How To Stand Up To Abusive U.S. Customs Officials And Win

It’s a familiar ordeal for any American who’s ever traveled abroad. Every U.S. citizen with the temerity to explore lands unknown is forced into a grueling, humiliating interrogation with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials when they return. CBP agents treat returning Americans like criminal defendants, grilling you on everything from what you did abroad to where you’re staying in the U.S. (despite the fact that since you’re a citizen, where you live is none of their business). Even Americans who cross into Canada by car are subjected to warrantless searches of their cars and computers when they come back.

The ostensible purpose of this police state thuggery—protecting Americans from terrorism and criminality—is a total joke. Consider that CBP was completely unable to stop a Liberian national with Ebola from entering the country and infecting everyone he came into contact with. The reality is that U.S. customs is staffed by incompetent goons who only care about lording their power over the little people. Rent-a-cops on the public payroll. The CBSA (Canadian Border Services Agency) is run by the same kinds of dweebs: CBSA personnel usually end up there because they failed to qualify for either the military or the RCMP.

But you don’t have to take their abuse. Here’s how to assert your rights as a U.S. citizen in the face of fascism.


You Have The Right To Remain Silent

CBP officials have far less power over U.S. citizens than you think. The only questions of theirs that you are required to answer are ones pertaining to establishing your citizenship. By showing them your passport, you are fulfilling this requirement. You’re also required to hand in a written customs declaration indicating any items that you acquired while abroad. That’s it. You do not have to cooperate with customs officials beyond this. You don’t even have to answer the “Business or pleasure?” question, seeing as you’re already required to do that on your declaration form.

Granted, like all petty dictators, CBP thugs will make your life hell if you dare to defy their “power.” Therefore, when it comes to reminding a customs commissar of your rights, answer their questions with this:

I decline to answer your questions.

This is how you draw a line in the sand. If the official presses you, inform them that you know your rights as a U.S. citizen and that you don’t have to answer their questions.

Now, even if you refuse to be interrogated, you still need to comply with CBP’s physical requests. For example, if an official tells you to go somewhere or do something, don’t argue, just do it. What you are not obligated to do is answer their invasive and rude questions. While you may be held in “Secondary” for the “crime” of not submitting to authoritarian abuse, CBP will eventually have to release you, because federal and international law prohibits them from denying U.S. citizens re-entry.


Why Defy Customs Officials?

Because asking those questions is how CBP finds suckers to throw in prison. The average customs official is Dwight Schrute with a badge, completely incompetent at his job, as the Thomas Eric Duncan case shows. Because they have no clue how to catch real criminals, CBP officials seek to arrest law-abiding U.S. citizens to meet their monthly quotas.

By answering these seemingly innocuous questions, you are giving CBP the rope by which they will hang you. Customs officials are not your friends, they are police officers who are trained to identify criminals (even if they’re terrible at it). Even if you are completely honest, an officer can trip you up with redundant questioning, you might forget certain details, or the officer might just outright make shit up. Even if you can beat the charges in court, the process is the punishment: merely having to defend yourself against a bogus charge will drain your time, energy and finances.

The only way to protect yourself from corrupt border commissars is to refuse to answer their questions. By reminding them of your right to remain silent, you deny them ammunition to use against you.

Furthermore, the principle of living in a free society is antithetical to the abusive, harsh treatment U.S. customs officials mete out to their own countrymen. The foundation of Anglo-American law is Blackstone’s formulation, the idea that it is better to let the guilty go free than to punish even one innocent. Even if CBP’s methods were effective in apprehending terrorists, drug smugglers, child molesters and other criminals, they would still be immoral and wrong.

And don’t give me some argument about how the poor, suffering customs agents are “just doing their jobs.” As much as I hate to Godwin this article, that excuse didn’t fly at Nuremberg and it won’t fly now. If you willingly participate in evil acts, you are morally culpable regardless of your motivations. If the “good” CBP officers don’t want to be blamed for the excesses of their colleagues, they can either work to change the system from within or get another job.


Give Me Liberty, Unless It Inconveniences Me

Some people will no doubt protest this post by saying “It’s just a couple of questions, I don’t get why you’re making a big deal about it!” or “What about all the people in the line behind you that you’ll be holding up?”

Are you serious? Our Founding Fathers fought a revolution to be free of foreign tyranny and you’re telling me you can’t be bothered to expend the slightest bit of effort to maintain the rights they won for you? “Well, gosh darn it, I’d sure love to fight the police state, but not if I have to miss the new episode of Pawn Stars!”

Newsflash: if you’re not willing to defend your rights, you don’t deserve to have them. It’s this kind of apathy that has aided the American police state. Back when the first TSA regulations were being implemented after 9/11, people justified them by saying that “It’s just a little extra screening, it’s no big deal!” and “If you’re not a criminal, you have nothing to fear.” More than a decade later and not only is the TSA still around, they now get to grope you, shoot X-rays into your body, and confiscate your contact lens solution for being too big.

If more Americans were willing to say no to government abuse, the police state would lose all of its power overnight. You can be a cowardly sheep if you want, but I’m not going to give up my freedom without a fight. Your willingness to get raped in the ass doesn’t require me to drop trou and grease up along with you.


The Land Of The Cowardly And The Home Of The Slave

Some government shills commenters will no doubt claim that foreign immigration officers are far more abusive. Again, this is a lie.

I spent the past three months in the Philippines. When I landed in July, the immigration officer asked me a grand total of one question—“How long are you staying?”—before stamping my passport. I then collected my suitcase from baggage claim and handed in my customs declaration. The process took all of fifteen minutes.

Coming back to the U.S., my carry-on bag was flagged by both Philippine and Japanese airport security because of a metal microphone I was carrying. Not only were the officers courteous when they searched my bag, they actually helped me put it back together when they were done. In contrast, when I was departing from Chicago last week, the TSA official at O’Hare who searched my bag accused me of having a gun, refused to help me clean up the mess he’d made, and yelled at me for not being able to get my things off his table fast enough.

The reality is that only the U.S. and Canada—supposedly free, first-world countries—feel the need to treat travelers like international fugitives. For example, my friend told me about how when she and her husband took a trip to Niagara Falls recently, they made a wrong turn while driving and ended up on the border crossing to Ontario. Rather than let them turn around and go home (as was possible up until a couple of years ago), the customs agents forced them to get in line to seek entry. Because her husband forgot his passport (because they weren’t planning on crossing the border), the Canadians arrested and interrogated them for hours before letting them leave.

CBP Officers pay tribute to fellow fallen officers during a Law Enforcement memorial service in Washington D.C.

The Fight For Liberty Begins With You

Freedom is not a privilege granted by the government, but the product of the actions and beliefs of a people. If you’re not willing to fight for your rights, the forces of tyranny will strip them from you, one humiliating interrogation and patdown at a time. Want to prove you’re serious about keeping America a free nation? Start by refusing to submit to the vagaries of the police state. Each little act of disobedience will make the world a better place.

Read More: The Frenchman Who Took A Stand Against Socialism

164 thoughts on “How To Stand Up To Abusive U.S. Customs Officials And Win”

  1. First off Welcome Back Matt!! Your article finally unearthed many feminists and sexists alike and single-handedly shot the viewer count a thousand fold! Bravo sir

      1. I’m doing my best to assume they aren’t the same. This way I save a taste for both factions

  2. I hear what you’re sayin’ Matt – but I would have no problem answering the ‘business or pleasure’ question. I think it depends the question itself before you become silent with them.
    The other factor is that although CBT may not have the right to detain you, I would assume that all they need do is tell homeland security that you’re being difficult, and its homeland security will fabricate some shit to throw you in the gulag.

    1. I get groped and have my luggage illegally ransacked every time I leave the US. When I return I get an interrogation and I am forced to reveal personal information. I call that harassment.

    1. Bah. I’m a gun owner but I will tacitly admit it makes no difference as far as “protecting freedom” goes. I have one for home protection and that’s it.
      The Branch Dravidians had guns. The Iraqi people had guns. Made no difference.
      Every citizen in the USA could have a portable nuke and it would still make NO DIFFERENCE as long as the masses of sheeple submit to Elite brainwashing.
      The only way to win is through Information Warfare – digital guns like ROK and other such sites are worth a million real-world guns.

      1. It sure made a difference on the day of the raid for the Branch Davidians lmao.I get the broader piont though.If more raids went that badly law enforcement may reconsider there jack booted tactics.Who am I kidding those idiots would just escalate the violence:(

      2. 100% right. I like my guns, but they aren’t going to really accomplish much politically. I read a variety of second amendment websites every week, and they’ve talked a good game for years. I think elites have recognized that anything smacking of “gun confiscation” is a tripwire to be avoided. Notice how the gun types rally around the flag whenever patriotism drums start to beat (9-11).
        The weapons that elites really fear are positive masculinity/femininity, strong marriages, strong families, old time religion churches, active civic organizations: anything that gives people a strong identity outside state approved distractions.

      3. The Branch Dravidians had guns. The Iraqi people had guns. Made no difference.

        I don’t agree. The BD certainly took a pound of flesh off the authorities and certainly made them think about how they conduct their “home invasions” after that. Furthermore, Iraq is still rebelling against the US occupation. They would not still be fighting if they had no guns.

  3. The situation with travel just continues to get worse. I work a job where I do a ton of international travel and there’s one country in the world today that I can’t get into. Canada. See, Canada has this thing about admitting people to their country who’ve had a DUI (as I have). This has been in place for a long time, but, until recently, was pretty much unenforceable. Today, however, the situation has changed, Canada has access to the same data that the US FBI does and they can immediately see anything on your criminal record (unless you were lucky enough to be arrested in a podunk town that hasn’t digitized their records). So, for the past 10 years, I’ve traveled to Canada without a problem. 2 years ago, that ended with the linking of the computers and the ability for them to see criminal records immediately from the US. This is only going to continue, if countries will bar entry for a DUI, imagine what’s next? Only the “elite” (who have the money to erase their criminal records) will be able to travel anywhere because who doesn’t have at least some dirty laundry in their past.
    The world becomes less free with every passing day. And we stand by and let it happen in the interest of “safety”, a concept almost totally supported by women and manginas. You know what, I’m just not all that concerned if people smuggle drugs into the country. Actually, scratch that, I don’t give a fuck. And terrorists? You’re telling me that everybody getting on a plane today needs to be scanned because they “might be” terrorists? Oh fucking please shoot me now, the stupidity is just too much to take. If you just inspected every man from 18-30 years old you’d get the entire possible population of terrorists. Could narrow that further and say “every man 18-30 who’s Muslim). I know, that sounds so unfair, but we’ve yet to have a non-Muslim blow up a plane in this country. Me (flying 100+ times a year) needing a good dose of radiation every time I go through to a plane is so laughably ridiculous that, if it were a South Park skit, I’d probably laugh but then say “they overdid this one, no way they’d scan a little old lady on her walker”.
    The drug war is a bigger reason for the loss of freedoms than the “war on terror”. That’s the war we need to end if we want to restore liberty the fastest.

    1. I think DUIs are complete bullshit. Reason partly being is that they tied into your “permission” to drive as granted by the Rulers. This means that you have no intrinsic right to operate your vehicle on roads that you “own” as far as socialist reasoning goes. It is absurd that you need a license to drive or that roads should be socialist. The government should have no authority over your right to drive.
      Second, who cares if your blood alcohol level is above some arbitrary level? Its not hurting anyone but you. If you have an accident while impaired fine, but you could be impaired for any multitude of reasons. By taking the logic that the government should make driving “impairment” a crime, you have the long term results that the government can extend this criminality to other impairments such as cell phone use, eating food, disciplining children, being tired etc. An impairment should only be considered if you have an accident, in which it would be covered under negligence and then used to determine your level of responsibility to the harmed.
      DUIs are simply another method for the State to expand its authority over your person.

      1. DUI laws were pushed by MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving). Used to be that 0.1 to 0.15% you may be considered drunk. Then they kept pushing it lower to 0.08 to maybe soon zero tolerance.
        CA was considering having a red license plate for anyone with a DUI record so you get the scarlet letter to show everyone of your past mistakes. No mercy whatsoever to learn from your wrong doing in your younger, stupid self.
        MADD like the feminists are not satisfied with the laws they’ve fought for to make drunk driving illegal. Now they want to punish you forever.

        1. There is a movement in the UK to push for 0% blood alcohol so watch out if you eat a Belgian chocolate or an over-ripe apple.

        2. The legal limit used to be .1 most places, since that’s when alcohol starts to affect judgement and reaction time.
          The .08 was meant to be zero tolerance.
          Many places are introducing .06 now because it’s good for revenue.

        3. I’ve heard rumors here in the US that they want to put alcohol-detection ignition-stoppage devices in all U.S. made cars.
          Of course, they can easily override the system with a computerized backdoor and disable everyone’s car when they want to round us all up…

        4. So with all the ethanol in petrol now you won’t be able to drive your car away from the filling station…

        5. Well you do have to turn the engine off at some point, and theoretically that’s where they would get you.

        6. In Colorado, they have DUI for over .08, and another category call Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) for over .05. The penalty for DWAI is about 2/3 that for DUI, including probation, random UAs based on a daily call in, mandated zero drinking (enforced by the UAs), classes, counseling, community service, fines, and more!
          I call it the DUI Industrial complex. When you look at the lawyers, probation officers, alcohol evaluation, education, and counseling specialists, Breathalyzer interlock device monitoring companies, etc., it is a multi-billion dollar business, employing tens of thousands of people. There’s no way these organizations would ever want to see the end of drunk driving. Their lobbyists and campaign contributions ensure an ever increasing stream of revenue to them from people busted for DUI, and many of the penalties are now imposed without even having to be convicted.

        7. Just wait till self driving cars come into full force – then you will hear the howls of protest from said municipalities and states who grew dependent upon filling their coffers with DUI money. They’re going to look really stupid arguing against a system that eliminates driving altogether and with it, the excuses cops will have for vehicle stops.

        8. I thought the article was fairly silly, but you are right on the money about MAD and DUIs. I’ve never had a DUI, but what a farce!
          Have at the swerving alcoholics, but stop picking on the librarian who was driving perfectly well but had two glasses of wine with her dinner.

        9. I can’t wait. My new car (BMW) is very close to self-driving already, another 5-10 years, we’ll have self driving cars (at least at the high end of the market). And it will be a wonderful day for us all, drunk drivers or not, I trust computers a lot more than I trust myself (and especially others) to pilot a 2 ton hunk of steel down the road. Reaction times measured in ns or ms is a hell of a lot better than I could ever hope to do.

        10. Ohio makes you get a yellow license plate if you have got a DUI everyone calls them a party tag

        11. Well put. Thats why most people for 1st and 2nd offense DUI are classified as misdemeanor. The probation fees go directly to the court. Its a self feeding entity

      2. No, this is absurdly wrong. I will preface my comments by saying that I am not a fan of the modern modus operandi of the police, and I am not a Socialist. I am a Catholic subsidiarist, which means I favour very small government, managed in accordance with natural law and a minimum of public involvement in government.
        Even under the English Common Law, knowingly engaging in behaviours that could put others at risk, bears a level of moral responsibility, especially if injury or death occurs. The Common Law maxim was: actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea, “the act does not make one guilty, unless the mind is guilty, too.” The Common Law distinguishes between the actus reus, the objectively injurious act, and the mens rea, the mind’s cooperation in the injury. Those who are truly incapacitated – sleepwalking, drugged (by somebody else), insane, etc. – have no mens rea (“guilty mind”). Those who have permitted themselves to become impaired or have put themselves into situations where they know they may trigger certain ailments, or who act unsafely in ways that endanger others (reckless endangerment), have a mens rea to some degree. Traditionally, somebody driving drunk would be held less culpable than someone who ran someone down in cold blood. But responsibility and guilt are certainly present. If, then, there is a mens rea in the matter of drunk driving, and there is the actus reus of reckless endangerment, there are ample grounds to treat such behaviour as a crime. I’ll tell you what: if we don’t want to criminalize the behaviour that allows people to pilot a ton of metal into the path of my friends and family, we should also decriminalize the behaviour that allows people to defend themselves by shooting drunks getting into their cars.
        You also have got it all wrong about socialism and the roads. Socialism is when the government nationalizes businesses that are properly private: banks, hospitals, education, furniture stores, etc. The government has a legitimate involvement in basic infrastructure – public roads, police, courts, sewage (at least in urban areas), etc. One can argue both ways on certain things, like utilities; it is hard to allow multiple corporations to set up their own, private infrastructures for water, electricity, sewage, etc., so the government tends to manage such things. It would be immoral for the state to tax us in order to run the health care or aviation industries; it is not immoral for them to tax us to maintain roads, bridges, firehouses, police stations, courtrooms, etc. The public truly do own the public roads, and this is not a “socialist” view, but simply the natural view for any republic or democracy. Besides, if we don’t own the roads, who does? If you say “the state,” then you are admitting that the state is separate from the people. And if it’s “them” and “their roads” vs. us, I suppose they can make up whatever rule they want about “their” roads, can’t they?

        1. Bloody hell this is long!
          What you are saying may well be right in respect of Common Law – I am no expert. Your description does not seem logical. Driving drunk is not a injurious act, if there is no injury. Thus no crime.
          Further, how do you determine if someone is impaired? Some people can function with what you might consider a high blood alcohol level whereas another person might be swerving all over the road. One puts people at risk and one is no risk whatsoever but you punish both equally? A one size fits all solution is not ethical and results in innocent people being criminalized, incarcerated or harassed. Regardless, the practice of permitting the policing of these acts (impairment) to be conducted by the State is a step in the direction of a police state.
          Socialism is government ownership of assets. Roads are an asset. Ergo government ownership of roads is socialist. The State is apart from individuals. The State has no valid title to the roads. The State steals money from individuals and uses it to finance its control of the roads. The State stealing your money and controlling your right to use your freely purchased goods is oppression.
          Corporations do “hard” things all the time. That’s why they get paid. If it was easy you wouldn’t need them.

        2. Agree entirely. Basically my entire legal “system” comes down to one basic tenant; “no victim, no crime”. If your drunk and kill someone, a crime was committed. If you’re drunk and swerving all over the road, a crime is about to be committed and the police should stop you and detain you for everyone’s safety (but not charge you with a crime).
          The biggest problem in our legal system is that the state has the power to press charges without a victim. That’s the source of DUI laws, speeding laws, all drug laws and most of the other “bullshit” that normal/law abiding citizens get wrapped up in. If nothing else, the state’s power to “press charges” should be limited to crimes that have a nominal punishment (like 100 dollar fine). The state pressing charges on things like distribution of cocaine (life in prison as a possible outcome) is patently ridiculous. They can’t find a single person who was injured by this person’s direct actions, there’s no crime committed.
          The drug laws started an era in US criminalization that needs to be rolled back. The state is NOT a valid plaintiff except in extreme cases (murder).

        3. A proper policeman would get in your car and drive you home thus ensuring your and and others safety.
          But police are not about safety unless it’s theirs. They are about revenue and oppression.

        4. You do realize that the whole point of criminalizing the act of driving intoxicated was to PREVENT there being a victim in the first place. intoxicated driving were causing road fatalities, both self-inflicted and drunk people crashing into and killing others
          I agree with you on the drugs piece, its absurd that economically facilitating consumption is considered a crime.

        5. Reckless endangerment is not “pre-crime;” it is crime. I’m all for saying that somebody driving five or ten over the speed limit should not be cited, because this is not really an act of endangerment and there is no victim. But it is absolutely a criminal act, to put yourself in a situation where you are a danger to the lives of others for no reason. My belief is that people would be within their rights to shoot and kill a drunk driver who was endangering their children, if they couldn’t stop him any other way. How much more, then, is it right and proper simply to pull him over, throw him in the drunk tank, and give him a fine that’ll make him think twice about doing that again?
          I don’t know why you bother making objections about “one size fits all standards,” etc., since I mentioned nothing of the kind. I’m not defending the system as is, in toto. I’m saying that there is ample reason for considering reckless endangerment a criminal act (not “pre-crime”), especially in the Common Law, being as I was responding to someone who said Common Law was against the idea.

        6. Socialism is not government ownership of assets. Every government owns assets. I mean, for crying out loud! Things this simple should not have to be explained.
          Socialism, like Communism, is where the means of production are “communally” owned or controlled. Socialism prefers to do this more through an economic system, government regulation, etc., whereas communism has direct governmental ownership and management (on behalf of “the people”). I suppose if you were Elizabeth Warren you might consider roads a “means of production.” In the loosest possible sense, she’s right. So is air, I suppose.
          In the real world, however, roads fit the definition of “General Welfare” as it was intended in the Constitution: a matter of national benefit used in the same manner by the general public, rooted in one of the enumerated powers, rather than being apportioned differently to various groups or individuals without regard for the enumerated powers (as is the case with the “welfare” system).

        7. I have never heard of a drunk driver attacking children with his car but that’s not what we are talking about here. The fact is, a driver who you arbitrarily declare to be drunk is not harming anyone. No harmful act no crime.
          I mention one size fits all because inevitably that’s where you end up when you institute a policy of pre-crime such as punishing a driver for being in the condition of state defined drunkenness.

        8. Texting while driving is also putting others in danger. Should we treat that as a crime?
          Just because alcohol has a bad rap (health and society-wise) we treat drinking and driving such a heinous crime where texting and driving has the same accident rate and it is just a misdemeanor.

        9. Assets are means of production by definition although a better definition is an object that is income producing. Any government that owns assets is engaging in socialistic behavior. Roads are income producing thus they are assets. There is no such thing as general welfare. The government owns you and all your assets and decides how much of your stuff you get to keep.

        10. Unsurprisingly, I was not able to find “means of production,” especially not in the Socialist/Communist sense, as a definition of “asset.” An asset is anything of value. It comes from French “assez,” meaning “sufficient,” used in the legal sense of “sufficient estate to discharge a will.” Obviously, this is not the “means of production” central to communistic philosophies.
          The fact that the government has abandoned the concept of “General Welfare” does not mean that it does not exist. “General Welfare” is a benefit used in the same way by the whole public, using “general” in its 18th century sense. This is what is often misunderstood by people about “general” welfare. Samuel Johnson’s 1795 dictionary tells us what the word meant to people of that time: 1. Comprehending many species or individuals; not special; 2. lax in signification, not restrained to any special or particular import. 3. Not restrained by narrow or distinctive limitations; 4. Relating to an whole class or body of men. 5. Public, comprising the whole. 6. Not directed to a single object. 7. Extensive, though not universal. 8. Common, usual.
          In other words, “general welfare” is a concern to provide benefits not in private, individual or particular ways, or in special circumstances, as the modern “welfare” system does, but to take care for the truly common welfare of the whole nation in action that benefits all classes of men in exactly the same way – national defense, roads, etc.

        11. The answer is not to abolish the concept of reckless endangerment, but to hold everyone to the same standard. In my opinion, texting should be punished more severely, even, than drunk driving. A man may have gotten intoxicated without any intent to drive, but then, in an atypical moment of impaired judgment, makes the bad choice to drive. People stupid enough to text and drive while stone-cold sober, should have their licenses revoked for five years on the first offense. They have proven that even while they are in full command of their senses, they are still willing to endanger others. They are literally too stupid and/or foolish to be allowed to drive. That’s on public roads, of course; let them crash into as many trees as they like on their own property.

        12. There is nothing arbitrary about basic tests of impaired ability to function. I agree that setting absurdly low blood alcohol contents is arbitrary. But if a man can’t walk a line, touch his nose, speak without a slur, etc., he is impaired, and has no right to get behind a hunk of metal and drive it by my family and friends on a public road.
          Again, reckless endangerment is rightly considered a crime in and of itself. There is obviously a strong, natural-law interest in preventing people from endangering others’ lives without cause. If somebody walked around a mall parking lot firing a .308 in random directions, it would be absurd to say that you have to wait for him to hit something or someone before you can do anything about it. Just as with the drunk driver, I think people would be in their rights to shoot and kill a man behaving in such a way, as an act of self-defense. If you can subdue him peacefully, I’m not saying that you treat his crime as an attempted murder, as some people seem to want to do with DUIs. But certainly there can and should be repercussions. I know that “sovereign citizen” types like to speak as though victimless crimes are not crimes; in the vast majority of civil infractions, where the monolithic state is citing people for this or that petty violation of an obscure regulation, I entirely agree. There not only is no victim, there is also no endangerment, if you use the wrong spatula to stir your whiskey mash. But the state calls that a crime, if you produce it for public consumption. But neither should you adapt the equally illogical position, that only directly harming someone is a crime. Endangering lives is certainly criminal behaviour.

        13. “Anything of value ” is far too vague to be a useful definition. Might as well just say “anything”. We are talking about income producing objects here.
          The concept of general welfare is merely an excuse for one man to oppress his fellows. It is a socialist artifice. It is not valid.

        14. What makes you think you get to decide what other people’s rights are? You are truly a statist.
          It is not rational to make law based on an extreme hypothetical. That said, I have never seen someone so drunk that they are swerving all over the road. Have you? Not saying it doesn’t happen but you cannot make good law based on rare and extreme incidents.

        15. Only to someone who doesn’t understand what the word “endangerment” means.
          Most people understand that opening jars of anthrax in the middle of Costco, hurling rocks off of freeway overpasses while there is oncoming traffic, firing guns randomly in public places, putting children, the blind, the drunk, the epileptic, etc., into cars and allowing them to drive on public roads, etc., etc., are not okey-dokey *until* there is a victim. Rather, folk understand that they are very, very wicked acts that should be prevented and penalized even before someone, inevitably, loses a life.

        16. Only to someone who doesn’t understand what the word “endangerment” means.
          Most people understand that opening jars of anthrax in the middle of Costco, hurling rocks off of freeway overpasses while there is oncoming traffic, firing guns randomly in public places, putting children, the blind, the drunk, the epileptic, etc., into cars and allowing them to drive on public roads, etc., etc., are not okey-dokey *until* there is a victim. Rather, folk understand that they are very, very wicked acts that should be prevented and penalized even before someone, inevitably, loses a life.

        17. What makes you think *you* get to decide what other people’s rights are? Do you believe in Free speech? Freedom of religion? Well, who died and gave you permission to have an opinion on what other people’s rights are?
          I’ve never seen anyone murdered in person. Have you? I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but you can’t go around making laws about murder based on extreme incidents.
          You’ve got to learn to think clearly. There is nothing hypothetical about catching somebody driving recklessly while intoxicated. It is a concrete, empirically verifiable reality.

        18. Usually “assets” are used in the sense of simply things with value, as in the etymological derivation of the term, where a man’s assets would be sold upon death if needed to settle the debts of his estate. This would include things that do not generate income, like priceless Ming vases, etc. The same is true for companies. If my family’s farm were sued, and we couldn’t simply pay the amount owed, they would come and seize tons of scrap metal from old farm equipment, take my grandmother’s china, crystal, gold, silver, etc. Those are our “assets.”
          General Welfare is specifically mentioned in the Constitution as an end, towards which the Federal Government is granted spending power. The Constitution says the Federal Government may spend money “to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States.” Are you saying the Constitution is a Socialist document?

        19. You can like Cui or not but he is one of the best debaters I’ve read in close to 2 decades on internet boards. I don’t always agree with Cui either but he is solid, and constructs a logical argument.

        20. You are conflating issues. Next you will say we need to torture people and hold them indefinitely in case they turn out to be terrorists.

        21. I think it is clear that you are a total statist and authoritarian. The fact that you think that you may be the sole arbiter of other people’s rights is suggestive of this. You and I will never agree because I believe in liberty while you believe in control.

        22. It seems clear to me that you have difficulty following a train of thought or making rational inferences, and have thus resorted to ejaculatory and peremptory insults. I believe the State’s power should be very limited; I believe the only rational thing one can believe about rights – that they are rooted in what is Right, or they are not really rights at all; I therefore believe that neither you nor I, have the power to determine the rights of others; I find it illogical to assert that having an opinion about rights, which you surely have as well, is tantamount to thinking one is the sole arbiter of others’ rights; I find it hypocritical to believe this, and to go on having opinions of your own about rights.
          May bountiful breezes of reason blow the dust from the bowers of your brain.

        23. Hardly. The popes have condemned torture since the Inquisition, and I follow their teaching on the topic. But people found shouting “Allahu Akbar!” while rigging a skyscraper with explosives, even if intoxicated while doing so, should probably be detained, questioned and perhaps even penalized… even if there is not yet an actual victim of their “not-yet-criminal” activity. I know, I know… I’m such an irrational Statist!

        24. I’m not arguing that drunk driving isn’t dangerous and stupid. And it should be stopped but, not through the legal system, through technology. Your car should know your drunk and not drive.
          And, if somehow you do get on the road and nobody is hurt; at worst, there was a severe driving infraction committed (think “reckless driving”). There was no crime committed because there is no victim.

        25. “But it is absolutely a criminal act, to put yourself in a situation where you are a danger to the lives of others for no reason.”
          By this logic it would be illegal to drive anywhere for any reason except for an immediate danger to your life. Driving for pleasure puts everyone else in “danger of their lives for no reason”.
          Drunk driving without an accident is indeed “pre-crime”. And I’m not saying that people should drive drunk, it’s dangerous and stupid. But, at the same time, there’s no way that it should be a “crime” of the magnitude it is today.

        26. ” There is nothing hypothetical about catching somebody driving recklessly while intoxicated. It is a concrete, empirically verifiable reality.”
          Then charge them with driving recklessly. Having 2 criminal systems for the same offense is ridiculous and harmful to society. Why should a drunk have a different penalty than some asshole swerving in and out of traffic at 100MPH?
          Basic tenant, charge people with crimes they actually commit, not those that they might commit.

        27. I entirely agree. I actually think the man driving that way sober, should probably face an harsher sentence.

        28. I’ll agree with you that our DUI hand-wringing is exceedingly overwrought… though, driving drunk is quite a bad thing to do.
          I’ll disagree that simply driving is “putting everyone in danger for no reason.” I have driven for many years and have only once had a minor collision. Most people drive without any kind of major incident. If you are sober, competent and in control of your vehicle, you are not endangering people’s lives in a reckless way. Accidents happen, but this is not the same thing as deliberately engaging in activities which exacerbate the danger of otherwise routine activities.

        29. Would you argue for people to be able to operate heavy machinery as part of a construction or port job while drunk/high?

        30. Only one person has resorted to insults here (and quite comprehensively) and that is you. When I say you are a statist and authoritarian it is meant sincerely and as a statement of fact. If you find that insulting then I suggest you review the meaning of “classical liberal”.

        31. There is no comparison between a man who fails some arbitrary measure of drunkenness and a man attempting to blow up a building in an attempt to murder hundreds of people. The fact that you cannot see the distinction explains your belief in the need for a concept of pre-crime.

        32. Well there is nothing personal here, I’m sure Cui and I could enjoy a beer and shoot the shit once the discussion is forgotten.

        33. You may want to try reading my comment clearly…
          Furthermore I am not the one asserting what people’s rights are.

        34. You are asserting that they have a right not to be charged with anything, until they have actually harmed someone. I am asserting that they have no right to recklessly endanger the public, and can be charged with that even without a warm corpse on the ground. We each have an opinion about what rights folk do or don’t have. I would say that you have “asserted” your opinion.

        35. I agree that there is no comparison between these two. But there is a comparison between a man who is actually drunk (not just arbitrarily so), piloting a ton of metal in the path of innocent persons, and people planning to harm them: both of them are needlessly and criminally endangering the lives of innocents. The terrorist is more guilty, but the reckless drunk is also guilty. But the point is not whether they are, or are not, similar crimes. The point is that there are plenty of cases when it is right to prosecute people for a crime, even if there is not yet a victim. People who endanger innocents in a criminal or negligent way, are guilty of a crime whether somebody is killed, or not.
          I don’t know why you keep bringing up the “arbitrary measure of drunkenness” canard. I have repeatedly said that I don’t favour absurd, arbitrary, low standards of “intoxication.” I am speaking about people whose function is impaired, as can be accurately ascertained in a number of ways.

        36. I have criticized your train of thought, but I do not believe I have insulted your person even once. When you call me a “statist,” you are insulting me, not merely my opinion. It is also patently untrue, since I believe in a severely limited power for the state. In no sane view, is a man a “statist” simply and purely because he believes the state should have the power to prevent, impede and penalize reckless acts of endangerment against the public. I can only conclude that you have some kind of emotional entanglement with the issue of DUIs, since I have repeatedly stated that I am against arbitrary standards of intoxication, and only believe that provably impaired persons should be apprehended and penalized for attempting to drive. It is inconceivable to me that someone would think it is appropriate, legal, morally-justifiable, free action, to drive drunk on public roads.

        37. You are taking a position that means that some agency has to infringe on people’s rights. I am simply saying that people’s rights should not be infringed. I am not making a case for what those rights should be. You have taken a position which means that at some point you have to express a view on how much to restrict someone’s rights.
          More importantly you have not overcome your contradiction about injurious acts. Nor have you explained how driving above some arbitrary one size fits all blood alcohol level is reckless endangerment, which is an undefined term without your recourse to extremely rare events.

        38. Impairment is a separate issue. But no injury, no harm, no foul. The term is vague. You keep using extreme examples which is the tactic of the statist. Nobody suggests that driving a car into a crowd of people, drunk or not is acceptable.

        39. You have cast numerous insults my way and again in this comment. It makes you appear frustrated.
          Public roads? Statist perspective. Private ownership of roads is the only ethical mode of ownership.

        40. You hit the nail on the head with the frustrated bit. Could you please quote an actual incident when I insulted your person, rather than your views? I would owe you an apology if I did that.
          The government has always managed certain truly public affairs; I oppose the unjust growth and intrusion of the state, but it seems to me that you have allowed your emotions to carry you into some fairly irrational and extreme suspicions of even the most routine and sensible of government tasks.

        41. I wasn’t implying that anybody was driving cars directly into a crowd; I was simply intimating that, being as there are often pedestrians and other people in and around roads, and given that drunks have a tendency to lose control of the vehicle, allowing drunks to drive is putting groups of people at risk.
          So, how would you handle impairment? Let’s remove the element of criminal intent, which was present in my analogy (about bombers); if a man went out to shoot his rifle on a mountain road, and carelessly set himself up in such a way that his line of fire was crossing a road where cars and pedestrians routinely passed (as happens on a regular basis on a small road heading East out of my town), would you say that there should be no criminal penalty for this man until somebody turned up dead or injured? Or would you say that this was reckless endangerment, and that some kind of fine or penalty would be appropriate in order both to punish the criminal negligence and to prevent it in future?

        42. Man, you have got to learn to think. By implying that somebody’s rights are being infringed (as you have done, by insisting that it would be an infringement of rights to punish folk merely for driving while impaired), you are obviously stating that they had those rights. If you aren’t taking a position as to what people’s rights should be, then you should have no complaints here, since you presumably haven’t recognized that anyone has any rights in the matter at hand.
          You’re not capable of following your own line of thought, let alone mine. And you still insist on the “arbitrary blood alcohol level,” even though I’ve repeatedly stated that this is not my criterion. If you can’t even remember basic points of information after several re-iterations, it is not surprising that you have difficulty holding the various elements of an argument together for long enough to give it a thorough consideration. This is why I have been frustrated; it seems there isn’t much point in continuing the conversation, given the problems that have come to light.

        43. The difference between the terrorist and the drunk is clear. Intent. The terrorist has intent to harm, the drunk, of course, does not. It’s the difference between manslaughter and murder; intent does matter in this (and other) cases.
          With DUI, there is neither intent NOR a victim. That’s where it truly flies off the rails and ventures into the realm of “precrime” (from Minority Report). Fact of the matter is, most people can probably drive drunk (to a pretty high level, let’s say .020 for the sake of discussion) better than a lot of seniors can drive sober. Seniors know their faculties are impaired and climb in the car anyway. If anything, someone who’s eyesight is seriously deteriorated or, for example, someone who’s texting and driving is MORE culpable than a drunk because they, by definition, have their faculties about them.
          All this said, drunk driving in a really stupid and dangerous thing to do. I’m hopeful that we’ll have a system in the next few years that will detect a high BAC through touch on the steering wheel (or breath in the car, as possible examples) and just disable the vehicle. This is not a problem that can be solved by education, it must be solved by technology.

        44. I agree with almost everything you say, and they are points I have made myself elsewhere on the thread. I would only disagree thus far: with a DUI there is the intent to behave recklessly. Somebody who goes out drinking, without making some kind of arrangement to be sure he will not wind up endangering others, is guilty while sober of not doing his due diligence on the matter. I do not think drunkenness excuses people from actions; I think the choice to get drunk, is itself the choice to take responsibility for whatever you do in that state. If you don’t want to be held responsible for sex, driving, etc., under the influence, make the choice not to get hammered in the first place.

        45. You’re right. That’s why all guns should be illegal, because you might shoot someone.
          Of course, texting and taking selfies while driving is fine, because patriarchy.

        46. I didn’t say any such thing, which would obviously be absurd and untrue. Most gun owners reckon quite a bit about how to be safe with their firearms. I suppose someone shooting in random directions in a parking lot would be reckless endangerment, though, wouldn’t it?
          But yes, every drunk man driving down a public road is reckless endangerment. That should be clear.

        47. “Then charge them with driving recklessly. Having 2 criminal systems for the same offense is ridiculous and harmful to society”
          Exactly. That smacks of “pre-crime” mentality which is the shit movies like Minority Report are about.

      3. A DUI is punishing someone for a crime that they have not yet committed. I think that these laws are completely unconstitutional. Think about it. If I can drive drunk, and not cause any accident. Whose rights have I violated? A teenager busy screwing with his radio gets into a head on accident killing the other guy. What is the difference whether he was drunk or not paying attention? The accident is the same. The punishment should be 2nd degree murder, or assault and battery for injuries. Laws that punish someone for a “crime” that has not yet been committed make my head spin. How did we as a society ever survive the 40’s and 50’s and 60’s? I do not think the drunk driving laws were nearly as draconian as they are today. I bet the population on Saturday nights back then were driving drunk like crazy. Pure hype and over reactionary from the powers that be.

        1. It was predicted by Phillip K Dick. Pre-crime. Punish you for what you might do. Generally these laws come in as an overreaction to one extreme event.

        2. These types of laws are the ones to look out for because they lay a foundation for future laws.
          Once you have a ridiculous law like this one on the books, then it’s easier to call it up to use for future laws. It sounds stupid but does anyone remember the days when companies didn’t have to label “hot coffee” on a cup?
          Little by little these things get chipped away….and so does your freedom. We (the people) have to ensure the balance between a good law and a bad law (not the state, courts or politicians).

      4. I dont want to be walking around town with drunk drivers roaming the streets. I prefer to live. Saying it doesnt hurt anyonebut yourself is completely ignoring the hundreds, maybe thousands of sober, innocent people who are killed by drunk drivers each year.

        1. Saying it doesnt hurt anyonebut yourself is completely ignoring the
          hundreds, maybe thousands of sober, innocent people who are killed by
          drunk drivers each year.

          So what you are saying is that so-called drunk driving laws have been completely ineffective in stopping drunk driving?

        1. And they’re called Shabbat Goys, also known as Gentile lackeys to Organized Jewry. Throw Obama into this group.

      5. In Ontario the OPP (Ontario Provincial Pricks) or any police can pull you off the road for 24hrs for blowing “warm”. Our limit is 0.8 or over for impaired, however, if you blow between 0.4 and 0.7 you are yanked off the road for 24 hours. Your car will be impounded, and your insurance will sky rocket. Why blowing between 0.4 and 0.7 makes you a danger is beyond me. Canadians don’t fight like Americans.

      6. Sorry but trying to say you can handle it better than others is what plenty of idiots said before crashing and killing/hurting other people.

    2. A better question to ask is why do strangers from foreign lands wish to cause mayhem and destruction to such a degree that they are willing to kill themselves in the process? If you look at the stats, far less than 0.01 % of 18-30 year old “Muslims” (as if you can easily determine someones religion anyway) pose a threat to anyone. The solution is to stop murdering people’s wedding parties, bombing their schools, hospitals, bridges and infrastructure, and determining who will be their “dear leader” and mind our own fucking business. Thirty years ago we at least had the assumption that a stranger wasn’t going to do anything bad to us.. now everywhere we are surrounded by feminized fear of the unknown.

      1. A better question to ask is why do strangers from foreign lands wish to
        cause mayhem and destruction to such a degree that they are willing to
        kill themselves in the process?

        The government tells us that strangers hurt us because they are radicalized on the Internet, probably on sites like this one…

    3. I’ve always thought that from 11:30 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. should be a free for all on the roads. Drunk, tail light out, whatever, drive free from persecution from the coppers at this time. Sort of like the purge.

    4. As a Canadian, I apologize to you. Recently, healthcare information has been shared with US border agencies resulting in one woman, who decades ago attempted suicide, being denied entry into the US. The Toronto Star uncovered how people who have never been charged with a crime are having a criminal record show up when getting a background check for work and school. This includes a nursing student and a man who wanted to become a firefighter. No one has the money to fight this slander.

    5. the DUI situation has gotten so out of hand one of our towns best first
      and most decorated first responders was arrested 4th of july weekend,
      while off duty, went to save a drowning man, which he did, and was then
      arrested after he backed up the ambulance (which he did not drive to the
      scene) The incident happened across from his place of business..
      Anyway, a side mirror got knocked off someones auto and the state
      troopers arrested him after a short interview. it is now going to cost
      him between 10-15k for a lawyer. not to mention he has had to resign his paid position because the county is a bunch of fucktards. the whole situation is insane. Like they say no good deed… Canada is too damn cold anyway. Let it freeze over. Considering half the population is on some kind of anti psychotics on any given day and that those meds dont work that well when temps drop due to body circulation issues, its been a personal decision to stay away from any place where the weather is too damn cold..

  4. “The foundation of Anglo-American law is Blackstone’s formulation, the idea that it is better to let the guilty go free than to punish even one innocent.”
    One small extension on that: though that formulation arises from William Blackstone’s own Commentaries on the Laws of England, it was the (soon to be) US’s own John Adams who explained its pragmatic rationale to a court he was addressing — it is better that ten guilty men go free than that one innocent person be punished, simply because:
    (a) you cannot possibly catch or punish all crime in the world, even with the most draconian system of justice; and
    (b) unless you have that formulation, an innocent person dragged before a court can say “It matters not whether I keep to the law or not, for if I am presumed guilty, my compliance to the law does me no advantage at all and there is no reason for me to obey the law at all.”
    (Okay, he put it more eruditely than that.) Point is, it’s a principle that’s meant to help keep the peace — not one designed to help the guilty get away with it. True enough there are stupid laws and even more stupid laws, but when you look back to the most fundamental principles of justice, there are more often than not rational, reasonable principles behind it.
    Also notable in passing (if off topic) that Blackstone also had something to say about the crime of rape in the same book as the formulation above: he quotes an old English judge who observed — sagely — that a charge of rape is easy to allege, hard to prove, and harder to defend.

  5. Great article. I utterly hate these guys. Border Protection. What a bunch of complete wankers. There is nothing I dread more than returning to the US and facing the interrogation from these guys. Its like entering the Soviet Union (I once visited a former USSR country and they were pretty unpleasant). What’s worse is the way they clearly get off on their “power”. And who are they protecting anyway? Not me. There is always the implicit threat of getting locked up for filling out a form incorrectly.
    The only people I hate more are the pussies who voluntarily go through the scanning machines. These guys are such sheeple and they make things worse for the people who refuse the nudo-scanner (i.e. me). They only encourage these fucking fuckheads to buy more scanners and inconvenience the people who refuse to be irradiated and have pictures taken of their genitals.
    They need to have two lines at the airport: Average Person and Independent Thinker.

    1. It’s just because women run the world.
      Freedom makes a man feel safe, submission makes a woman feel safe.
      Women feel like if they’re submitting, they definitely must be safe.
      Even if they’re aware enough to know, “this is wrong,” their instincts still scream “SUBMISSION=SAFETY!!!”
      It’ll only work better and better as we raise more boys to be girls.

      1. I have spent ten years driving to raise my cat to be a dog. Today, I admit defeat. Its simply not possible.

        1. Oh I agree, can’t raise a cat to be dog, but you can make a mess of the animal, and the schools will settle for turning boys into messes if they can’t make them girls. After all, society doesn’t need that “man” he would’ve become since a woman can do any man’s job “just as well, if not better!”

        2. The worst part is trying to walk him. By day he just sits there, completely disinterested. By night, he is a wild thing, moving at high speeds in random directions, completely oblivious to the fact he is wearing a harness.

      2. There is nothing I despise more than a man who wants to be “safe” (in the feminine form you mention).

  6. Glad to see you’re still posting Matt.
    I have a very pragmatic solution for dealing with US customs when traveling from Europe to the US: travel through Dublin airport. That airport has its own US customs section, so you can deal with all customs hassle BEFORE boarding your plane. Once you land in the US you just grab your bags and walk out of the airport without dealing with any customs.
    Very relaxing. Also, the Dublin officers are more friendly than the US ones, and you won’t be dealing with them after a long, cramped flight. Queues are shorter too. It is well worth the extra stop

    1. I think that sets a very bad precedent. It suggests that EIRE is an outpost of the US Empire and a violation of their sovereignty. The US is trying to push other countries to accept this.

      1. “It suggests that EIRE is an outpost of the US Empire and a violation of their sovereignty. The US is trying to push other countries to accept this.”
        Very good point.

    2. There are also CBP preclearance sites at most international airports in Canada and the Caribbean and for departing Amtrak train passengers at the Central Pacific Station in Vancouver (NB: train passengers only; Thruway bus passengers leaving BC are admitted to the United States at the Blaine Port of Entry, which is on US soil). There’s a proposal to establish a preclearance site at the main Montreal train station for Amtrak trains to New York City, but it’s tentative.
      Most of what I’ve read or heard about CBP preclearance sites has been positive. The only bad stories I’ve come across are from the Toronto Airport. The officers at these sites are operating on foreign soil, under the jurisdiction of foreign police, without arrest powers (although some officers at Toronto seem to have pushed the envelope). They have desirable postings that they don’t want to forfeit by being pricks and alienating their foreign hosts, let alone by causing international incidents.
      One thing I noticed about the US immigration hall at the Pacific Central Station when I looked at maps and photographs of the depot is that it appears to be tiny. I’ve never cleared immigration there (or at any of the other preclearance sites, for that matter), but it appears to have the capacity for a skeleton staff to process travelers through two or so lanes. This design looks like a built-in incentive to process travelers efficiently.
      I’ve had some annoying to bad experiences with immigration authorities at Philadelphia, Newark, and Dulles, so I’m completely in favor of preclearance sites. The more CBP officers are removed from the influence of US law enforcement culture, the better.

  7. I have a real problem with this police state. In short, I fucking hate it. I live in San Diego and it’s little known by many that within 100 miles of any international border there are “different” search and seizure rules. The U.S. Border Patrol sets up check points on the highway and all cars must stop and answer their bullshit, fishing questions, while they photograph your car and lets dogs sniff for whatever. I contend that NO person can go through this and feel at ease.
    I like to drive out to the desert occasionally for some off-roading, camping, and solitude, and each time I pass these check points, I get harassed pretty badly. Last time, I had my GoPro camera suction-cupped to my windshield and recording video as I entered the checkpoint. And, correlated or not, it was the very first time that the militarized thugs waved me through without so much as a word. Perhaps the goons saw the camera’s red light lit?
    Anyway, good article and keep up the good fight. Land of the free my ass!

    1. ” See, I got this problem. Cops don’t like me. So I don’t like cops.”
      – Clarence Boddicker

    2. It’s pretty shocking but yes, you can choose to not answer their questions, and yes, they must let you go. Google ‘dhs checkpoint refusal’ for many examples. Personally, I don’t want them to waste my time, so I will answer questions that they already really should know (was this business or pleasure.. it is written on the form I just gave them so I will confirm–they are just showing they are too lazy to even read the form you just filled out so just save them the time and let them pass you on). Are you a citizen.. well duh, I have a passport. Where are you going? Home. I am very much in favor of those with the brass cojones who challenge these thugs but I prefer to quietly acquiesce and meanwhile make plans to permanently leave a society that tolerates this type of control. The government regularly breaks or ignores its own laws and it is only a matter of time until it chooses to refuse to allow its citizens to freely return home without harassment.

    3. My old band was based in South Texas and had to go through those bullshit “border” checkpoints all the time. (which are nowhere a border BTW.) We’d usually get detained for a secondary inspection when they asked what was in the trailer and we said music gear. No sense lying on the good chance they would make us open the trailer which they did a few times. Made us unload the whole damn thing once in the blazing sun because of course they figured drugs or something. Also didn’t help that 3 out of 4 band members were Mexican I was the only white guy.
      Just a total waste of time and a pain in the ass for the law-abiding people. Not that it’s a coincidence but I know for a fact that one on the 10 freeway just past El Paso wasn’t there pre-911 as I went past there 6 months prior.

    4. However, thousands of unescorted children just show up at the border and are let in.

  8. I’ve never had an issue with customs. I’m usually carrying all sorts of stuff back that’s either much cheaper than in the States or can’t be found in the States too.

  9. I believe this is bad advice. Changing the political system is even harder than changing a tattooed slut into a feminine girl that will clean up for you and make you dinner. You’re better off not even trying.
    At the very least, you should ALWAYS maintain the appearance of cooperation with the Police State and its representatives. Unless you are filthy rich and/or have political connections, you won’t be able to change anything. You’ll only risk going to jail for nothing.
    And BTW if you don’t like the US or Canada, you still have the freedom to leave and move to the EU where customs controls between most countries are abolished.

    1. Being cordial, even when refusing to obey requests from law enforcement, is absolutely vital. Politely declining requests for vehicle searches goes a lot farther than yelling “FUCK DA POLICE YOU GONNA TAKE ME DOWN MOFOS?”

  10. I love the article.
    I don’t get it. The passport is a sophisticated piece of ID, they can verify what they need to know about you; home address, your employment, friends and family referrals. The government can check your social and criminal records and not choose to issue you a passport, then you can just not be able to travel if you don’t have one.
    It seems so open and shut.
    Ebola got in. Drugs and human sex slaves are brought in, probably every day.
    So what do they prevent from being brought in, 1 illegal immigrant out of 5? 1 lb of drugs out of 1KG. What does it really do?
    I understand the necessity of police; traffic accidents, crimes, apprehending criminals, solving crimes etc.
    But the border officers… I just don’t get it.

  11. Spot on Matt. I’ve been told be a lot of foreigners that America’s border patrol and police are one of the reasons they avoid the country. I don’t blame them after how I saw them treat Icelanders on my last trip (because Icelanders tend to be violent troublemakers who overstay thier visas and take American jobs).
    We could use a whole series of articles on ROK about dealing with these types of legal situations.
    The rebellious streak in me wants to be as insolent as possible when dealing with Law Enforcement, but I’ve found the best approach is to be calm, no nonsense, polite, but never excessively co-operative or weak.

    1. Sad and pathetic works, it has to be lame enough to make them uncomfortable but coherent enough that they can’t call you psycho.
      Not proud of it, but it worked the one time.

  12. I lived in Asia for 10 years and have travelled extensively back and forth across the Pacific. To their credit, I have never experienced any abuse by a customs official upon my return. If they ask where you have been, they are trying to ascertain if you are smuggling drugs and need to pull you aside for a more detailed inspection. This is why they are curious if you have been to S.E. Asia, particularly Thailand. They are also looking for agricultural produce. Both of these are legitimate concerns. One agricultural pest can wipe out an entire industry (fruit fly in CA during late 70’s).
    I have never been questioned on anything else.
    I find politeness works best when dealing with these people.

  13. And don’t give me some argument about how the poor, suffering customs
    agents are “just doing their jobs.” As much as I hate to Godwin this
    article, that excuse didn’t fly at Nuremberg and it won’t fly now. If
    you willingly participate in evil acts, you are morally culpable regardless of your motivations.
    If the “good” CBP officers don’t want to be blamed for the excesses of
    their colleagues, they can either work to change the system from within
    or get another job.
    Great paragraph and great article. Government thugs have been given a “just doing their job” pass for too long.

  14. This is maddening. I can never figure out whether when I am being asked stupid questions it is in the line of duty or just mindless, intrusive American chit-chat. I have never once been asked anything by any border official upon entering any other country aside from US and Canada. They check to see if my passport and visa are in order, and then stamp: I’m in. In China, a traveler can actually electronically grade the experience of the individual officer right there in front of him.
    Returning to the US recently, I was asked by a US official, “Why do you have so many Chinese stamps in your passport.” I replied, “I go to China a lot.”
    I don’t outright decline to answer questions because I don’t want to get flagged for additional trouble. But I treat it like small talk at the grocery line (something else I hate), and make it clear that I’m exhausted.
    What pissed me off is that I had just gotten home from an 11 hour flight and had to make small talk with this asshole. Since I am a US citizen, he had no discretion to deny me entry, even if I had answered that I was engaged in criminal activity.
    When they ask me my final destination, I usually just say, “home.” And if they ask me where that is, I give them the city. I think in that case they are trying to determine if a traveler with a US passport is transiting the US or entering the US, for whatever reason.

  15. Great article. By the way there is some propaganda I have heard from the right wing that if you break a Mexican immigration law, they will lock you up in prison for years. There may be some tiny amount truth there, but I will say the last time I crossed into Mexico, there was NO CHECKING OF ANY ID at the Texas border. I simply walked in and was free to be in their country and do whatever the hell I wished, no matter who I was. No Mexican agent was even there to look at me or ask me anything (although they were stopping vehicles). Then, when I returned, the American officials demanded ID, interrogated me as to what I was doing, where have I been, what is that in my pocket (uh, my wallet!) etc. Just making me feel like a criminal.
    The last time I flew to Italy, the agent there glanced at my open passport for probably 2 seconds (presumably to make sure it wasn’t expired, although he may not have even done that), did not scan or enter any data into his computer, and just told me “Welcome to Italy”
    And always, I am questioned for a couple of minutes every time I reenter my own nation, forced to fill out paperwork, and stand in lines full of threatening posters, videos and messages and talk to shaved head prison guard looking customs agents.
    The author is right, you can beat a lot of this if you are willing to assert yourself and spend some of your free time. But ask yourself–do you really want to live long term in a country that behaves this way?

  16. The amount of political dysfunction and apathy surrounding the oversight of CBP and the Border Patrol is amazing. Maybe it’s because so many Americans don’t travel abroad or have passports and assume that anything to do with international travel is a luxury. There’s probably some resentment in this worldview.
    As it pertains to the Border Patrol, this dysfunction and apathy may be a function of residents of San Diego County, for example, regarding the internal checkpoints as local curiosities. This clearly isn’t the case in parts of Arizona, where local residents are openly angry with the Border Patrol for chronically disrupting their lives. Then again, the Border Patrol seems to be relatively subdued around San Diego. It’s also pretty easy to get around the Temecula checkpoint by taking local roads to the east, roads where the Border Patrol would stir up a local shitstorm by setting up checkpoints, and the San Clemente checkpoint can be bypassed a stone’s throw to the west on Amtrak or Metrolink. It seems to be a tradition to limit inspections at the San Clemente checkpoint to buses and trucks on Sunday afternoons, too, leaving the lanes for private passenger vehicles wide open. Plus there’s a tacit feeling around San Diego that the Border Patrol is really only concerned with foreign-acting Mexicans.
    Few Americans realize how intrusive and yet ineffectual our immigration, customs, and border patrol services are. These agencies are hated in certain communities where they’ve egregiously exceeded the bounds of the Constitution, and occasionally they do something that provokes criticism in the national press, but for the most part they go ignored. It’s easy to find complaints from international travelers, including American business travelers, to the effect that the only a few intractably corrupt countries in West Africa have immigration halls that are reliably worse than those in the United States, but these complaints rarely get any attention in the mainstream American media. I suspect that public sentiment would strongly support reforming CBP if Americans learned that travelers often mention their country’s immigration authorities in the same breath as their counterparts in the Congo or Kazakhstan.
    Reform would come faster and stronger yet if more Americans heard the whistleblower allegation that CBP maintains a do-not-deport list ordering officers to admit specific foreign nationals suspected of involvement in terrorist conspiracies. My suspicion is that the brothers Tsarnaev were on this list.

  17. Its good to practice disobeying authority figures and getting away with it. But I think its best to start with the assumption you are living in communist russia and adjust your habits to get what you want. As an assistant district attorney once told me- the police can take away your rights.

  18. I am Canadian, was crossing the border into the U.S. It was my first time, and I wasn’t sure about what to expect. The female guard kept asking lots of different questions, in what I felt was an aggressive tone. The guard asked me; “Why do you seem nervous?”
    I replied “Well, it’s just that people here can maybe be a little more outspoken than what I’m used to,-”
    “Don’t come here and talk bad about my country. I’m doing my JOB. People come here to BLOW US UP.”
    Her voice started rising pretty quickly and she started talking about bombing and crazy shit, it was attracting the attention of other people. I still don’t understand what happened, but next thing I know, my fingerprints are scanned, my photo taken, bags checked, I’m patted down, pockets emptied. She gave me some sort of temporary visa which cost $10, and because I was unprepared for this I only had Canadian dollars, which they would not accept. When I asked what I should do, the guard told me
    “well you better go beg some people for help”
    Feeling totally helpless I asked the person behind me whether they had any American dollars that I could exchange with them for Canadian, and they flat out ignored me as if I weren’t there. I asked another person, same thing. I guess they didn’t want to be associated with the person who was just made out to look like a terrorist.
    After a while, another guard comes and yells at me to stop bothering people. I’m feeling humiliated at this point, ready to give up, but an elderly lady gave me $10 American for $20 Canadian. Security dropped off my bags without bothering to zip them back up, and the guard sends me off with “leave the country in 7 days, or we’re going to find you.”
    Wow. You know what happens when I visit Thailand?
    “Welcome to Thailand, here’s a 30 day tourist visa, have a good day.”
    I will not visit the United States again except for business and special occasions. I’ve traveled to many countries around the world, but the U.S has been the only one to outright treat me like a criminal for no reason. It shouldn’t be that much easier for a Canadian to visit Asia or Europe than the United States.

    1. Visiting Canada as an American isn’t a spectacular experience either…and we don’t ban you completely over a single DUI.

    2. Visiting Canada by land through customs isn’t a spectacular experience for Americans either. We also don’t ban you completely over a single DUI.

  19. You can thank the CBP for rolling out the LPR (license plate reader) program that your local police use and abuse now. Karl Denniger over at has been pounding on the same sentiments: you ,as in the citizens allow the: fraud, theft, intrusion, ect…

    The simple fact of the matter is that it is Jason, and you, and
    I, and the rest of us, that make all these scams and schemes possible.
    We do it through our silence, we do it by participating, we do it when
    we advocate for or support forcibly taking someone’s money to hand to
    another in the form of food stamps or AFDC, Section 8, Medicaid or
    otherwise. We do it when we go along with Obamacare or even allow the
    “traditional” health insurance rip-off model to function. We do it when
    we accept the claim that “2% inflation” is proper, even though that is
    admitting to the wanton and intentional destruction of value of what we have previously earned and, absent such intentional interference purchasing power would increase as technology improves instead. We allow politicians to run ponzi schemes that must mathematically fail and impoverish our children, grandchildren and those not yet born — screwing our own kids. We
    are complicit and thus to blame because we do not cast our wooden shoes
    into the gears of the machine, destroying it or at least slowing it

  20. Thanks for posting this Matt. I had some rude encounters with US Customs after apparently being flagged for nothing more than frequent overseas trips. They pulled me aside and photocopied every scrap of paper I had in addition to looking at all my digital photos and asking lots of incriminating questions. A small man with a flak jacket, sidearm, and an attitude grilled me for an hour and a half. Of course I got a laff when he saw my Magnum condoms and on seeing a zippered bag asking “What’s this!!!?” and I said underwear so he yanked open the bag, which contained dirty underwear. Other agents also treated me like a criminal for the crime of being on their list. This happened on three different occaisons.
    The Takeaway : before passing through US Customs, get rid of all paper notes or information of any kind and eliminate your camera photos by using web storage (or better, leave the camera at home). Travel light. Also be aware that customs can and will seize your computer or cell phone.

  21. Right on, Matt. I live in Europe and travel often. Recent example, I
    flew home to the U.S. for Christmas to see family and was interrogated
    for over a half-hour by customs, fortunately not detained but almost
    missed my connecting flight. Basically, a waste of time for everyone
    involved. Apparently they used some new Israeli screening technique and I
    looked ‘arrogant’ (because I was tired and cranky).
    A few months
    later I flew to Moscow, during the height of the Crimea crisis. The
    Russian customs official glanced at my U.S. passport, smiled, and waved
    me along…

  22. “The foundation of Anglo-American law is Blackstone’s formulation, the
    idea that it is better to let the guilty go free than to punish even one
    innocent. Even if CBP’s methods were effective in apprehending terrorists, drug smugglers, child molesters and other criminals, they would still be immoral and wrong.”
    I was with you until this. Actually, I was back with you after this passage as well. If CBP were totally effective, then the innocent wouldn’t even notice, nor would we. Like security at Disney. I think I just figured out homeland security…Mouse the airports!

  23. What is this terroristic nonsense? How can you not like being mistreated and abused? Only criminals don’t like that. It’s the responsibility of all good citizens to lie down and let the state rob you blind and, if they feel like it, kill you. All that talk about freedom is so 18th century. Only racists say otherwise.

  24. Matt, this is an awesome article! Great food for thought. I too am sick of the government/police state forcing it’s way into more and more areas of life. If I were you I would have stayed in the Philippines, must be a total bummer to be back in the US.

  25. The nanny state border security charade occurs when females demand it and the emasculated men of the nation allow it. Really it’s ‘non-security’ being shoved down our throats while we are prevented from simply DEFENDING OURSELVES. In a land where men are increasingly discouraged from taking the law into their own hands and where the law imposes liability on an alpha male for using physical force in self defense, it is clear that the CBP is just another prop to provide a ‘sense of security’ and nothing more to the helpless de-patriarched bitchpolitik population.
    Free individuals exercising common sense, vigilance and initiative are the best security. Real threats will be fettered out soon inland by a free and armed populace. Not crying to some fag bureau of suits with stinking badges.
    Look at all nations in the world and rate the degree of common sense exercised by their respective border securities, then contrast and compare that rating to the degree of emasculation and female empowerment within the nation. The group photo of CBP jackboots has a PC number of ponytails in it. It could pass as Israeli or Swedish border police. South Korean border security skews the scale but employs males. Nation states that are wrapping up a war against their traditional families and putting private property into receivership will employ many in its crowd control industry. US security is a joke. It is as effective as the personal floatation cushion was when Larry Mcdonald’s flight became ‘non-airborne?’ over the Pacific Ocean.

  26. Matt, I agree with 99% of what you said. The ONLY point I disagree with is the Niagra story. I’ve driven that road multiple times over the years, you really can’t miss the multiple (at least 4) including LAST EXIT TO THE USA signs warning about the border. Well, you could if you were blind or an idiot. Once you are on foreign soil, good luck. Canada doesn’t let people with DUI’s into their country, and that’s even including their own dual citizens. My friend got a DUI eight years ago and he had to have a current resident pick him up (mind you, he was born and raised for 10 years in Canada) when they finally let him in. He also was barred from driving (granted, an “honor” system) while there.
    As far as the CBP – AOPA had to take them to task for pilots who were getting stopped and their planes searched. Planes that didn’t even go over the border! We need to start voting out everyone that sells fear, Fear, FEAR! They vote for a Patriot Act extension? Vote them out. They vote for the continued militarization of police? Vote them out. Party be damned. They support fascism, replace them. The replacement votes for fascism, replace them. No second chances.

  27. I work overseas. I’ve found American customs to be polite and friendly in the numerous interactions I’ve had with them over the last five years.
    Last time I had purchased a Rolex watch in Germany for my foreign girlfriend and was bringing it to America to avoid the 19% VAT. Since it was in my carry-on with all the paperwork and box and I couldn’t exactly throw the thing on my wrist I declared it to customs expecting to pay the 3% import tax. I got to the second set of customs officers who you have to actually pay the duty to and told them the watch was only going to be in America for three weeks and explained why I had it. Even though technically I should have had to pay the tax by the letter of the law; after asking me to look at it and seeing that it was indeed a female’s Rolex they let me through without paying the tax.
    Act like a douche – expect to be treated like one. The vast majority of TSA / CBP agents are just regular blue-pill Joe’s doing what they’re told. There’s no more need to be a douche towards them then any other blue-piller you interact with on a daily basis. Further, I have yet to see a single individual out of the thousands in line with me while I was at the airport get arrested for something they said.

  28. What rights does a foreigner have when entering your country? I have a UK passport, if I try to enter the U.S do I have the right to remain silent?

  29. Sure, that’s a wonderful idea and maybe a lot of fun for someone who doesn’t cross the border regularly – if this is you, then go for it and “fight” for your rights at the next border crossing.
    But for those of us who travel extensively for work and would rather not get flagged as a pain in the ass (as likely the author has been flagged), being the gray man and passing through the global entry program is a hell of a lot easier than deliberately stirring up trouble just because some blog told you to. The global entry kiosks have never given me any feedback and I use them regularly as part of the global entry program. Only once in a while do I need to actually speak to a customs officer and they have always been courteous to me, even during a search (which only happened to me once after several years of flying). All it takes is one incident for them to identify you as needing ‘extra scrutiny’ and goodbye smooth, fast transitions through the pipeline.
    Yes of course it all sucks – everything was easier pre-911, but you can thank our AIPAC-driven foreign policy for creating the angst which led to terrorist attacks which in turn begat the entire police state security theater in which we are now all living. Terrorism will never end until we stop fighting the symptoms and start addressing the cause, or at least stop feeding the cause.

    1. That’s why as much as I wanted to be like the guys in the videos being a pain in the ass and asking “am I being detained” and “I’m not answering any questions” I just gritted my teeth and “played nice.”
      Are those guys totally within their rights and do I commend them for standing up? Sure I do. However, I was with my other bandmates and friends who didn’t give a shit about all that and frankly most of the time we were on a tight travel schedule and sitting on the side of the road for however long they wanted to keep us wasn’t in the plans. Trust me we got enough extra scrutiny just for being musicians than we wanted as it was.

  30. While they harass citizens and those who enter legally, they bend over backwards for illegals.

  31. I have entered the us via Hawaii, San Francisco, ft Lauderdale, New York, Newark, and Chicago about 12 times in the last year and never have the border agents given me the slightest hassle. I smile and say hello to them. They say “welcome home” and I am happy and I walk. One time the automated camera thing didn’t match my passport because I had grown a beard, so I got an “X” and had to go to a special desk. That took an additional 10 seconds. It’s always easy. Just do not start off by giving attitude.

  32. Can someone enlighten me about canadian border services? I’m a Canadian living in hong kong and they went full authoritarian on me… is it the same as US customs?

  33. i might be missing something, but what are guys trying to bring through that even gets the attention of customs? Not to shill for the US side, but my experience has always been incompetent personnel who barely handle the traffic of people that come through, let alone wanting to do more than bare minimum searches. Actually,
    I’ve always gotten more attitude and scrutiny from the guy checking my passport.

  34. Since when did ROK go from talking about how to get laid to “how to make the best tin foil hats”. Seriously, all the faggots that make a big stink about answering 3 or 4 easy as fuck questions and showing your passport are the same people who NEVER GET LAID AND HAVE ZERO FRIENDS.
    Every youtube video I’ve ever seen of people purposely defying law enforcement for no reason are always nerdy, asperbergers dickheads. They have nothing better to do with their time than fuck around with and piss off LEOs. “Oh look at me I memorized the law now I’ll fuck with cops and make youtube videos!!!”.
    I challenge any mother fucker to find solid proof that a 100% innocent person got fucked over for answering standard issue border crossing questions.
    The only time I will agree you shouldn’t talk to the police is when they show up to your door and are accusing you of a crime, or want to talk to you about a crime that has occurred. But going through the border stops is NOT EVEN CLOSE to that type of situation.

  35. I avoid the USA, and yes, I do go through Canada. It costs me more, but I have family there. And I get grilled.
    “Why are you in C. for four days?”
    “I have been at this conference and I am travelling home to NZ, but I want to spend some time with my Daugther”
    “And where does she live? ,Redac> Do?
    Wny so short?
    “Because I have a job and family to get back to…”
    But they are relatively polite. The USA… well have not been there for a decade. The idea of swearing I have not been a member of the NSDAP between 1933 and 1949 when I was born in the 60s makes me giggle, and US Border control does not have a sense of humour.
    The rest of the world welcomes tourists: the main problem with Canada is that the US federals insist they stick to their standards. Ottawa should tell Washington to piss up a rope. (Which should keep me on the watch list in both countries, BTW).
    And re the commentators below: I have NOT ever been DUIed. It’s because I go to places they do not expect tourists to go, and the generaly shittness of Toronto’s Lester Pearson AIrport.

  36. I would not suggest trying to fight with the CBP. Even if you are correct, you will waste a tremendous amount of time. Play along and move on. You can always complain in writing later on. Wasting hours in secondary just because the CBP guy wants to teach you a lesson is not worth it. If you are someone with nothing else to do then feel free. However, no matter how wrong they are you will not win at that point. It will be later.

  37. dude, I was gonna read your article in whole until I read this :” Consider that CBP was completely unable to stop a Liberian national with Ebola from entering the country and infecting everyone he came into contact with”.
    You are such an asshole that you know nothing about a disease, talking like a stupid and fucking monkey( actually a monkey would be smarter) . And beside, do you know what is called ‘terrorism” ?
    [Do not car if you don’t allow it to be posted]

  38. Before renouncing my U.S. citizenship in 2007 I used to fly into the land of douchebags (U.S.A.) about once a year and the hassles I received from U.S. Customs were always far greater than those from any other country in Latin America that I travelled to.
    Now that I no longer enter the land of Queer and Whore filth (and never will again) life is MUCH, MUCH better.

  39. Its all security “theater”. just smile, write your elected officials and tell them you wont be voting for them again with this crap going on. My last trip from Orlando Florida was a nightmare. They freaked out because my drivers license was too worn, and yes it was a bit hard to read…but you could also see where it was wearing on the spot in my wallet, after they thought they caught a live terrorist, I demanded to see a stupidvisor and someone with a brain. Actually got to do that, they went through my stuff, I am a private pilot and know a bit more than the mall cop wanna bees… Was treated professionally from then on out.., and we joked about the mall grunts having too much coffee..the whole ordeal was a mess, I still made my flight but boy did I get stares from others later or…. Just so unnecessary this whole situation. What most people dont know is this is all part of the master plan. I am sure those half dozen warheads that were stolen from barksdale / minot loose nuke incident are positioned and ready to be blamed on isis or Iran, at the right time they go to roll out marshal jade helm…

  40. I don’t understand this article. I have traveled abroad dozens of times and if anything am usually met by a pretty warm welcome from the passport and Customs folks when coming back. A couple of times they have gone through my suitcase, but there was mostly dirty laundry in there, and we laughed about it. Really not sure what the context here is.
    I think that just like with police, if you are straightforward and honest and respectful, there’s almost no likelihood of a problem arising. They more or less treat you with the dignity that you treat them with — i.e., like anything else in life.

  41. Cruel & Illegal Actions by the Customs & Border Patrol Gestapo Squad
    In April of 2016 a young girl was preparing to make a 10,000 mile journey across the globe to finally be united after a long wait to marry her fiancé in the U.S.
    She just received her fiancé k1 visa after a 12 month wait. They communicated with each other for a year and a half every single day over Skype. With her newly born excitement she quit her job, gave away some of her possessions and departed for the airport. There was not much to go back to as a new life would begin with the man she fell in love with in the U.S.
    Little did she know she would never arrive to her final destination as she would be turned away by the U.S. government Gestapo border squad called the CBP.
    Background of the CBP: Customs and Border Protection is the trial, Judge and jury of the U.S. Government policing our vulnerable border entry points.
    With more than 60,000 employees, CBP is one of the world’s largest law enforcement organizations and is charged with keeping terrorists and their weapons from entering the U.S. borders, while also validating travelers from committing travel fraud. The agency was granted its full power in 1996, when the U.S. Congress with President Clinton gave them the authority to remove any traveler or migrant they see fit from the United States and without the need for a hearing before an immigration judge.
    In addition to the removal they can also make an arrest.
    A criminal fraud statute provides for sanctions to those presenting false information to customs officers, with violators facing a maximum of 2 years imprisonment, or a $5,000 fine, or both, for each violation involving an importation or attempted importation.
    With millions passing through our borders it is their job to make sure terrorists, smugglers, & criminals don’t make it into our country.
    Our encounter with the CBP is an unfortunate event and not unique as countless others have experienced similar problems that have been reported and many more that have gone unreported by travelers.
    While traveling to the Philippines in January of 2015 I was lucky to have met the woman I would spend the rest of my life with. Returning home 30 days later, I immediately had her file an application for a tourist visa to come visit me in the U.S. But the process was taking too long and I proposed we marry instead. Within a few weeks I filed for the K1 Fiancé visa.
    This changed our status from friends to fiancé locking us into a marriage contract built by love. During the long waiting period I had returned 2 more times each visit for 30 days giving us more time to know each other better & develop a stronger relationship.
    As soon as she arrived at LAX airport the CBP brought her in for interrogation. It was unexpected since she already was meticulously examined and interviewed by the U.S. Embassy in Manila.
    Later they would hint something in her file made the CBP suspicious about her fiancé entry request.
    After the basic kindergarten questions a cold female CBP officer asked her if she could recognize a picture of my 1st ex-wife from 25 years ago. She couldn’t answer the question because I didn’t have any pictures of my ex-wife from 25yrs ago and didn’t discuss many details about that relationship. Later I would find out the picture they showed her was not my ex-wife but an unknown woman who was never identified.
    This made the CBP officer more suspicious and told her your fiancé is still married and living with his prior ex-wife. A fabricated lie from the officer because in reality this divorced ex-wife was not living in the USA and moved to Russia some time ago to live with her family.
    But since her mailing address was still registered with the DMV as my mailing address made the CBP officer more suspicious. Then the officer asked if she had a contract to come work for me as a domestic helper. When she told her no, the officer called out loud, “you’re lying”! And continued with her suspicions accusations to say you are coming to the U.S to find a job then divorce or leave your fiancé and bring your daughter here.
    When the CBP officer heard her state no it’s not true she yelled at her, “you’re a liar”.
    The overall aggressive behavior started to make this poor naïve girl worry these officers can hurt her, as in her country when the gov’t officials bring you in they can do as they please and a young girl will have no recourse.
    After more screaming and accusations to break her down the CBP officer stated you have committed fraud to enter the U.S. on a fiancé visa as we have found you’re arrival here for the intent of employment. As they prepared her paperwork to return her back to the Philippines they placed her in a locked room and prepared her removal paperwork. She would ask if she could call her fiancé, family, or embassy and was denied any communications. In their custody they held her cell phone where they could of observed all the hundreds of pictures of the 2 of us together, and the everyday Skype chats which could of also confirm our marriage bond. But they refused for some reason to see or report the truth. We also made a video of us together during my 2nd visit to the Philippines but this would never have a chance to help the situation.
    When they brought her back into the interrogation room it was basically over for her at this point. Now the CBP officers needed to wrap this case up & get their scorecard brightened up, maybe for their next promotion.
    The intimidating CBP officer in a threatening manner would tell her I can pick up the phone and put you in jail for 5yrs for lying & committing fraud. But the law actually states it’s a 2 year sentence and not 5. Perhaps the officer forgot to read her manual.
    She held a bunch of papers and said if you just want to go home I need you to sign these papers. Without explanation of what these papers were or allowing her anytime to review these papers the poor girl frightened by the officer & fearing she may never see her family again signed the pages blindly to end the torture.
    After she signed she realized a big mistake was made when the officer told her you cannot come back to the U.S. for the next 5yrs.
    To make the matter even worst, signed copies of the officer Sworn Statement and expedited removal forms where never placed inside a small yellow envelope she received from the airline upon landing in her home country.
    It seemed these papers were deliberately omitted by the officer to further hide her actions and deter any future complaints.
    It took over a month for me to finally obtain copies of these documents from the Freedom of Information Act or FOIA which included the questions and answers they wrote on her behalf. She tried to call from Philippines many times to the CBP office at LAX but was never connected to a supervisor to request the copies of the missing papers that we needed to review and understand why they returned her home.
    When I received the final copy with her initials and signatures I was shocked by the computer typed answers next to each question.
    Immediately after her deportation I was devastated by the news and immediately sought legal counsel as I changed my schedule to leave the U.S. and be with her during this tragic time.
    I searched on-line for answers and guidance where I found contact information for the CBP complaint dept in Washington D.C. When I phoned them I was relieved to speak with someone that was sympathetic to my situation.
    I was directed to complete certain complaint forms and obtain releases which I did and uploaded all the information to their investigative dept.
    There 1st reply to me requested I send them the officers statement which we did not have at the time and were not aware these forms were supposed to be provided. I replied she never received these forms and the CBP complaint dept told me they cannot do any investigation without this form. They also did not believe she was not provided copies of these forms at deportation and suspected her of concealing or lying about the forms. I could not understand how the head dept. of the CBP could not pull up these forms themselves.
    It took more than 30 days of persistent attempts to obtain these forms as the CBP refused to release them for unknown reasons.
    When I finally sent the CBP complaint dept. the obtained forms I felt relieved that action would finally take place.
    But in fact nothing would happen except lost time in waiting. I was told there was nothing they could do. They had sent my information to the CBP California branch but nothing would ever come of it.
    I was praying my hired attorney would be able to get better results from them. But they also ignored his letters and the letters from a local congresswoman as well. Only after about 4 months a response from the CBP was issued.
    It was a stock template letter that had gibberish in it regarding examples of how to provide economic ties to their place of residence. It stated what ties where, “”Ties” are the various aspects of a person’s life that bind him or her to his or her country or residence and are categorized by one’s possessions, employment, and social and family relationships.”
    This had absolutely nothing to do with our case and was further proof how the CBP did nothing to investigate the complaint and their arresting officer’s abusive actions.
    Now let me highlight some of the CBP officer’s action regarding her sworn statement form.
    Q. “Did you sign up for the website so you could find an American husband?”
    A. I signed up to find a husband not specifically and American husband.
    Q. Why did Mr. ______ list himself as your friend under your U.S contact on the B1/B2 visa application and not as your boyfriend?
    A. The application was filed before the Fiance visa petition began. The officer took this as part of her fraud suspicion to assume there was no intimate relationship.
    Q. Is it your intention to marry Mr. DEGEN only to bring your daughter so that you both can live in the u.s. legally?
    A: Yes. (The CBP officer interpreted this question as part of the sole purpose of her arrival. Strictly coming for the purpose of bringing her daughter to the U.S.)
    Q. Were you coming to the u.s to be a domestic employee for Mr. DEGEN and his ex-wife, who is living with him at this time?
    A. Yes, ma’am. (I freaked when I saw this, but she swore she never gave the Yes answer and it was the CBP officer who falsely wrote her own answer and not the one given)
    Q. How much money did Mr. ____ offer you?
    A: I don’t understand. I will work for him and for myself. (She replied “I don’t understand because she already told her “I am not coming to be a domestic employee. And if I don’t have enough money I can always get a job.” )
    Q: Were you going to work for free?
    A: No, he was going to pay me but I am not sure how much (My fiancé NEVER said No to this question & never said “he was going to pay me”, this statement is UNTRUE! This question was never asked and the answer was fabricated by the officer)
    Q: Did he give you details of when he was married and why he divorced his prior wife’s?
    A: No ma’am.( The officer did not say prior wife, officer said 1st wife from 25 yrs ago which she did not have the information. I assumed this question would further enforce the CBP’s suspicions of a fraudulent relationship)
    Before the interrogation began the CBP officer advise her the session will be recorded. But I was never able to obtain this recording and kept calling the complaint dept. asking them to review the recording with her actual given answers.
    I still do not understand the role of the CBP complaint dept. in Washington. If my complaint was dismissed then what is their purpose or role?
    Finally to get rid of my nagging they suggested I file a redress complaint with Homeland security.
    This is the only real help I received as I quickly learned the Dept. of Homeland Security investigates wrongful entry denial issues.
    After filing another complaint and sending them all the forms, notarized statements, and proof we were put on a waiting list for an investigation.
    This again is no quick process, after 100 day wait I was told they will start and come to a resolution within the next 30 days.
    The CBP is a large enforcement group with many good dedicated officers making sure our country remains protected from the bad people. It’s a shame there are some who do not follow the U.S. laws, procedures, and guidelines as we came into contact with one of their bad apples.
    It’s a further shame the bureaucracy and incompetence of the CBP to enforce and follow through complaints is discarded into the unknown.
    We have waited so long to be together and now precious time we could use is being lost that we will never recover.
    This has caused an emotional & financial strain on my life with unexpected, legal & travel expenses, loss of work, and loss of health. To date my fiancé is unable to be re-employed after quitting her job.
    A situation such as this should never have to happen for anyone abiding honestly by the immigration laws.
    I would advise everyone to stay away at all costs from CBP officer’s Lorraine Tapia and officer Lau stationed at LAX airport. You should avoid confrontation with them if possible.
    Finally after a long 5 month wait I received a response from DHS redress dept. My hopes for a proper investigative resolution were shattered upon the receipt of the letter. This was another boiler plate response with an added paragraph stating the CBP would also send me a letter shortly and the case was closed by DHS without any positive conclusions.
    Next day the CBP letter came with a paragraph describing the duties of the CBP and a reason why my fiancé had been deported. But all my complaints were ignored and not identified in either letter.
    I realized dealing with the government and bringing the injustice to the surface was just a waste of time. My complaint was ignored and the officers’ cruel behavior was covered up by the officials. Our future we had planned and waited for so long was destroyed. The only option now was to start a new plan from the beginning and try again, meanwhile losing another 1 to 2 years of waiting while being separated.
    Other CBP Complaints:
    Lopez-Venegas v. Johnson
    Deceptive tactics used by Border Patrol agents and ICE officers to convince noncitizens to accept “voluntary return.”
    The complaint alleged that Border Patrol agents and ICE officers have a pattern and practice of pressuring undocumented immigrants to sign what amount to their own summary expulsion documents.
    FTCA Administrative Complaints against the United States
    On various dates in early 2013, four women were apprehended at the United States Texas border by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents.
    CBP agents regularly asked each of the women to sign documents printed in English, which the women could not read and did not understand. Agents threatened that they would be kept in the holding cell until they signed these documents. These agents also referred to them in demeaning ways, including calling them “bitches.”
    Leonel Ruiz o/b/o E.R. v. U.S.
    E.R., a four-year-old U.S. citizen, was detained by Customs and Border Protection following her arrival at Dulles Airport.
    E.R. was returning home to New York from a vacation in Guatemala with her grandfather.
    CBP detained E.R. with her grandfather for the next 20 plus hours, gave her only a cookie and soda during the entire time, and provided her nowhere to nap other than the cold floor.
    Although CBP officers had the phone number of E.R’s parents, they failed to contact them for nearly 14 hours, and repeatedly refused her grandfather’s requests to be allowed to call them

  42. Americans never required a Passport to ENTER Canada so I’m not sure how your friend was supposedly arrested by Canadians… Supposedly you don’t even need one to be let back in but they will hassle you without one and they recommend getting a Passport Card.

  43. Only works if you are a US citizen. And if they don’t like your silent protest, they can still search you rectally as revenge.

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