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Old 12-19-2010, 08:40 AM   #1
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Canadians' experience with US customs

Just wondering about the experiences Canadians have had with the US customs staff when entering the US. I have usually had few problems, but what I heard yesterday makes my blood boil.
A friend's son, a soldier in the Canadian military, was coming back from a tour in Afghanistan, and made the unfortunate decision to land in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and have his parents drive down from Winnipeg to pick him up.
Apparently, he had a couple of oranges in his pack, something to snack on while flying on the cheap americans flight. Well, when the US customs nazis found them, they went ballistic, theatening him with travel bans, fines, and maybe even jail if he ever DARED to flaunt the US laws again. When they found out he actually had the nerve to eat a few on the plane, they treated him even worse.
Now I realise that the customs people have a job to do...

(a few lines deleted by moderator)

Sometimes I just wonder what they are thinking......
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Old 12-19-2010, 09:55 AM   #2
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Anytime I am flying back into the US, I try to be aware of travel restrictions. Bringing fruit or nuts in is a no-no. I have left a foreign country with fruit, to be eaten on the plane....but is was gone before I landed. There are specific questions on the customs forms about whether you have fruits, vegetables, and nuts with you.....I don't include stomach contents when filling out the customs forms.

Please relay my thanks to your friend's son for his service.
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Old 12-19-2010, 09:57 AM   #3
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Sounds just like I have been treated by Canadian customs! BTW I do not appreciate your reference to our customs agents.
Moderators need to edit or delete your rantings as I find them very offensive.
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Old 12-19-2010, 10:33 AM   #4
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mtnguy, I will indeed relay your thoughts. I am always in awe of the sacrifices our soldiers are willing to make for our benefit. I am just saddened that there are those so wrapped up in themselves that they seem unaware of such things.
And I agree that when travelling, we should be aware of the rules.
I would imagine, though, that this soldier had more important things on his mind, like seeing his family again after surviving his tour. Most likely he had to carry the coffin of a friend to the plane home while over there, and who could blame him for being distracted.
I would have hoped that especially at this time of year, the customs people would simply use their heads.
Have a great Christmas, and hug the little ones, as someday they may be that soldier.
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Old 12-19-2010, 11:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crocus View Post
Just wondering about the experiences Canadians have had with the US customs staff when entering the US. I have usually had few problems, but what I heard yesterday makes my blood boil.
A friend's son, a soldier in the Canadian military, was coming back from a tour in Afghanistan, and made the unfortunate decision to land in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and have his parents drive down from Winnipeg to pick him up.
Apparently, he had a couple of oranges in his pack, something to snack on while flying on the cheap americans flight. Well, when the US customs nazis found them, they went ballistic, theatening him with travel bans, fines, and maybe even jail if he ever DARED to flaunt the US laws again. When they found out he actually had the nerve to eat a few on the plane, they treated him even worse.
Now I realise that the customs people have a job to do,

(edited by moderator)

Sometimes I just wonder what they are thinking.
There is something wierd about this post. Normally, Canadian military returning from Afganistan deployment return as a unit, in uniform and probably by military transport direct to their home base. It looks like this individual was not on a direct deployment return and was probably not in uniform and travelling on a route of his own choosing. Therefor he would or should, have expected to be treated as any other air-travelling civilian.
On another note, as a fellow Canadian, I too find the tone of this post insulting. The point could well have been made without degrading our neighbors to the south.

...VTX-AL
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Old 12-19-2010, 11:33 AM   #6
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crocus, are you a typical Canadian? EH? It seems to me that you are. While you bash our government and our custom agents I am sure you realize that your good neighbors to the south are the ones who have your backs should the time ever come necessary. While we appreciate the sacrifices made by your soldiers, we too have sacrificed in the name of stopping terrorism from doing anymore damage to both of our ways of life. While I agree that the border agents could of handled the situation with a little more of a friendly attitude, I am sure they just didn't single him out and give him a rough time. Sometimes I think in the line of duty they carry things too far for everyone. Having said that, this is no reason to call our citizens Nazis. That term does not go over too well on this side of the border, I am sure you can understand why. Tell your soldier friend's son we appreciate his service and standing along side us to keep us both safe. Let him know that should the time come in the blink of an eye we will be there to stand beside him and your country. That's the kind of people we are, we remember our friends and help them out in time of need. Don't let that one event flame your liberal views to the point that you bash our government or our citizens. While we are not a perfect people, either is the rest of the world. We try our best. Remember we got your backs...
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Old 12-19-2010, 12:12 PM   #7
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mtnguy, are you a typical Canadian? EH? It seems to me that you are. While you bash our government and our custom agents I am sure you realize that your good neighbors to the south are the ones who have your backs should the time ever come necessary.
Virginian by birth, southern by the grace of God.

My post #2 was meant to support our customs agents for following the rules. I understand the reasoning for not bringing fruits, vegetables and nuts back into the USA because of diseases, insect larvae, parasites, etc. We don't need more stink bugs, Mediteranian fruit flies, tiger mosquitoes, etc. in the USA. I am very careful when returning home to follow the rules.
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Old 12-19-2010, 12:36 PM   #8
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A few states (California and Arizona in particular that I know of) have Agricultural Inspection Stations on their borders and stop all traffic, even on the busy Interstates. If you have any "forbidden fruit" they will give you the choice to consume it there, turn around, or give it to them for destruction. The inspectors (like U.S. Customs agents) are government employees and go through thousands of these inspections a day so they've heard every excuse in the book hundreds of times and are not prone to persuasion. Perhaps they could be nicer and I have met some that are professional and some not, but they have a job to do and it's not personal.

Now let's talk about why my daughter and soldier son-in-law who was stationed in Alaska and being deployed to Iraq for the second time wasn't allowed to transport any of his privately-owned handguns through Canada enroute to the lower 48. He tried to get a permit and could have kept the firearms locked at all times, but no, he had to spend hundreds of dollars (FFL transfer fees) to ship them home. Canada has its rules too. Imagine that...
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Old 12-19-2010, 01:27 PM   #9
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mtnguy, my apologies for addressing my post to you. I meant to address it to the original poster who was crocus. I have since corrected it to reflect this. I guess I didn't scroll up far enough to get his username in my original post. My mistake....I hope that doesn't make me a nazi..eh? lol...
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Old 12-19-2010, 02:31 PM   #10
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I think the administrators and moderators try to be tolerant and let members have their say on this board, but never at the expense of being disrespectful to fellow members or their nations, no matter where they are from. I even posted a couple of times, trying to soften the tone some. But to save a border war, I am going to close this thread.
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