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Readers Respond: Border Crossing Stories

Responses: 205


Rude, Unprofessional, Disrespectful

I had a terrible time getting into Canada at the border. The border officers harassed me for about an hour, intentionally made me miss the bus, accused me of smuggling drugs "inside my body" and then claimed I "smuggled a weapon into Canada" because I had mase in my purse. I had to hitch a ride with a group of Korean students on a tour bus (thank you nice Korean people) and then rush to the airport to purchase another ticket to Whistler. Of all my travels, I have never had anything like this happen. At one point the officers were getting so aggressive, I thought I might have to run for my own safety. I'm completely shocked at how abusive and malicious they were. It was such a harrowing experience.I filed a complaint online with the Canadian Border Agency and I received a call back from a superindendent. He basically told me that he watched the video of what happened but since there is no audio, he cannot confirm the validity of my complaint.

Racism across border

When travelling from Canada to US, my goodness, do I face racism. They look at my like I am some sort of a terrorist. WoW!!!!!!!!!!! Just because I am brown, they assume I am some cocaine smuggling terrorist. Everytime, the white people only get asked their name and address, I get asked everything from my great grandfathers name to how much I weigh. They even ask me how I can prove I am not there to do some criminal activity. UNBELIEVABLE, one day I am going to record all this and appeal to the courts for so much injustice and discrimination. The truth is that its hard living in a society where you make up such a small percentage of the population and the media constantly makes your race look bad.
—Guest Michael

complete jerks

i was told by phone how to import a Canadian car by the customs agents i did what they told me to do i was told to cross over into Canada with the car and come back through with my papers and and get it inspected... oh boy was i treated like a criminal yelled at scalded held for 2.5 hours after 2 hours i needed to use there bathroom that was right next to me when i got out of my chair i was yelled at and told never to rise up again without permission..
—Guest rob

Why are they all so rude??

I am a Canadian citizen and find crossing the Peace Arch border a nightmare almost every time. When asked by the US border patrol why I was coming over, I stated to shop..he asked me.."is there no stores in your country"...well what an idiot, why do they have to be so sarcastic and rude?? We are bringing business ...lots into Seattle, is this not good for the business owners?? But then what is more maddening is the way the Canadian border patrol are so rude..I live in this country, pay taxes, therefore pay their damn wage! But yet they can easily let a pedophile who was wanted all over Canada into the US, who had cut off his parole braclet, had assault and sexual assault charges as long as my arm, goes into the States and sexually assaults someone..it was all over the news, his picture and name, yet hey let him into the States. Bloody unreal!! Ya, harrass a girl who wants to go shoe shopping...ooooohhh Im a real danger. Ya they are so tough...power tripped jerks!

Trip ruined

Looking so forward to my holidays after a very rough year going on a cruise from Miami. Went to USA customs in Toronto and was sent to secondary inspection and due to a criminal conviction 35 years ago denied me entry in their precious country! Wow even if you are pardoned they don't care! I hate them! And will never step foot in their crime infested country again!
—Guest Will

racism and personal rights

I am a Canadian citizen, and have a Canadian passport, but my boyfriend only has his PR card and uses his China passport. On our way back from Seattle, the Canadian border police asked me: "why are you dating a guy from China?" I felt really offended, but I let it go, but this time we went to Point Roberts to pick up a package and to fill up gas. At the Canadian border, my boyfriend misunderstood the polices' question and failed to report the package, therefore we went into the office and explained our situation, but the border police didn't believe us, he went through our pockets, checked my bag, went through my wallet, cell phone (my text msgs, emails..etc) and questioned me what I had in my car, I understand that its proto call... but, my question for all is, what are my rights when crossing border? Do they have the right to look through my text messages or phone calls? I felt like a prisoner and was extremely embarrassed.
—Guest sc

ruined dreams

Got detained by drug sniffers because they smelt marijuana in my car. They swabbed my windows and found resin. I'm a medical marijuana patient and I am not allowed in the USA anymore and I am probably going to get charged. Now me and my kids can't go on vacation to Disney world, plane tickets, passes and hotel bookings all payed for already. I have been saving up for a while and my kids are 6 and 11 Good Job on fighting terrorism america
—Guest john smith

always a secondary

I got a misunderstanding from the information desk of us border so i showed to the us before the date of my visa (i did not overstay in the us). Instead of explaining to me why that i could not come that early they blacklisted me and now i have secondary inspection all the time. Thanks for being so clear in their explanations and having such a dumb behavior with visitor. I love us borders agents logic. I wonder where they get them
—Guest Mohamed

Not acceptable

Boarder guards Protecting the country is one thing, but bullying, degrading people should not be justified trade. Until you experience the treatment many of these supposedly called whiners went through,, you won't know . Boarder guards need to be trained when to show aggressiveness and when to tone it down. One can say one thing so many different ways and with different tones which on the receiving end can be pleasant to the ear or downright rude and disrespectful or traumatizing.
—Guest wendy

held for 7 hours

everything going well till i got to customs where the checked my passport and citizenship,asked afew questions,was told to have aseat,they called me back to answer more question then they finger-printed me and took my picture.i was really peeved off.that i was treated in such a manner
—Guest muriel

Mixed bag

Sometimes I get a secondary check and sometimes I get through without any issue. I guess it depends on how people feel that day. People normally rely on emotions before common sense. Also, if one carries a firearm for duty, he/she should know a little more about them. Scary to see some uneducated people being able to carry a firearm.
—Guest Montreal


I have crossed back and forth via bus usually after flying into Buffalo. I live in Toronto. I hate carrying a suitcase and usually manage to arrange things so I only have couple of changes of socks and undies that I put in my computer bag. Always the same questions concerning why I travel so light. I am used to this sort of thing as I travel a lot. Once the Canadian border guy was asking questions and more questions. It was not until the work area was empty and all the other border guards were staring at him that he realized that most were about to start laughing, except his boss who looked like a thunder cloud. 42 people on the bus gave me mean looks when I finally climbed back onboard. My advice to people: Try to keep your sense of humor. Answer all questions directly. Be proactive. If I get asked what is in my bag, I begin by opening it and start stuffing things up on the counter. Usually, they say, "STOP," especially when the stuff on their counter is well-used socks and underwear.
—Guest Lewis Edgel

u.s. border crossing

No reason to be intimidated by border guards unless your hiding something. Answer the questions truthfully but don't volunteer information , answer what your asked and when asked the same questions answer the same way , word for word. Nothing you can do if an officer seems rude or abusive , all part of their training. No doubt some are burned out and see everyone as criminals. Then there are the new recruits power tripping. You see this behavior with police all the time only these officers have a lot more power and no point in complaining about them because it falls on deaf ears so be cool and hopefully you will not be detained too long.
—Guest Owen

U.S. Border crossing

Border guards treat us like mutts (because they can ) Complaining about their behavior falls on deaf ears. If you want to visit the U.S. this is fact of life. You get pissed on and belittled. Welcome to America and make sure you enjoy your stay and spend lots of money. Or maybe your denied entry because you were a soldier in WW 11 and you got arrested for being drunk and disorderly back in 1943 lol
—Guest James

U.S . border crossing

I don't believe a veteran would be denied entry for a drunk and disorderly in 1943. Sounds bogus. He was just trying to appear like a nice guy who had no choice but to deny you entry . He could have let you in if he wanted to.
—Guest Don

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