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Thread: Little help needed pls. Can you

  1. #1
    be denied entrance into the U.S. with a valid government identification card such as a drivers license?? What can you do if are denied???

  2. #2
    be denied entrance into the U.S. with a valid government identification card such as a drivers license?? What can you do if are denied???

  3. #3

  4. #4
    Summer 2002, a fun story...
    ...well, now that I look back on it.

    I am a teacher. Occasionally, in the summer, I do odd jobs to make a little extra money. My hobby being computers, I did a couple of jobs that summer installing home networks.

    August, before heading back off to school, I decided to drive from Boston to Rochester, Minnesota to visit family. Being single (I had only just begun dating my current wife) I decided to be adventurous, and planned a route back home that would take me into Canada, north of lake superior, up around Hudson Bay, then drop back down into the states through Vermont. Being a lifelong resident of the northern border states, I had grown quite accustomed to crossing the border without any hassles.

    The trip was absolutely breathtaking. The border agent wished me well as I crossed into Canada, and even offered some suggestions for out of the way, not-so-touristy attractions. I spent about two and a half weeks traveling to different towns, wilderness preserves, settlements, and was only disappointed when the last 50 miles of my journey through Quebec, heading toward Vermont, was cornfields! (Seen plenty enough corn in the US - waaay too much corn)

    As I pull up to the border crossing, not far outside Montreal, I was impressed by the line of traffic, waiting to get through. Three hours later, I finally see the US Border agent, and hand him my Massachusetts drivers license when he asks for my ID.

    "Are you a US citizen?" he asks. Ah, yes, I think to myself. I should give him my passport. So, I open my little brown planner, only to discover that my passport was not there. It was sitting at home. On my desk. In Boston. Not a good place for it right now.

    Then the questions. Where were you born. When were you born. When did you come to the US? (When I was born in California, duh!) Then the apologies, and the explanations, and finally, it seemed like he was going to let me off with a lecture on traveling with the appropriate documents. But then, there was the final question: Where did you enter Canada?

    You see, I didn't realize it at the time, but there was a huge Muslim comunity living in Minnesota at the time of 9/11. Post 9/11 saw a mass exodus of this community, mostly in response to the racism and subsequent persecution they faced in northern middle-America. However, there were more than a couple pretty big bank accounts that disappeared mysteriously, and here I am, traveling all alone, with almost no documentation.

    "We're gonna have to take a look inside your car, if you don't mind. Random search."

    Wanting to be as cooperative as possible, I follow the procedure: Pop the trunk, turn off the alarm, hand over the keys, and step behind the yellow line. Of course, what's the first thing they find in the trunk? Box of bulk Cat-5e networking wire, bag of tools, wire cutters, volt-meters, continuity testors, soldering iron, and a slew of odd-looking plastic and electronic parts. All familiar to those who have installed networks - but awfully suspicious to a border agent checking a guy coming off a trip into Canada with no apparent contacts, and entering Canada from an area with known potential terrorist ties.

    Next thing I know, my trunk-liner is lying in the street, agents are working on removing my back seat and some of the interior paneling, dogs are coming out to sniff around the car, and someone's talking about possibly detaining me. Wait! I have to be to class in 4 days!

    About this time, I'm thinking the worst. Just then, a miracle occurs. One of the agents, while going through my glove box, finds an un-marked, plain white envelope - slightly tattered from some months of neglect. She opens the envelops, and discovers my saving grace - my orgininal birth certificate, showing my birth in California to my USC parents. My mom had given it to me years ago when I started applying to colleges, and I guess it had been in my planner, but somehow slipped out.

    A wave of relief swept over everyone. Once we all relaxed, I was able to explain the nature of the items they had found in my trunk sufficiently enough to dismiss any suspision they had that I was a threat to the US. Finally they allowed me through, and after I put my car back together (had plenty of help taking it apart, but not one finger lifted to put it back together) I was finally on my way back home.

    I definitely learned my lesson that day.

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