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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

NY TIMES: DHS HAS FIGURED OUT BORDER ENTRY OFFICERS ARE A PUBLIC RELATIONS DISASTER

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The damage CBP officers with a bad attitude do each day to this country is a travesty. Protecting the country from terrorists is one thing. But the mean-spiritedness exhibited by many officers is an embarrassment to this country and has been a nightmare for too many people for far too long. I could list one horror story after another but many of you probably have your own. The good news is that at least there is starting to be some recognition of the problem and at least the beginning of a process to address problems. Unfortunately, there is no evidence of real change yet at the airports. If anything, the situation seems to have gotten worse. And if we're talking about abusive treatment, how about looking at US consulates?

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Comments

  1. guyfromsg's Avatar
    Greg, thanks for writing about this. There is unknown fear whenever coming back through immigration. I'm legal here, have valid documents, visa stamp yet there is some fear since we are told that they have unlimited power to stop any one from coming in..

    Also many officers are confused with the I-94 expiry date. They insist on using expiry date based on the stamp rather than the latest 797 date. Once they make up their mind it's very difficult to convince them. Not sure how to handle this there. We have to go to the local CBP office to get it fixed. So my point is, some officers are not only impolite and they are ignorant as well..
  2. babaganoush's Avatar
    So this Belgian guy got detained for 90 minutes and he's upset. Wow! I can understand that but at least he is here and well. Other people have not been so lucky:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maher_Arar

    It's not about customer service anymore, it's about whether they decide to send you to Gulag or not!
  3. hmm's Avatar
    In my experience things got better at the border in the last couple of years. Immigrations officers I have seen have been quite knowledgeable, businesslike, and certainly not rude (and incidentally I have been usually entering on advance parole, and spending 1-2 extra hours at the port of entry, so I have seen what it is like). By contrast, immigration officers on my InfoPass appointments have been invariably rude and incompetent.

    And if you encounter "officers confused with the I-94 expiry date" my advice is to behave confidently and immediately ask for a supervisor.
  4. Another voice's Avatar
    Let's face it the last thing on these people's mind are good manners, customer service and hospitality towards people. These people have the MO of I just work here what do you want from me you Immigrant/terrorist/criminal.
  5. RJ's Avatar
    Greg, write something about clueless state dept officials at emabssies and consulates and the veryday treatment people receive there.
  6. 's Avatar

    US consulates visa officers act so arbitrarily.
    It's all a lotery if you get your visa or not and it mostly depends on the mood of that visa officer. And this is in a European country.
  7. Legal's Avatar
    "Also many officers are confused with the I-94 expiry date. They insist on using expiry date based on the stamp rather than the latest 797 date. Once they make up their mind it's very difficult to convince them. Not sure how to handle this there. We have to go to the local CBP office to get it fixed. So my point is, some officers are not only impolite and they are ignorant as well.."

    I would add arrogance too..
  8. 's Avatar
    The article mentions how the border patrol officer said he'd put something in the traveler's file that would prevent him from entering again next time. I had a similar very unpleasant experience while traveling on OPT (F-1 visa) a few years back (currently on H1-B) and was told the same thing by the extremely rude and arrogant officer (also at DFW...) My question for Greg and other attorneys willing to chime in is whether that is a legitimate threat and if so, what should I do to make sure I can come in next time I travel overseas? Thanks in advance.
  9. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    ?The article mentions how the border patrol officer said he'd put something in the traveler's file that would prevent him from entering again next time. I had a similar very unpleasant experience while traveling on OPT (F-1 visa) a few years back (currently on H1-B) and was told the same thing by the extremely rude and arrogant officer (also at DFW...) My question for Greg and other attorneys willing to chime in is whether that is a legitimate threat and if so, what should I do to make sure I can come in next time I travel overseas?
  10. 's Avatar
    Thanks Greg. Is there any way to find out what the officer might have written in my file before I actually get to the point of no return (and become the next Nalini Ghuman - what a frightening story...) - perhaps under Freedom of Information Act? Thanks again.
  11. grouchy's Avatar
    I heard a few of them with the same cases. If I can recall one of my acquiantances has a very disappointing experience with these border officers in Guam. Actually his original trip is mainland US but bec the plane he aboarded with needed to take a stop-over to Guam, without his knowledge of goin' thru background checks in that airport, the border officer told him without clear explanations from him to get his things up and go back to where he came from...and he did. He was very upset but after few days things turned out all OK.
    I don't understand why things need to be treated like this. In fact thase people went thru all tight processes weeks/months before issuing their visas and yet,still encountering the driving away-like moves, long delays,etc. with these officers.
    We understand their duties but I do hope that they do their job competently, and not go beyond the scope of their respective duties.
    I pity those victims of these kind of unwelcomed acts.
  12. CBPO's Avatar
    It's not about customer service at all, it's enforcing the laws of the United states. You people think entering the US is like going to the Burger king and getting it your way. Hate to tell you, been other places, US CBPOs are saints compared to experiences I had in Spain, UK, France and Germany. Get off your high horses.
  13. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    "It's not about customer service at all, it's enforcing the laws of the United states. You people think entering the US is like going to the Burger king and getting it your way. Hate to tell you, been other places, US CBPOs are saints compared to experiences I had in Spain, UK, France and Germany. Get off your high horses."

    Congrats Mr. CPB officer. You've done your agency a service with your comment and it's given me fodder for raising the profile on this subject.
  14. CBPO's Avatar
    Glad to help.
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