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  #1  
Old 24 April 2013, 11:56 PM
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Default Detained and Interrogated at the US Border for Carrying Condoms

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What do you do when you're detained by powerful officials, everything you say is presumed deceptive, arbitrary "evidence" is held against you, and you're treated like a moral deviant? And what if its 2013, you're a woman, and the "evidence" is that you possess condoms?
http://rabble.ca/news/2013/04/sexism...rsonal-account
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  #2  
Old 25 April 2013, 12:10 AM
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Blow Your Top

Yikes. Assuming that this is all true (even if there is more to the story that isn't being told, as some commenters have suggested), the behavior of the agents is reprehensible.
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  #3  
Old 25 April 2013, 12:32 AM
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Bang Head

Quote:


I had kicked the hornet's nest. Inflamed, he raised his voice at me that it was his business and that adultery was a crime in America -- a crime that he could deny me entry for.

(Italics mine: And who could blame me?)
Oh no she was planning on having the sex! Where are the church elders?

They do realize that they are customs officials and are only supposed to check that people have required documentation and no illegal substances and are not allowed to make crap up about what is illegal in America. (If that were true do you have any idea how many cells would be full?) While I don't know the full story between herself and her lover, I'm sure that it was filled with enough conflict as it was between themselves, possibly friends, family members, and spouses. They didn't need that from Judgy Judgerson, The Customs Moral Monitor!

And the comments, I don't think so many people would be supporting the customs officials if it were the other way around an American woman interrogated at the border of another country because she held condoms. Certain colorful phrases would have been thrown around about the country's mistreatment towards women (from of course many people who pay lip service to the treatment of women in this country, but that's another issue entirely)
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  #4  
Old 25 April 2013, 01:02 AM
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Not sure which is more surprising- that upon reading the thread title my first thought on why she was detained (custom agents assuming the condoms were drug related) and finding out it was more a moral problem on the agents side or that this had happened on the Canadian-US border(and Vermont no less)
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  #5  
Old 25 April 2013, 01:26 AM
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Quote:
Clay Nikiforuk is a recent Creative Writing graduate from UBC...
I'd have believed one encounter, I'm not buying three of them.
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  #6  
Old 25 April 2013, 01:44 AM
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Quote:
For me, carrying my own condoms (in purses, wallets, camera bags; everywhere) is a routine act towards safer sex.
I had assumed, while reading, that the author had a box of condoms packed away with her other toiletries or perhaps one or two tucked away in her purse (wallet's never a good idea, unless you get the armored ones). I assume that people who sniff through passengers' luggage would see this all the time, and it would be considered absolutely normal. However, if she had a large number of condoms, and those condoms were being stuffed in seemingly unusual places (a camera bag?), to the point they could be described as "everywhere", I can see how that might look a little suspicious. That said, the author could have had a gross of condoms in every shape, style, and flavor crammed between her swim suits and her business suits and that wouldn't justify the way she was treated.
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  #7  
Old 25 April 2013, 01:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue View Post
I'd have believed one encounter, I'm not buying three of them.
My BS meter is pinging as well. More details are needed.
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  #8  
Old 25 April 2013, 02:17 AM
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Quote:
Inflamed, he raised his voice at me that it was his business and that adultery was a crime in America -- a crime that he could deny me entry for.
Adultery is a crime in some states and not in others, so it's not something one could be denied entry for in anticipation of committing it.
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  #9  
Old 25 April 2013, 03:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Cervus View Post
My BS meter is pinging as well. More details are needed.
Not necessarily against it, but it was also posted on April 1st. There have been two other posts under the same pseudonym on different dates since then though.

One where she discusses the reaction to the first: http://rabble.ca/news/2013/04/our-bo...-shaming-media
The other about an unrelated modelling assignment: http://rabble.ca/news/2013/04/scarle...-side-sex-work
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  #10  
Old 25 April 2013, 03:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue View Post
I'd have believed one encounter, I'm not buying three of them.
per the comment section if the first guy entered a flag in her file, for whatever reason, the other agents would be required to follow up on it. So if he flagged her as a suspected prostitute they would probable followup on that.
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  #11  
Old 25 April 2013, 03:39 AM
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Oh no doubt her tale of border woe could be true but all I could think of while reading it was the Gilbert & Sullivan quote:
Quote:
Merely corroborative detail, intended to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative.
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  #12  
Old 25 April 2013, 04:08 AM
zerocool zerocool is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
Adultery is a crime in some states and not in others, so it's not something one could be denied entry for in anticipation of committing it.
Immigration attorneys have advised me that ultimately the decision to allow entry is up to the DHS (formerly INS) agent at the point of entry - that even with a valid visa, it is possible for them to reduce the length of stay or deny entry completely, when they are not convinced a visa requirement will be met. The CBP website says the same thing

"in both of these cases, it is up to the visitor to be able to convince a CBP Officer of their intention to abide by the terms of their visa." "Please be aware, entering the United States is a privilege, not a right. It is not our intent to inconvenience law abiding visitors to our country, but our overriding responsibility is to enforce U.S. immigration law and to keep our country safe from those who would do us harm."

They do provide a means of contact if you beleive you have been wrongfully denied entry, but that is an after-the-fact form of redress - it is possible for a CBP agent to deny entry if they only suspect, not prove, you will not abide by a visa requirement.
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  #13  
Old 25 April 2013, 07:39 AM
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Sue, could you give some example of why you found it unconvincing?
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  #14  
Old 25 April 2013, 08:07 AM
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Just for the record, not all deportable offenses are crimes.
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  #15  
Old 25 April 2013, 12:56 PM
zerocool zerocool is offline
 
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Not all deportable offenses are crimes, and not all reasons to deny entry to someone are crimes either - again from the CBP website:

Quote:
There are many reasons for a person to be denied entry into the U.S. The most obvious reasons for denied entry include if a person ... is suspected of being an intended immigrant (i.e. planning on staying in the U.S. past the terms of their admission), having overstayed a previous visit to the U.S., or if the visitor is suspected of having an infectious disease. In addition, tourist visitors to the U.S. are expected to have sufficient funds to support themselves while here.
Being poor, diseased, or suspected of wanting to move to the US aren't illegal, but they are reasons to deny entry.
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  #16  
Old 25 April 2013, 02:24 PM
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So if the stories are true, then they are moralizing a-holes with legal authority to back up their a-holing.
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  #17  
Old 25 April 2013, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocool View Post
Being poor, diseased, or suspected of wanting to move to the US aren't illegal, but they are reasons to deny entry.
So don't give us your poor, your wretched refuse, or your homeless anymore, but being tempest-tost or part of a huddled mass yearning to be free is still cool, though?

I vaguely remember all the hoops my father had to jump through to get into the US when we moved here (he was the only one in the family who wasn't a US citizen), but it wasn't nearly as invasive as it seems the OP's experiences were just to travel through the US (different times, I suppose).
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  #18  
Old 25 April 2013, 02:31 PM
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I don't think "wretched refuse" ever included people with diseases. I think health screenings were part of the routine at Ellis Island.
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  #19  
Old 25 April 2013, 03:16 PM
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They were. But many of those with infections, but curable (or go-awayable) illnesses were put in hospitals on Ellis Island until they recovered. So it was more of a quarantine than an outright rejection. IMS, only those with incurable diseases or defects were completely turned away.
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  #20  
Old 25 April 2013, 03:25 PM
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And in the case of the OP we are talking about visiting the country, not immigrating.
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