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Old April 29, 2013, 01:21 PM   #30
Senior Member
Join Date: November 1, 2011
Location: Near St. Louis, Missouri
Posts: 844
I feel I must comment on the behavior and attitude of some US Customs and Immigration officers. I travel internationally on a regular basis, and I have witnessed many visitors to the US coming through airport passport control, customs, and immigration. Often the US agents are polite and professional... sometimes they are not.

The most outrageous example I witnessed I arrived in Chicago O'Hare on a flight from Japan. About half the flight was US citizens returning from somewhere in Asia, and about half the flight was foreign visitors from various parts of Asia. This was the day before Thanksgiving, and the airport was mobbed with people.

This was a few years after 9-11 and the airports were still a mess... there were all these new security procedures, but the airports had not yet been re-designed to accommodate the procedures. So there were long lines everywhere and in many cases the lines stretched around corners and into walkways.

I saw visitors to the US whose first encounter with our government was a man in a uniform screaming at him and his family because they were in the wrong line. No one in the family spoke English, which seemed to infuriate the officer even more. There were two other officers who were yelling at everyone else in line also. I was yelled at because I had a US passport and thus I was in the wrong line. I could not understand where I was supposed to go, or which line I was supposed to be in, and I fly through the international terminal at O’Hare fairly often. These people from India, Korea, and Japan were obviously confused, and having an "armed guard" shouting orders in a language they did not understand, only made the situation worse.

I was embarrassed and angry. It was like Chicago O'Hare was welcoming these visitors with the Attitude of "Welcome to America A-hole, now get in the right F-ing line and shut your face"... nice.

So while I have no doubt that the Canadian border authorities can be very rude to people on occasion, I know the US immigration and customs officials can compete very well in the rudeness game. On that day, they took home the gold medal
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