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US Homeland Immigration


MandE-UK

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Many points of entry have problems with drugs and illegal immigrants. Yet the US immigration process seems deliberatley designed to take a long time. I visited the US in 2002, 2003 and 2005. I noticed that the process in 2005 took a lot longer (standing in lien for 2 hours after getting off a flight) than it did a year or two previously, and from what I have heard since it has got a lot worse.

 

From a European persepctive, a lot of travellers are now being put off travelling to the US altogether. It seems as though the US authorities do not wish to encourage visitors. This is nothing to do with the individuals trying to do their jobs, it is the instructions they are given on what they must do as part of their job. So I blame the administration, rather than the front line personnel.

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These folks are just doing their job and trying to do the best they can at it. Imagine how aggravating it would be to have person after person give you a hard time. Certain ports of entry in the US are far worse than others. Miami in particular whether by land or sea is overburdened. THey are also overcautious because they have major drug and "illegals" issues there.

 

Go with patience. You're not being single-out as a UK citizen. Don't whine or harass the officers. That is not going to get you better treatment (not unlike talking about bombs while waiting to go through security).

 

I agree completely. It's not the fault of the agents that they are understaffed and overworked. That problem originates much higher than the local management. People in the U.S. whine about paying taxes; well this is what not raising taxes gets you. For the Americans here, write your Congressmen and tell them to put more money into Homeland Security and maybe, just maybe, they'll hire more CBP officers for the cruise ports.

 

Don't even get me started on the treatment I got in Australia for bringing in prescription thyroid medication (in the original prescription container). I got stuck in a line for over an hour with a whole group who had just arrived from China :mad: Finally a customs official approached me (I must have looked very out of place in the line the first one had put me in) and asked what I was declaring. When I told him, he kind of rolled his eyes and let me out of line and directed me to the exit - after an hour of waiting in a line for no good reason.

 

I wonder what I can expect in Italy later this year :confused:

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We'll be on the Golden Princess, Seattle-Alaska later this month. As Brits, is there usually any delays disembarking at Seattle?

Touch wood I haven't had problems arriving at any US airports so far, some staff are rather dour but I've also met some friendly ones.

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We'll be on the Golden Princess, Seattle-Alaska later this month. As Brits, is there usually any delays disembarking at Seattle?

Touch wood I haven't had problems arriving at any US airports so far, some staff are rather dour but I've also met some friendly ones.

 

We had absolutely no problem disembarking the Star on the same itinerary a couple of years ago. And that has been our experience at Port Everglades as well. Merely a token check of passports after disembarking, nothing more.

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CC is covering the story of the P&O ship docking in LA, the tenth time passengers on that cruise had touched US soil, being held up for 8 hours, no food, water, toilets etc to the point passengers were fainting. almost all, as these is a world cruise were over 65 of age.

 

I have a relative who is a CBP officer at the port of LA and she says the officers working the P&O ship last month got in a world of trouble for not reporting the computer outage and not trying to mitigate its impact on the passengers. Their commanding officer was removed from his/her post.

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We'll be on the Golden Princess, Seattle-Alaska later this month. As Brits, is there usually any delays disembarking at Seattle?

Touch wood I haven't had problems arriving at any US airports so far, some staff are rather dour but I've also met some friendly ones.

 

 

Seattle is a breeze and they actually smile:D

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How come your mom never took dual citizenship? If this happens every single she travels surely it is worth it just to prevent the hassle???

 

I think it is only in the last year or so that the US has allowed one to take US citizenship without revoking the original citizenship. I can certainly understand not wanting to lose the citizenship of one's birth.

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but overall, after Sept 11th, the extra security precautions are needed.

 

It saddens me that people still believe this.

 

All the people who were responsible for actually carrying out the 11/9/01 attacks were legally in the US. Those flying the planes had legally been taught to fly in the US.

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As a former frequent visitor and a lover of the United States, it saddens me also.

 

US Homeland Security seems to be a law unto themselves. People are scared to speak up, but there needs to be a change in attitude, from the very top down, towards visiting tourists.

 

It is NOT OK to welcome visitors to the US, in a first world country, in the ways described on this thread.

 

Just think how much more money the US would have to spend on its economy, if the government downsized the quantity of their security personnel and increased the quality behind the scenes.

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As a frequent 'tourist' visitor to the US i have never had any issues with immigration.

 

I think that this thread has now become too political an I am surprised that the moderators have allowed it to continue. Perhaps that says volumes for the country and culture that is the US.

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Hi Latitude20

 

 

Thanks for up date,

 

As to US customs my last experience, was the best ever, and if

 

St Thomas has done away with customs for all ships, a great step forward.

 

 

yours Shogun

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I have a relative who is a CBP officer at the port of LA and she says the officers working the P&O ship last month got in a world of trouble for not reporting the computer outage and not trying to mitigate its impact on the passengers. Their commanding officer was removed from his/her post.

 

Thanks for this information, Latitude 20.

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Cruuisers - Take a look at the Royal Caribbean ship that is cruising the Southern Caribbean out of Colon, Panama which lets you enjoy your cruise avoiding US customs/TSA all together! RCCL is doing very well with this ship, and I think they have another Spanish-branded ship there as well.

 

Cruise LInes - You all ought to read this thread and seriously think about putting ships in Panama, homeporting out of Colon, and eventually, if Panama gets its act together and builds a pier in Amador, using Amador.

 

Just flying - try connecting through Panama's beautiful International Airport Tocumen. A great connecting alternative to Miami, and you can do a stop over now in Panama for free.

 

Regards, Richard

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I think it is only in the last year or so that the US has allowed one to take US citizenship without revoking the original citizenship. I can certainly understand not wanting to lose the citizenship of one's birth.

 

The U.S. has allowed dual citizenship for many years. It's only natural for a nation of immigrants. Our own President actually held dual citizenship at one time, I understand.

 

Germany allows dual citizenship in matters of birth, but not naturalization. http://www.ehow.com/how_2377660_dual-citizenship-germany-united-states.html

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Hi Mike - don't forget your ESTA and passport when you come for lunch on the 10th. Oh, and to make you feel really welcome, we'll leave you standing outside for a couple of hours!!

Regards, Roger & Val

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As a Canadian I have had very few problems with US Home Security. Crossing the border by car is easy but can take lone because of long lines of Canadians going shopping. Most agents are very polite. The only problems I have had have been on cruise ships out of Vancouver. Last year when taking a one day from vancouver to Seattle it took 4 hours to get onto the ship, partly because of four ships departing that day but also because all had to go through US immigration. A friend did it this year and again it was a 5 hour wait.

I took a Trans Atlantic repositioning in May and was very impressed with British immigration. I received a note in my cabin that I was to be in the Crown Grill between 10 and 1015 for UK immigration. That was between Lisbon and Rotterdam so when we got to Southampton we just walked off. A great procedure.

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Keep in mind that a large number of passengers can overwhelm a small crew. DW and I were delayed long enough at the airport in Montreal to miss our train to Quebec City last year. Apparently more international flights came in than were anticipated (???). They only had 3 out of the 11 passports screening stations open. There were over a thousand people in line, so it wasn't pretty.

 

It happens. But, I won't judge Canadian Immigration on one bad experience.

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Karen, You'll have no trouble with customs in Italy. Off the plane in Venice, down the stairs and through the passport control. Pick up your bags, and exit area. No problem at all unless you've got your bong hanging around your neck. On my first trip to Austalia I couldn't enter that country without showing my airline ticket to leave that country. I had no problem with that requirement then and I certainly would have none with it now. I wonder what the Chinese in that line were thinking.

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Hi All

 

Allowing UK customs to board ships outside the UK and do all the paper work on the sea day back to the UK is a great idea.

 

We did this a couple of years ago when doing the Med to UK

 

 

yours Shogun

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Same as Rome Airport, show your passport to the sleepy immigration/customs officer, away you go. We were off the aircraft, through formalities, got our luggage and into our transfer vehicle within 40 minutes.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another great one

 

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/06/26/dying-woman-undergoes-additional-tsa-security-screening-says-family/

 

 

..and really? ... so what if she had a concealed weapon what was she gonna do with it hold everyone hostage?

 

So glad we have hired the finest to outsmart the terrorists.:eek:

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I think saying the US is targeting UK citizens is silly. Can't speak for the ports but the non-US citizen queue at JFK can easily stretch to 2 hours. And you know what.... So can the non-EU queue at Heathrow. In fact I have taken to avoiding London entirely as a gateway to Europe because of the hassle at Heathrow. This is a reason we didn't even consider a UK port for departure for our Baltic cruise. So it's not just the US. Never had anywhere near the hassle at schipohl. A lot of people I know are doing exactly the same for trips to Europe, so it is not just the US losing tourist revenue either.

 

It wasn't bad coming through Gatwick, although the non-EU passport line was about 10x as long as the EU passport line. I've got to say that the customs proceedures coming in/out of the UK on Eurostar are phenomenal, at least for the first class/business line.

 

Worst we ever had it was coming back through CDG right after the underpants bomber. Every passenger boarding a US-bound flight was hand searched, full pat down, carry-on thoroughly searched. We missed our connection because of it and Air France/Delta were extraordinarily unhelpful.

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