A Canada Border Crossing Mini-Drama

This seems to be over a year old, but I don't recall coming across it before. If it is old news, forgive me.

It's an interesting audio clip of what purports to be a Canadian couple curious about why U.S. border officers insist on knowing specific stores in a mall they intend to visit, which of course ends up in arrest of both him and his wife.

My two favorite quotes, from a border officer "I would say three a day [terrorists are caught coming from Canada]" (see around 6:00] and "You did threaten...threaten a federal officer with physical violence. As soon as you pulled away from my officers when they went to grab your arm, that's assault!" [see around 8:45]

The clip:


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  • Almanian||

    1)The Canadian Peril™ CANNOT be overestimated. It's too....perilous.

    2) "s soon as you pulled away from my officers when they went to grab your arm, that's assault." Uh, OK, got it....

    This is one reason I stopped playing with Canadian pipe bands...US "suckurity" coming back. Assholes.

  • val||

    Not too excuse the stupidity of some CBP goons, the dude seemed very agiatated right off the bat. Started snapping and yelling about 30 seconds into the conversation. Thats precisely the kind of thing they look for: people being fidgety/jumpy could indicate that they might be hiding something. Maybe smuggling something and are nervous about it.

  • ||

    I'd get agitated by some jackass rent-a-cop asking monotonous timewasting questions like that myself.

  • ||

    If this is for real - let's assume it is - then both officers are complete ass-clowns. The first is clearly responding to what he sees as someone not paying sufficient deference to his 'authoriteh', the second is more interested in debating with the subject than he is in doing his job.

    Against that, the individual is an overly-entitled and self-satisfied idiot, and extremely rude to boot. The continual interruptions and the refusal to listen to what is being explained to him is definitive. But also a strong indicator that this is not a terrorist or a drug mule - it's just a common-or-garden fool.

    The first officer should simply have said 'On your way.' Because anyone who draws this level of attention to himself at the border is 99.99999987% certain NOT to be a bad person. But no, he had to impose his authroriteh on the guy , and teach him to be more respectful of US Border Officers!

    Clue - the actual bad guy was 3 cars back, and his papers were in perfect order, and he quickly and submissively answered all of the officers questions.

    It may be that the officers are trained to try and provoke reactions from the poeople they see, in order to see how they react - that's good technique. But where this falls apart is where the officer hasn't really learned why and how to do this, and starts to zero in on people for the wrong reasons. As in this case.



  • ||

    Exactly. You don't go out of your way to pick a fight with gangsters. You answer the questions directly with a lot of 'yes sir, no sir' if you don't want to find yourself in a world of hurt. This is an old video, btw. I won't even enter the US (I'm also Canadian) partly because I don't want to have to deal with the thugs at the border. Also, because I think the US is totally fucked up (I'll give most libertarians a pass on that description).

  • Alice Bowie||

    This is what they do to white people.

    Can you imagine if you are not white.

    Basically, the border folks have full discretion to apprehend you, take X-rays, look you up in a bathroom and even feed you laxatives to see if you swallowed drugs, and all sorts of crap...with impunity.

    Best not to cross borders.

  • Paul||

    As I once said before, the solution to institutional racism was to treat everyone equally poorly. Egalitarianism wins again.

  • kill yourself||

    You're lying about most of that

  • Hoser||

    That's two fer flinching, eh.

  • Alice Bowie||

    I use to frequently travel to Amsterdam. So many times that I don't really remember how many times I've been there. Why? Well, look at my name.

    Since I broke no US and Amsterdam laws, I really wasn't scared. It is not a US crime to smoke pot in another country...Not even to INTERPOL standards.

    I started tracking and keeping post-its in my Passport with the names of the Agents that would "randomly" pick me out. I've been shoved in the imaging machine...10 years ago even before the blew-up the buildings.

    One time, I an agent told me that it was mere coincidence that I was picked EVERY FUCKING TIME to be searched.

    I'm an investment banker so I have many attorney friends. I spoke to a few to see if there was any recourse. One told me that I may "win a toaster" for being the million-th person to sue the US Customs.

  • Coeus||

    Since I broke no US and Amsterdam laws, I really wasn't scared. It is not a US crime to smoke pot in another country...

    I have some bad news for you... It is now. But if it makes you feel better, they did it for the children.

  • ||

    Funny when I was in my mid 20's I traveled pretty much non stop internationally, I was back in the states for a week out of the month and I was generally greeted by customs as I walked off the airplane.

    I started giving them big hugs when they greeted me at the gate and told them how much I missed them and was looking forward to seeing them next month as well.

    They did not like being hugged and asked me to stop touching them as it could be considered assault.

    This was in the mid 90's, ah the good old days.

    I won't ever come back to Police States of America again.

  • Alan||

    "That's ridiculous!"

    "Well, that's the United States."

    Did I hear that correctly?

  • Atanarjuat||

    Yep. Fuck that guy. I'm embarrassed that foreigners' first impression of the U.S. is these unruly gorillas.

  • Bradley||

    Yep, crossing the US border from Canada (Windor–Detroit, if you must know) has so far been the worst experience I've ever had with cops or cop-like figures. Fuck your border guards, dudes.

  • ||

    Yep. The stupid and blindly-willing are the ones "keeping us safe at night". How awesome is that?

  • Amerifuntimes||

    That was kind of hilarious. Can't that officer hear himself?

  • Alan||

    Is there anybody left - in America or the world - who isn't disgusted with the U.S. government and "law enforcement"?

    Somebody tell me that this is a comedy routine. Stupidity + Arrogance = bad news.

  • Paul||

    There is one. He posts here regularly. I dare not speak his name.

  • Alan||

    Is there anybody left - in America or the world - who isn't disgusted with the U.S. government and "law enforcement"?

    Somebody tell me that this is a comedy routine. Stupidity + Arrogance = bad news.

  • ||

    Most people seem to find this comforting. It's unfortunate, but it's the price you pay for freedom. They're stopping THREE TERRORIST A DAY.

  • Alice Bowie||

    That entire "three terrorists per day" is a bunch of bullshit.

  • Paul||

    It's such utter bullshit it doesn't even need be said.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Meanwhile, our Team Red candidates moan and groan about the need to "secure the border" whilst Obama sobs that Team Red isn't giving him enough credit for turning the border into a de-facto police state.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    When did Canadians rediscover liberty? "I'm not going to obey orders if I don't understand the reason for them." Geesh, you'd think Canada had the most conservative government in North America or something. Oh wait...

  • Nate||

    "How many terrorists a day?"
    "you'd be surprised" x3
    "like 3 a day"

    How many get through the dragnet then?

  • affenkopf||

    As much as the EU sucks (and it does suck hard) not having to deal with border control when crossing from one EU country to another is fucking awesome.

  • Alice Bowie||

    It actually doesn't really suck.

    Ask anyone who has a child with cancer.

    And, as for the border thing, the EU is what the USA was suppose to be.

  • affenkopf||

    What? What has the EU to do with cancer treatment? Health care is run by the individual states not by the EU.

  • Alice Bowie||

    The 'cancer' thing was referring to the "EU Suck" comment.

    What I'm saying is the European Union is parroting the USA...in which the states were suppose to have "so-called" sovernty.

  • Mr. Mark||

    You dared to question the questions of a typical American cop. What these foreigners did not understand was that your typical American cop suffers from the deep psychological trauma of having been born with an inadequately-sized penis and an IQ to match.

    When you cause these poor, misunderstood cops to remember their intellectual inadequacies, such as by querying as to why they keep asking moronic, pointless questions, that also reminds them of their lack of manhood. At this point, the fragile emotional eggshell shatters and they freak out and do impulsive stuff.

    But don't worry: There is no reason whatsoever to fear that granting these kinds of people full arrest powers and equipping them with firearms is in any way a danger to the safety of free, law abiding, non-insane persons like yourself. Remember, these sorts of things are run by our very best and brightest.

    (Somewhere out there is a cop who does not fit the above description. Also, somewhere out there is a planet made entirely from Styrofoam.)

  • Robert||

    I think you misjudge their personalities. I'm sure that, for instance, telemarketers feel similar frustration about having to ask & say stupid things all day, and if the telemarketer COULD reach thru the phone & arrest you, they WOULD. That's the only difference: the police do it because they can.

  • ||

    "I'm sure that, for instance, telemarketers feel similar frustration about having to ask & say stupid things all day"

    But not enough to give a shit, apparently.

  • Robert||

    It's very clear this is personal and not about any fear of terrorism.

  • romulus augustus||

    I ran this by a former FBI agent for comment. He says the stupid questions are to try to trip up the liars. "Oh, you can't name a store at the mall?" The last few times I went into Canada, I was subjected to the same sort of questions by their border goons: "What is the name of the hotel in Ottawa where you are staying?"
    "Can you show me a brochure for the conference you are attending?"

  • BoscoH||

    Subject: That's ridiculous.
    Officer: That's the United States.

    Nailed it.

  • ||

    The one time I went to Canada, I was flabbergasted by how much friendlier their Customs officers are than ours. Fuck America.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    The biggest concern of Canada BSA agents when I cross is making sure I can get back into the U.S.

  • Tom||

    Granted I haven't crossed since 9/11, but I had the exact opposite experience.

  • ||

    Guy: "That's ridiculous"
    Officer: "Well, it's the United States"

  • ||

    Are you sure those are US border guards? The Canadians are always paranoid about people going to the US to shop for cheap American products and then smuggling them back to Canada without paying the duties.

  • R||

    They're also paranoid of people bringing guns over from the US. Makes it a bitch to transport guns from the lower 48 to Alaska (basically, you either have to fly 'em or float 'em; taking them through Canada is a no-go).

    Also, I'm hearing that the Canucks are denying entrance by anyone convicted of even minor crimes now. Somewhere I read the other day that they harassed a guy because he was arrested once, even though the charges were dropped. Can't remember if they finally let him in or not.

  • R||

    Oh, and god help you if you're flying your guns to or from Alaska in your own private plane and you have to make an emergency landing in Canada.

  • ||

    You should know its even worse going the other way. If they run an internet search on your name, and they come up with some post you made saying your tried LSD (for example) in the 1960s, you'll be permanently denied entry to the US for the rest of your life. Or if you answer "yes" to the question "have you ever used marijuana". Years ago I travelled quiet a bit across the border, it was always more scary entering the US than Canada. Actually, it was more scary entering the US than most of the countries I've travelled to, including Singapore, the PRC, and Indonesia. Though the most thorough going over I've ever had was from a hippyish customs officer in Amsterdam in the mid-80s.

  • a penny a day||

    Welcome to America - the land of the free and home of the paranoid.


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