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The land of the free....

(64 Posts)
Greatnan Tue 23-Apr-13 08:11:23

unless you are a woman.... or black....or an atheist.
You couldn't pay me to go to this undemocratic country, which executes more of its own citizens than nearly every other country in the world.

absent Tue 23-Apr-13 09:03:47

Good heavens. It's hard to believe such a thing in the twenty-first century. I hate flying via the US and always try to avoid it.

Joan Tue 23-Apr-13 13:04:10

Unbelievable! Far worse than anything I could ever have imagined. I have realised for a long time that the USA is far from 'the land of the free' as we have true freedom here in Australia, but still......

Nonu Tue 23-Apr-13 13:12:58

I just adore the United States of America .

That is why I keep returning . Only 3 more weeks , then we are off , in fact this day , Tuesday.

dragon& sunshine

Greatnan Tue 23-Apr-13 13:21:50

Have you read the article, Nonu? No comment?

Nonu Tue 23-Apr-13 13:24:39

No & no


Greatnan Tue 23-Apr-13 13:25:48

'nuff said!

annodomini Tue 23-Apr-13 13:27:41

Nonu, don't pack any sexy underwear or condoms, whatever you do.

Stansgran Tue 23-Apr-13 13:32:40

When I came through Heathrow this weekend I wished that there was more rigour at our customs. Three people peeped through a partially closed door with one man standing in the corridor as hundreds streamed past. Are they so well trained that they can spot smugglers/ drug runners/ people returning from training camps in Pakistan cowering behind a door? There was a major flight into the UK from Pakistan and you could have got anything through.
I am also a bit iffy about the huffing ton post. Pinch of salt time.
Also worth remembering that it was an American border post person who spotted the murderer of the schoolgirl Caroline Dixon after the French had given up.

Nonu Tue 23-Apr-13 13:36:51

Anno ,, ME !

Don"t tease . smile

sunseeker Tue 23-Apr-13 13:44:08

I have travelled to USA several times and have always been treated with courtesy. In the case of the woman who wrote the article I would think she came up against one officer and he then reported her as a unsavoury character, although that doesn't excuse her subsequent treatment by other officers.

The treatment she received is, on the face of it, totally out of order and she should write to the relevant authorities with a complaint and insist on an investigation into her treatment

Butty Tue 23-Apr-13 13:52:09

Been in and out of the States numerous times, also once through Montreal. I find the border controls robust, certainly, and the personnel are very adept at firing last minute questions out of left field, so to speak. I find it tiresome and irritating, but no more than that. I've had sniffer dogs suss out apples in my backpack, had stuff confiscated, and everyone has to have their fingerprints done, along with cyclops. Their attention to detail is extremely high.
Frankly I'd jump through blazing hoops to get to see my family and grandchildren.

The worst border control I passed through was Australia.

annodomini Tue 23-Apr-13 14:21:04

Only been to San Francisco, and, having heard tales about the infamous immigration/security/customs officers, I was wary. They were, however, incredibly polite and friendly, not just to the little old lady (me, in case you were wondering) but to everyone coming off our flight. I thought they must have been sent to charm school. They were just as pleasant on the way out. I've had more trouble at Manchester Airport.

whenim64 Tue 23-Apr-13 14:22:14

I think the Huffington Post article is not representative, but awful if she really was treated like that. I have found USA customs officials to be friendly and courteous, whilst doing a through job. They ask curious questions, but that's ok with me. I love visiting America, especially the west coast and New England. They're not all stereotypical gun-toting red-necks! The majority are just like us - peace-loving, hard-working family people who like a good laugh. smile

hummingbird Tue 23-Apr-13 14:43:41

Well said, when! We're just back from Florida, and were treated with courtesy and respect everywhere we went. Terrible story though...

Nonu Tue 23-Apr-13 15:34:26

The huffington Post can sometimes get a bit zealous .

The Washington post , USA today , No.

Ihave been to the USA 20 times and Canada 6/8 times and never encountered any problems . The Immigration officals are efficient ,courteous and even sometimes have a gentle joke . Okay you have to wait a long time to be seen , but maybe that is because they are being thorough .

Sometimes ours could copy [trouble is , no money].

I do think though filling in ESTA helps a lot as they have already profiled one .

Grandmanorm Tue 23-Apr-13 16:04:42

I did read the post. I have been to America very many times over the past 20 years, sometimes on my own and sometimes with DH. We have always been treated politely.
I agree with Butty, Australia is much more rigorous that USA, also, like her, I too would jump through hoops to see our grandchildren.
I am happy that immigration is strict, doesn't worry me in the slightest.
One can't always believe what one reads in the press.

Bags Tue 23-Apr-13 16:16:13

Given the sheer number of bags containing sexy knickers and condoms that go through American customs, I find this article hard to believe without a large bucket of salt. I suspect the author has embroidered the truth. If not, then she has a legitimate complaint and should write to the customs top nobs.

When I first went to the US in 1995, a customs official nearly took exception to my (correct) pronunciation of San Pedro (a district of Los Angeles to which I was heading). He was a Spanish speaker himself and thought I was taking the piss, though I didn't realise this until later when I heard my friends pronounce the name San Peedro!

But after the sharp look, he said: "You're English, aren't you?"

This was said to me again in a large supermarket when I asked for full fat, full cholesterol, thick cream (there was none on the shelves). I weighed about seven and a half stone at the time and the guy I asked was more than double that at a guess.

They're funny, these English wink

whenim64 Tue 23-Apr-13 16:36:45

My sister and I chatted to a customs official at Logan airport, Boston. He had our passports in front of him, open. 'Don't tell me, I know that accent - you're Italian!' We're Mancunians hmm

Lilygran Tue 23-Apr-13 16:45:39

Always been treated with total courtesy at US immigration, landing at various different airports over the years. Now immigration in Soviet Russia in the 1960s was a different matter!

Lilygran Tue 23-Apr-13 16:48:24

I have noticed though that people who get haughty at US immigration or try to have a laugh at the officer's expense to amuse their travelling companions do tend to get a more thorough going over. And not just the US either.

Nonu Tue 23-Apr-13 16:59:49

Spot on Lily .


Greatnan Tue 23-Apr-13 17:00:20

Perhaps she is lying in her teeth, but if not I don't see any way in which she was being haughty. I am glad you all had such pleasant experiences, but this is not the first time I have heard of American border officials being unnecessarily officious.
I was very surprised at the threatening attitude of the woman who found an apple, which I had forgotten, in my back pack at Auckland. Luckily, her supervisor accepted that it was a simple mistake and let me off the $400 fine. He agreed that it was stupid of Singapore Airlines to give us the apples an hour before we landed. On my next trip, I told the stewardess and she made an announcement.

Sel Tue 23-Apr-13 17:12:07

In common with several posters, I've travelled many times to various parts of the US and never experienced anything like this. All officials have been unfailingly polite and pleasant. I'd say the same for people there generally in hotels and restaurants. Great service rendered with a smile.

Greatnan Tue 23-Apr-13 17:24:06

The USA has the dubious distinction of being the only G7 country to execute its own citizens. It comes fifth after China, Iran, North Korea and Yemen. Illustrious company.
13% of American citizens are black. 35% of those executed are black.

Texas was prepared to execute Duane Buck on September 15, 2011. Mr. Buck was condemned to death by a jury that had been told by an expert psychologist that he was more likely to be dangerous because he was African American. The Supreme Court stayed the case, but Mr. Buck has not yet received the new sentencing hearing justice requires.