Chat: U.S. Customs

Subject: Chat: U.S. Customs
From: geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA
Date: Mon, 5 May 1997 21:29:57 -0500

For some reason, U.S. Customs does seem to be much pickier
than Canada Customs. Anecdotes:

One summer, on my way to a 1-month course in field biology
in Montana, they almost didn't let me into the country when
I said I was going for a course. I managed to convince them
finally that I didn't need a student visa for that period
of time, but it was a close call. This compares with me
coming back from Montana, hair down to my shoulderblades,
"mountain man" beard, and unbathed for more than a day
after missing a flight and spending the night in the
airport. Canada Customs didn't look twice and sent me on my
way without the strip search I was dreading...

One year, not long after Halloween, a friend from New York
was returning home for a long weekend, and in the trunk of
his car, he had his mom's dress (he went in drag to the
University's Halloween party) and some Parti Quebecois
political literature for a term paper he was writing.
Customs refused him entry into the U.S., evidently
considering him to be some dangerous radical. They backed
down only when he insisted that they accompany him back to
Canada Customs and verify his demand for political asylum.

--Geoff Hart @8^{)} geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
Disclaimer: Speaking for myself, not FERIC.

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