If I could give one piece of advice to foreigners for the next 20 or 30 years as it relates to America: stay out, we are not free here, the walls - both digital and physical - are going up to control us. The police state is becoming more aggressive, violent, and omnipresent. Save yourselves, pursue freedom and happiness, you won't find such here any longer. There are better countries for that future.
I think this should be etched into the Statue of Liberty as a warning. Since it doesn't represent a beacon of liberty any longer, it might as well serve a purpose.
I found it quite ironic.
Edit: Another funny experience was me being stopped by security guards when I tried to take a picture of the Federal Reserve building when standing in front of it, only to be handed a brochure with on the cover a picture of pretty much the same angle.
Also, a little reminder. It is the American citizenry that made the US "a beacon of liberty" in the first place. And I believe it can do it again. Do you say it will take 20-30 years to happen?
sorry, but fuck canada. if you don't let me through your border, your country is unbelievably fucked.
maybe dismissing parliament one more time will help mr harper.
However: does it really belong on HN? It's not germane to the stated topics of the site. And it is not "gratifying one's intellectual curiosity" - quite the opposite, it's a story that makes you mad without really telling you anything you didn't know already.
I'm also in favor of keeping these stories coming, this should not ever be seen as normal or inevitable.
Perhaps people could post them elsewhere. This site does not need to be the be-all and end-all of one's online news consumption, you know?
Civil rights also tend to find a captive audience among hackers, I guess because it is (lately more so than ever) tied into freedom of speech and by extension, freedom of information.
* Crappy immigration. I can get around the EU (Schengen) and across borders without breaking stride. In the US, it's 3 hours minimum, and that's assuming you get in.
* Crappy legislation and tax. Your tax codes suck. Starting a business sucks. In the UK, fill in a single bit of paper, and pay your corporation tax when it's due. Flat percentage of income, two rates, one for most businesses, one for huge businesses. Don't get me started on the strength of behemoth corporate interests lobbies.
* Crappy businesses. The American way seems to be to hold a gun to your "partners'" heads, and use lawyers to enact your will. In Europe, people actually tend to trust one another.
* Crappy security. By this I mean not "THERE SHOULD BE MORE POLICE", but rather "I don't know if I can run a business in the US without the state meddling, and/or simply taking it away from me, and/or the state collapsing leaving mayhem both for a business and for anyone stuck out there when the brown stuff hits the whirly thing.".
I just don't understand why anyone would want to either start a business in the US, or do business with the US. We used to, but pulled out, as the EU is a plenty big enough market, and far more... humane.
Come to Europe, it's nice here, and there are paid holidays.... and a government.
Here are some companies you could ask:
Apple, IBM, Microsoft, Google, HP, Facebook, Cisco.
Here are some others:
It could well be - I would even suspect it myself - that the US is an imperfect country. And yet it seems to have a few companies who are able to do business there notwithstanding the harsh conditions.
Have you ever left your home city? State?
>The deep rooted anti-American theme of the EU does not take long to emerge. This undertone is rarely flaunted, but is intuitively detected. Few seem to understand that it is one of the bases of the United Kingdom’s deep unease with the EU, because UK people simply do not understand or share that objective.
Bam, America. I'm not supporting anything, but looking at it from a business point of view this is pretty tempting.
For English, Western Europe.
Stick your head out of your shell, and you'll realise there's a world out there, beyond America. I know it's hard to believe, but it does exist.
Actually, I live in Italy, where some of your "in Europe" lines do not hold true at all.
Frankly, things aren't that much better in the UK, but I stand by the fact that it's a damned sight more straightforward to operate a business here than in the US. I have done both, and have lived in UK, US, HK, ZH, DE, FR, BE, SA, so have a fairly broad (but of course still limited) gamut of experience.
I asked yesterday on Reddit to what country a programmer should move, but wrote that I don't want US because the TSA
All that is reported here sounds like an aberration, an officer who mistook the situation and abused his authority. For context, the United States continues to be second only to France as a destination for international tourist visits,
and just last week my wife and I enjoyed a meet-up in another part of the United States with several of her high school classmates from back when she lived in Taiwan, who arrived from Taiwan, Malaysia, and China, all without incident. When peaceful, hassle-free visits number in the millions per year, a few visits that are abuses of the process will certainly make news, but they don't appear to discourage tourism to the United States over the long haul.
France is also a way smaller country than the US. If these numbers are correct and you bundled together the whole Schengen area instead (as it has a common border), it would massively dwarf the US.
Besides: things like history is likely to be what is often used to explain the large amounts of tourists that coutnries like France gets, in the first place, while the population variable is left hidden.
I noticed, however, that it's highly appreciated when I try to speak French with Parisians and I very rarely get snide answers.
I observe this actually in almost every country. Try to speak a few words of the language and you're usually rewarded. (And compared to my Czech, my French is easily on Camus level).
I think one of the issues is that the French are especially touchy when it comes to language and radiating an attitude of "Are those natives actually to dumb to speak proper English" definitely won't win the French over.
It's not fair to citizens nor is it fair to those going through the legal process of immigration.
The immigration in US will not get the main overhaul and despite all the high tech of tracking borders 24/7 via up to second satellite streams, you still can pretty much run through a border and live an average live in the US. And that's because those highly educated within the government body understand that those here working ilegally became a part of economical system long time ago. Some say its a cancer, but try to take away cigarettes from your 80-years old grandmother that smoked her whole life and you will see how her body shuts itself down.
Now, let me show you how this works in very basic terms.
Joonix is living a decent life with his wife and kids. They are happy middle class family, with loan on the house, bills paid on time, car loan, etc. He and his wife makes an average salary but combined they can afford most stuff a family would dream of.
Now, by some magic wand all illegal immigrants are removed from this country. Overnight. He comes back from work on Monday and opens up his mailbox. Bunch of mail, mostly bills, as usual. Uh no! his cable bill just went up by 150%. The letter does not explain why. He calls in and is explained that it turned out that an outsourcer of the outsourcer of another outsourcer they been legally and lawfully using for technical support, fixing modems, supporting infrastructure, hooking up cable boxes etc, was hiring illegals for $5 per hours. Now they had to be replaced by natural-born US citizens that in most cases won't move their finger for less than $9 per hour, because - well you have wellfare and obamacare and all those social programs that are free. And besides those sweat breaking jobs are in some cases just too bad for their reputation or self esteem. So now to justify the pricing (after all, cable companies are not in the charity business, but rather designed to make money), they jacked up his $127/month 200 channels TV bill to $280. Joonix is angry and don't understand. But hey, no worries after all we are living in a competitive market. He calls in another cable company and gets even higher quote -- that second company decided to take advantage of the new law that removed all illegals and jacked up price even more. All night of shopping for new cable left him with no choice than to pay 150% more what he did last month, or shut off his TV forever. He wakes up the next day to go to work. His law is in awful shape -- ugh, the service lawn company went out of business. The new staff they had was too expensive and in some cases new employees did not even care to show up to work. He drives to the gas station. Prices went up 20%. Someone tries to explain him the employment chain that takes place from the moment an oil barrel is sucked out of earth and gets delivered to his local gas station. Lots of illegals involved. Now the price is $8 per gallon. Joonix complains but the gas station owner bashes him that he should be proud -- after all, no illegal hands touched the gas he pumped in his car. He gets to work. His boss has some good news and some bad news. Good news is that all illegals are gone. Bad news is that 97% of the stuff will be let go. After all, no fraud or illegals to fight with. After work he goes to a local shop market. Pricing for most food items went up from 80% to 250%. Most agricultural companies were forced to raise prices aggressively because they could not outsource field work to some other companies that were hiring illegals. He comes home. Air condition unit just died. He calls in -- a man with perfect american accent answers. He can send someone same day to check it out for $180 per hour, no guarantees. The ad he hold in his hand from last month ValvePack says $39.99. Joonix sits down with his wife looking through the bills. Everything went up tremendously. They have no idea how they will afford tomorrow. Perhaps they will have to let the house go? They may be forced to be homeless, but at least they will be homeless in the country where everyone is a US citizen. They fall asleep holding hands, proud to be americans.
Also, cable companies are monopoly in the USA - you can't call up a different cable provider to serve your area, as in his example. Although you can get satellite TV, etc.
That he doesn't know this simple fact, further shows how he does not know anything.
Unfortunately they aren't backed by hard data... because CBP/TS/HS aren't wont to publish stats on how many people they've needlessly and humiliated (or worse) at border checkpoints. But taken together with recent trends which we do have hard data for (for example, the ACLU's stats in the phenomenal expansion of detention facilities for immigrants suspected of illegal entry... and the abusive practices that transpire within) suggest that very disturbing trends are taking hold.
All that is reported here sounds like an aberration, ...
If all laws depended on the "potential risk" of being guilty, we might as well not have them and just defer to professionally-trained feudal warriors (pardon, the Police) in all matters.
This sort of thing is the inevitable result of giving people responsibility without accountability.
Millions of people travel to and within the US every year without incident, what gets reported is the admittedly terrible sounding times when that's not the case. Chances are very good that you'd have no problems.
I mean wen we get to the US, we have our flight ticket info sent prior, we have to add more data because it's the US, the ESTA, last time I got harassed in Paris by the American Airline because I need to know the address I'm going to (I told her to check my file, I don't remember it), how long I knew my girlfriend and stuff, the NSA knows everything about me (I'm not an US citizen), the TSA checked me, the border police checked me out of the country. When I arrive in front of the CBP agent, my privacy had already been thoroughly shredded in the name of security, and my personal data including credit card is gone in the wild without any recourse or oversight, there is absolutely no need to physically harass people at the border.
it is a win for both the US and travelers when this process goes smoothly.
I appreciate that the the chances of it happening to me are slim, but I'd be worried sick about it, and would find it hard to maintain my composure if it did happen.
(Aside: I'm 10 miles away from the largest NSA base outside the US and the local pubs are full of spooks, so arguably the US has come to me!)
The only stories that tend to get written are the extraordinary ones. Unfortunately, it's unlikely that a border official is going to have the opportunity to do something "extraordinary" for someone unless he saves a life with the Heimlich or something like that.
So the "I HAD A HORRIBLE TIME AT THE BORDER!" are the ones that tend to get written up and passed around. No one writes up the hundreds of millions of routine, boring border crossings.
(I find the lack of understanding this concept to be a source of lots of dumb discussions both on-line and off-line)
 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_bias
"But we only harass some people who look a bit too brown not to be suspicious" isn't exonerating.
The US is the most barbaric and uncivilised of the western countries. That might come as a surprise to some.
Yes, I guess I'm fortunate, and I'm sorry bad things happened to you, and there are plenty of problems here, but, there are 330 million people in this country, most were either born abroad or their parents or grandparents were, and we all get along pretty fucking well.
I would compare the feeling of safety when walking the streets of major American cities like San Francisco or Pittsburgh with the feeling of safety when walking around in Rio de Janeiro. You feel much safer in London, Paris, Berlin, or Munich.
I'd still go back though; that was one experience one night that could happen anywhere.
I've been to San Francisco too, but my wife and I didn't do much wandering around at night. During the day it seemed fine everyplace we went, though there was a small alley right by our hotel that was apparently used as a toilet. Again, as a New Yorker I'm pretty familiar with being around homeless people, so what I found odd was that the leakage across the sidewalk wasn't cleaned up by the city, hotel, or shopowners around the alley first thing in the morning. Instead, it was just left there for days as far as I could tell. At the time I didn't know how common that is is SF. I didn't feel unsafe by it though, except for the threat to the cleanliness of my shoes.
? Because of being compensated relatively well? Because you can work for big tech companies? That doesn't sound enough to outweigh the negative experiences you've faced, at least for me.
I wouldn't shed any tears if programming stopped revolving around the US to such a degree.
...all because I politely exercise my fifth amendment rights.
This happens about 50% of the time I enter the country. I live abroad so I enter the US about a half-dozen times per year. I think my file is big enough now that they know not to ask me anything.
> CBP’s Pledge to Travelers
> We pledge to cordially greet and welcome you to the United States.
> We pledge to treat you with courtesy, dignity, and respect.
> We pledge to explain the CBP process to you.
> We pledge to have a supervisor listen to your comments.
> We pledge to accept and respond to your comments in written, verbal, or electronic form.
> We pledge to provide reasonable assistance due to delay or disability.
I often wonder which of these "threatening me with prosecution for interfering with a border control point", "lying to me by saying I'm legally required to answer their questions", "refusing to tell me the name of the city I'm standing in" and "throwing me out of the border control point (into the USA) on the highway in Vermont in February in a snowstorm" fall under.
(It's the only time I've ever had to hitchhike in my life, as it'd been hours since they'd sent the Montreal-Boston bus on without me.)
The one border cop in Detroit told me, after coming through the tunnel from Windsor, that "[she's] just doing her job, making sure the country is safe, and that [she's] there to prove [I'm] innocent and get [me] on my way quickly." I waited until I was given the all clear to leave the building before mentioning to her that "We're Americans, and this is America. I am innocent until I am proven guilty, and those representing our country would do best to remember that."
Despite my opinions about the lot of them, I am calm, polite, professional, and courteous in my interactions with them. They respond in the most unprofessional manner possible, short of physically assaulting me. They've cost me thousands of dollars and caused me to miss important business meetings. (Before you say it: it's not my fault for exercising my basic rights or not "just answering the simple questions" that I missed my meetings. I'd have left except for the fact that men with guns on their belt arrested me after I'd already given them my passport and they'd searched my possessions.)
Fuck the police.
PS: Their invasive searches of my belongings were clearly punitive, too. I never travel with contraband but had I been doing so, they would not have found any of it. They were clearly just fucking with someone who had the nerve to tell them that his travel plans inside and outside of the US were and are "none of their business".
And CBP does have the right to ask who you are and where you're going when you cross the border. It is their business, and has been since the 18th century.
EDIT: I should clarify because I'm being somewhat glib. First, 4th amendment does not apply to routine border searches, and it was the First Congress, containing many of the framers, that instituted routine border searches: http://blog.cybersecuritylaw.us/2013/09/23/david-house-dhs-a....
Second, while the Supreme Court has not ruled on the issue, the various circuits have held that 5th amendment does apply, but Miranda warnings are not required: http://fourthamendment.com/blog/index.php?blog=1&title=e_d_n....
These are both rooted in the long-standing right of sovereign entities to defend their borders.
Third, I'm not aware of any Supreme Court case that says you can't be compelled to answer questions at the border. Currently, there is simply no law compelling you to answer questions, but it's not clear such a law would be unconstitutional if it existed. So there is nothing wrong with CBP asking, and nothing wrong with you refusing to answer, and nothing wrong with CBP giving you extra scrutiny, within the limits of the 4th amendment, for refusing to answer the questions.
Fourth, I'm in the camp that thinks Miranda shouldn't even apply to questioning at the border. See: http://www.volokh.com/2013/06/17/do-you-have-a-right-to-rema.... The 5th amendment's text is simple: "No person... shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself." The historical practice and plain meaning of this text was, before the 1960's, that you couldn't force a defendant to testify against himself in a criminal proceeding. This was a specific response to the practice of the Star Chamber in England. It's a pretty big stretch to say that this should limit the police's ability to ask you questions, especially at the border where the state's interest in security is relatively stronger.
You're being recorded, both audio and video, from the moment you enter the building. Making a false statement, even accidentally, is a serious crime. They, of course, are allowed to lie as much as they wish with no repercussions. Ask any lawyer: making any voluntary statements to the police is a bad idea under any circumstances.
Furthermore, my travel within or without the United States is no business of the government's, as evidenced by the fact that there's no law requiring me to provide it to them. Every time this has happened, I have been allowed in to the US. Every time.
The troubling part is that this is really just a demonstration of what the police would do if Terry v. Ohio or the 5th Amendment weren't in place.
They see absolutely no irony in harassing an American, on American soil, under the banner of "protecting America".
Being late, I can cope with. The fact that large federal law enforcement organizations like CBP fundamentally don't get why we have basic rights is the truly scary part.
PS: You have to count to 1 on the way to 350 million.
note to self: find a way to express lack of sarcasm in text.
It takes me hours to reimage my laptop and restore my phone each time I visit the US. It sucks.
Sure, they can ask. They ask citizens. The difference is that citizens get fifth amendment protections and can politely refuse to answer.
If you're a non-citizen coming to visit, refusal means deportation. It's simply racism based on where someone was born, discriminating against people on a trait that they have no control over.
Given that existence of legal rights can be proven empirically , whereas existence of natural and human rights is a philosophical quagmire yet to be resolved after thousands of years of inquiry, I'd argue that your statement is false. Well, at least, as false as anything can be outside of a purely axiomatic system.
: Again, as far as such things can be done. E.g., we could probably come to something like an agreement that the Bill of Rights exists and that it describes a set of ostensibly legally guaranteed rights.
Sometimes, people with similar moral opinions come together and agree to enforce entitlements consistent with that opinion. These are called "rights." While morals can be demonstrated in the state of nature, "rights" cannot be. There are no "rights" without agreements between people, either explicit or tacit.
Since I'm pretty sure you've encountered the terms natural rights and human rights before, and that you understand that they specify morals without being legal rights, and that we don't basically disagree about how things work, nor do we even disagree philosophically on a wide variety of issues (perhaps importantly that moral absolutism is terrible), I was more curious about whether you think world federalism is a good idea...
To rephrase this, the sort of absolute existence which you seem to be implying for morals and natural rights is only obtainable within the framework of an axiomatic system. And, the process of codifying one's morals within an actionable axiomatic system transforms them into legal rights.
So, I agree that morals express should and should not sentiments. I also agree that individuals can hold morals, in the sense of personal codes of behavior. However, my original point of contention was whether or not natural and human rights exist in the state of nature. A discussion of morals ensued because you implied that an acceptance of the existence of morals was somehow related to an acceptance of the existence of n/h rights.
Morals and n/h rights are fundamentally different in that morals are intra-personal, while rights are necessarily inter-personal. So, while I would accept that morals can exist, in the sense that individuals can desire particular states and derive codes of behavior for making these states more likely to occur, these sorts of morals are not the sort needed to make the functional similarity between morals and n/h rights that you previously suggested meaningful.
These form the key points of our disagreement: that morals act like n/h rights and that n/h rights exist. While you may not have intended to support absolutism, based on the way in which people typically discuss n/h rights, and based on the formal definitions of these terms that I've seen, I'd say that any support of n/h rights is implicitly support of absolutism.
I do understand that it's the absolutists who harp on about n/h rights, I'll try to be more careful about that in the future. It is somewhat absolutist of me to believe that everybody on the planet deserves food, clothing, and shelter in that it's a belief that applies universally, but I won't go so far as to say that you should adopt my beliefs simply because it's somehow incorrect for you to have other beliefs, nor do I expect that our laws will ever satisfy this ideal.
Though, through morally-guided action you can possibly cause the n/h rights which you believe in (but which don't exist) to be reified as legal rights. Now, given sufficient capacity for force, I may still subvert those rights, but through their codification they have nonetheless gained existence.
The second part of your second paragraph actually closely matches my stance. And, it's precisely the prevalence of (implicit) absolutists who continually frame arguments founded on the assumption that some n/h right or another exists that leads to my irritation when these terms are used (relatively) carelessly. Such arguments are fundamentally flawed and, yet, continue to dominate most discussions concerning politics and economics.
Or, might makes legally right, belief makes morally right.
It's interesting, because if you look back far enough you'll see I had the opposite argument with somebody else, where I was explaining that force was the only thing that caused legal rights to exist, and he was accusing me of immorality on that basis.
So we've gone from discussing civil liberties to the abstract idea of a Nation State?
Either way it's not always racism. I'm not American but I'm as WASPy as they come. If I followed your pattern at the US border they'd never let me in, and that is their right.
You are probably thinking more of the fourth amendment, which supposedly protects against unlawful search and seizure - including information about your whereabouts, etc.
Also, I probably wouldn't use a YouTube lawyer as my sole reference for doing that sort of thing, just FYI.
In regards to that US Lawyer, read this always entertaining blog post [original site nomadlaw.com down for quite some time, quoted verbatim here: http://greyenigma.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/i-am-detained-by-...]
Also, a substantial amount of legal employment used to be in doing things like document review that can now be handled by software. This could be seen to be augmenting the supply factor, since it automates what lawyers used to do.
> It's a pretty big stretch to say that this should limit the police's ability to ask you questions
I'm not talking about the fact that they ask, or that they search my stuff when I decline to answer.
I'm talking about the fact that they then lock me in a room for hours with no food or water, send the bus without me, threaten me with arrest and prosecution, lie to me claiming that I'm legally required to answer their questions, and finally refuse to call me a taxi or tell me the name of the city I was standing in ("I don't know" was the reply of the border guard after I'd asked him after I'd been told I was free to go. "You don't know the name of the city in which you work every day?" "Nope.")
It's simple disrespect and harassment.
I've only now glanced through the first few pages, but it spells out Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights at border crossings. Unfortunately, it is a review article, not case law, and in some instances appears to rely on dicta. Still, a worthwhile read.
EDIT: Original poster: "nemof". The review article, titled "Rights at United States Borders" was written by Jon Adams, who, judging by the brief bio on the title page, appears to be an experienced and qualified attorney.
There's this theory in psychotherapy called transference. Basically if you experience crappy situations as a child in which you are effectively powerless, then in later years similar situations end up provoking the same feelings - you transfer the past onto the present.
I have no way to know if this is what's going on here, but in my own life, understanding things from this perspective has been a remarkably powerful tool for generating insight and change. I have had (and continue to have) no shortage of conflicts with authority in my life, including ridiculous abuse from the cops, but it did get significantly better once I started directing my anger at my parents, who for me were the original offenders.
Just an alternative perspective out of left field.
Despite my opinions about the lot of them, I am calm, polite, professional, and courteous in my interactions with them.
There was no reason to be shifty - he was clean, except for the speeding. But his general attitude towards the cop shone through like search light.
People's self perceptions may not be others perceptions. And your body language may be saying things your words aren't.
The problem is that thugs with guns who are used to acting with impunity are enraged when people quietly, demurely, and professionally stand up to them.
It never ever happens because everyone has somewhere to be, a schedule to keep, and knows that they'll be on their way quickly if they "just answer a few harmless questions". They're cops with guns, after all.
When I was abused by my parents, it was never called for. As an adult, again and again I would create situations where I was obviously "in the right" so that I could get people to recreate that abuse and then subsequently feel and express the anger I had about it. For me, calmly provoking people is child's play, but I don't do it anymore.
> There are exceptions to the 4th and 5th at border crossings. The officials at international border crossings are permitted to ask for basic customs and immigration information, under the Commerce Clause. Any inquiry or search or declaration beyond establishing your legal right to enter the country, or what you are bringing with you, is indeed protected by the 4th and 5th.
Edit, ok while what I wrote was mostly right, I just looked at his commenting history, and it -looks- like he triggered the double posting protection by posting two comments after each other
My Aussie friend has suffered a similar (but not quite as degrading) experience at the border recently. She was unjustly deported because some custom agents (or their computer systems) suffer from multiple off-by-one errors and cannot properly compute a 90-day stay. I couldn't believe what happened -- and to an Australian tourist! I was ashamed of being an American.
Could you give me more information about this border court? Feel free to contact me at: one-hnpost AT reml DOT org
I'm confident enough of my rights when stopped by a cop inside the US, but from so many stories like this it really seems like we have no rights when crossing the border, citizen or not. If I knew what my rights actually were I'd feel better about asserting them.
By that point there's little point in trying to get justice, because international court cases are complicated and the tiny amount of money you get back is unlikely to be of much consolation.
What specifically does this mean in the context of a border crossing? It's not like you're under arrest there.
Do you mean that you tell the USCIS official that you aren't going to say anything about where you traveled or why? Or where you live and work in the country?
Some examples of what you say to them would help us understand better what is going on in your interactions with the border agents.
Edit: Just saw this: They were clearly just fucking with someone who had the nerve to tell them that his travel plans inside and outside of the US were and are "none of their business".
It's somewhat less surprising that you stand out in a negative way when you tell the border agent who's asking about your travel plans that those plans are "none of their business".
The longest detentions have been when I reply with "Respectfully, you have my passport and know my identity and citizenship, and I decline to participate in any further questioning."
Also, they asked a voluntary-response nosy question. Responding with "none of your business" is valid and professional. Stand out, sure, but whether it's "in a negative way" is open to interpretation. Please don't blame the victim for standing up for their rights.
And I suppose there may be no legal requirement for a person to disclose any information beyond "I'm a US Citizen returning to my home country". (I don't know this - I'm just assuming this, based on what you've said.)
Ultimately, of course, if you're a citizen, it's my understanding they have to let you back in. However, they also have broad discretion over investigating "suspicious" situations. Unfortunately, not wanting to say "anything" about your situation (why you were out of the country, where you went, etc) may stand out as "suspicious" to an agent who's accustomed to idle conversation about people's reasons for travel.
The problem is, the search is simply an invasive powertrip—and not thorough. It's as if they're searching me just to let me know they can. They asked me "what've you got in HERE?" bunches of times while going through the various zippered pockets of my bags, but missed several. It wasn't a very good search.
Then, there's the threats of holding me in a cell for 72 hours, the threats of prosecution, the yelling, the physical intimidation, the verbal abuse ("you're only causing this trouble for yourself"), the massive delays (they sent the bus without me, stranding me several hours from the nearest airport). It's a fundamental disrespect that stems from their contempt for my unwillingness to follow their orders. They honestly wouldn't even tell me what city I was standing in, and kicked me out of the building onto a highway in a snowstorm in February in northern Vermont. I had no cell service and had to hitchhike to avoid getting frostbite.
I'm not complaining about receiving additional scrutiny, though I do personally believe that the 4th amendment protections should be intact even at the border. I'm complaining about straight up harassment and abuse.
Surely you can't mean exercising basic constitutional rights to silence when questioned by police.
But to those of you complaining, are you sure this isn't just another anecdote that supports your stereotypes? Or is our anti-authoritarian fetish getting in the way of the data (or lack there of) again?
Have any of us worked with a effective and practical system that never has false positives? Are you unhappy with the rate of false positives? Do you even know what that rate is? Are you saying you would you rather have more false negatives and fewer false positives? Surely anecdotal evidence is biased towards nasty false positives: we don't read about stories when someone triggers suspicion and is reasonably investigate before being released, but are you sure it never happens?
I'm not saying that I think it's acceptable to be wrong sometimes, or to treat people this way. But I'm also not convinced by anyone who doesn't have answers to the above questions.
Abusive behaviour of this kind might be just a personal failure of some employee... in that case they need to be fired and severely punished. If those things happen on multiple occasions and nothing happens, nobody is fired/punished, nobody apologises... than you have a reason to believe that it is a systematic failure to uphold to certain standards commonly associated with states that are not police states. That seems to be the case in the US.
I'd rather not have to become an expert in border control; I pay taxes so that someone else can do that. I can see, however, that many people find it hard to trust that someone else might know more than them. I think it's a shame that there is not enough transparency; is assuming the worst and crying foul without proper data really the best we can do?
In either case, there was no evidence at all of an overstay. That's like a spam filter looking at your inbox and arbitrarily picking one email and putting it in your spam folder; would you call that a false positive? To have a false positive, there must be some sort of algorithm/procedure/heuristic, i.e. some sort of non-random selection mechanism. Otherwise, you don't have a spam filter, you have spam roulette. And that's how it is at the border with these immigration officers.
What is a 'TNT'?
> "Tago Nang Tago" It's a filipino thats an illegal alien. Translates to "hides and hides" (from the I.N.S.)
Hoy, TNT ka? Hey, are you an undocumented immigrant?
I've seen the same up close. Seems it's a standard tactic: when someone is suspected of immigration transgression, lie about the suspect's prior statements to others; reason is to throw the person off-guard, increasing the chance they'll say something actionable. This is very effective, and VERY disturbing to the suspect. The guards are under no obligation to tell the truth, and use lying as a standard tactic...but anything YOU say can and will be used against you, with lying to a federal official being one of the worst things you can do.
unfortunately, the characterization of people in the US being (1) ignorant, (2) rude and (3) obnoxious is rather accurate. the USG should make an effort to have competent people manning the border since it makes the US look _awful_ when stuff like this happens. obama, or whoever is president, should make this shit a priority since we look like a bunch of fucking jerks when it comes to CBP/ICE.
Stories like this are beyond useless because they don't present all the facts. It's a sensationalist one-sided narrative of what happened. Without the other side's version of events, we cannot look at the story critically and evaluate the merits of both sides.
(An honest view from their side would talk about subjects like "What percentile of our employees are competent to do their jobs? How much would it cost to improve this?")
The immigration officer then returned to the room and accused Grande of being a liar. He claimed that he talked to her aunt, who allegedly told him that Grande will take care of her as a caregiver.
She said the immigration officer's allegations are not true because her aunt didn't even know she was arriving in the US.
"While Officer Mam kept on repeating his questions about why I was in the US, a fellow officer by the name of Chang, joined and shouted, calling me a liar. He even searched my purse where I had wedding cards (with money) for my daughter and future son-in-law, and a birthday card for Joshua (also with money) and other stuff. He scattered all the items in my purse on the table, asking why they should believe me, when my aunt, according to him, seems to be the honest one," Grande said.
I think it would be prudent to reserve judgement until more information is available.
i am deeply skeptical about this account. this year alone i have entered the US about 10 times, coming from European and Asian destinations. not a US citizen. I have never witnessed any impolite behavior by CBP personnel towards passengers - and I was standing in the blue line for hours with them.
using the very specific term TNT is very strange for non-filipino officers.
if you worked in retail this reminds me of certain customers from hell that complained to your manager and told a story that was outrageously one sided. all the while having been openly abusive to you.
That is the exact problem the US has, nobody is ever penalized for these actions.
This is a really sloppy journalism piece, and I'm surprised that no one's pointed out just how bad it is. This article is unresearched, anti-US junk.
"Is there a time limit on how long someone can be detained? Do people have to unlock their phones, if asked? Do agents have to inform you why you're being detained? And I didn't even approach them as like an angry citizen. I approached them as a journalist, who had very straightforward questions just about the process and the protocol. And what I discovered, doing that, is that the lack of transparency that I saw during our detainment just continued up and up and up the ranks, all the way to DC, where nobody was getting back to me about anything."
"Filipino visitor something something..."
The title comes from the submitted article. The article comes from ABC-CBN, a Philippine news source.
> ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs (formerly ABS-CBN News and Public Affairs) is the news division of Philippine media conglomerate ABS-CBN Corporation. The organization is responsible for the daily news and information gathering of its news programs. Its current slogan is Panig sa Katotohanan, Panig sa Pagbangon ng Bayan (Tagalog for Sides for the Truth, Sides for the Rise of the Nation). According to the SWS media trust survey, ABS-CBN News & Current Affairs topped the list among Philippines news and broadcast organizations, garnering 68% of the public trust.
> But why is it on Hacker News?
What stories should be on HN, and why do you think this doesn't fit?
Are you new to Hacker News? The stories are posted by people who frequent the site, and stories like these are on the first page constantly. I would suspect such things are important to the Hacker News readership. You could make theories why, but that's for another post.
>> And why did the submitter use the term Pinay? People barely know how to spell Filipino... <<
Well, now I know what it means, getting a little educated with my news - can't hurt. I don't think a place like Hacker News should be dumbing down the language, or spelling, of its posts.
I don't think it seems that far fetched, but it does come across as being a fake story. It sadly doesn't surprise me that something like this could happen, I just question the site this is hosted on.