was not convinced I was not going to stay. After 5 hours they let me speak and I mentioned I had a ticket out of the country (flying out of LAX like a week later).. when I showed the ticket the officer said "Where's Sydney?"

It's all good.

[1] https://www.instagram.com/p/ByyD2J_lfmE/ [2] https://www.instagram.com/p/Bw4h0X_Fq_G/


> When I drove into the US on my way to Argentina it was obvious the officer simply didn't believe I was going to drive into Mexico. Even with the map on my hood

I'm going to go with the fact that you're a white guy with dreads that made the border guards want to give you additional scrutiny. It had nothing to do with your story or vehicle.


"I quit my job and spent 2 years driving from AK to Argentina ..."

How did you cross the Colombian jungle ?

I drove a much less ambitious route from Colorado to El Salvador and, of course, thought about continuing to go south ... but all accounts led me to believe that it was essentially impossible to drive continuously through Colombia ...


oh wow, living the dream! Not sure if I'd feel safe traveling in some places, one thing that kinda draws me to wanting to cruise. Like egypt want to see the pyramids, but not sure if a place I'd want to go alone.

Looks like I've seen some of your videos on YouTube before, when looking at videos about people who live out of their Jeeps. However if money wasn't a limit I probably would want a class A RV, but the Jeep Wrangler makes a prefect tow car, people in the RV community call them toads. But you leave your RV at a camp spot and then can go explore in the Jeep, grocery shopping, etc without needing to break camp.

But yeah I think the nomad lifestyle has its challenges, but also some great things too. I love going to new places, reminds me of family road trips back when we used to go somewhere every year.


Calling them "border pigs" will result the delay being closer to the 30 hour mark =)

Yep, called contempt of cop. Not a actual crime of course but they can sure use their powers. I think cops in general view themselves as a brotherhood and questioning any of them is attacking or criticizing them all in their eyes. More about emotions and power than logic and law with some people.

I know I got some family in law enforcement and was mentioning some of the stuff on the news once at like Christmas or Thanksgiving several years back, and they surely didn't like that. But then again they didn't like me talking about how I think circumcision is wrong either, apparently it hurts their religion too.

I know there's stories of cops being fired for speaking out about wrong doings, and even one was sent to a mental hospital for it but got a very large settlement with the city.

One of the sad things are people will see a clip on the news and judge all cops however. I always love it when I see heartwarming stories of cops doing good. For example recently someone was pulled over for lights being out and was having trouble with his wiring harness. So the cop actually helped him fix the car! Now that's real protecting and serving, in other areas probably write a ticket for revenue and of to the next, very impersonal.

I know I seen a video once of some cop in New Jersey who pulled over someone, the guy rolls down the window and the cop comes up yelling for license and registration. Can't even say hello or be cordial. Sure the guy might of broke a traffic law, but don't need to be a jerk about it. Not like he murdered someone, but even then stories of mass murderers being treated better. Dylann Roof apparently was taken through the drive thru.


Are there stats on the "ethnic composition" of CBP? I must have developed some strange cognitive bias from crossing the border but purely from subjective guessing I would think that a very significant number of CBP agents are non-white.

So a question arises in me: why are they allegedly preferring whites over others in terms of extended screening measures etc.?


Certainly at the southern border nearly all CBP agents are Hispanic. I've seen stats but don't remember where. Obviously language skills would weigh heavily towards native speakers, which would tend to influence hiring.

Might be the influx of domestic terrorism.

Last time I looked it up, law enforcement would treat white women the most lenient, followed by black women. White men are treated a bit worse than black women and of course, black men were treated harsher than the other groups.

Was that controlled? That is, did they measure only illegitimate detainments? Because I'm sure crime rates vary by demographic.

Found it:

https://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/research-and-pu...

It seems controlled for the same crimes.


>If you're a white male, there's perhaps less of a chance that a bad employee will feel they can take advantage of you, but there's still the chance.

You have no basis for this claim at all. You should have stopped at your first point.




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