Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Immigration Craziness 

On a practical note, if customs agents are checking immigration papers on domestic flights, will a driver’s license be enough?

I’m now worried because N always – and very aggravatingly – leaves his green card at home when he travels. He’s afraid of losing it. I, on the other hand, always lug around both the green card and the passport. What’s the point of having them if I’m not using them? 

As for customs agents, I’ve had a lot of contact with them over the years, and they tend to be a very aggrieved, nervous bunch with very little interest in what’s legal and what’s not. 


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14 thoughts on “Immigration Craziness 

  1. Evelina Anville on said:

    I saw this on Shakesville too. I wish I could find another source somewhere to get more details. The whole story is very strange and disconcerting. I find it particularly strange that the agents were there to see people who were disembarking the plane. All the passengers had presumably already been vetted: shown ID, passed security etc. etc. Wouldn’t it make sense to have “extreme vetting” on the front end–before people got on the plane?

    I think what I find so strange is that it’s so purposeless. Why were these goons deployed? Is it just to make people feel jittery? To feel under constant surveillance? Are customs agents going to be bothering people from New York and California because they are liberal enclaves who didn’t vote for Trump? What’s going on?


    • I’m not in the least surprised because I know how these folks operate. They decide to go out and hassle a few passengers, and that’s what they do. I’ve seen so much arbitrary, weird behavior from them that I’ll never be surprised at anything they do.

      Once, a customs officer decided not to let me in the US on a 3-day visit (it was a campus visit). I’m a Canadian citizen, I don’t need an explanation to come in. Plus, I had a student visa. But the customs agent didn’t believe me when I said I wasn’t going to get paid for the campus visit. He got very upset and started yelling. It was surreal.

      I have so many stories like these. And I only ever tried entering the country with a Canadian passport. Imagine trying to come in with a less prestigious passport.


  2. I would carry full documentation. The program Trump has outlined allows immediate deportation without a right to legal representation or proceedings. It used to be that the program was limited to people who have been in the country less than two weeks and within 100 miles of a border, but those limitations have been removed.


  3. It’s been a while, but aren’t customs and border guards two separate things? Or are the merged in the US?

    In normal times I would think that maybe they were looking for someone in particular (that is someone’s data set off some kind of alert after the plane took off or they got a tip about someone on the plane). But then you’d also expect armed guards. But now… I dunno.

    I think carrying a green card is important especially when travelling.


  4. And does N have a history of losing things (nothing you’ve written about him would suggest that) or is this just control issues weirdness?


  5. Shakti on said:

    Technically, you’re supposed to carry your green card with you when you step outside of the house. However since the police are not ICE agents, most people do not. I never did. My uncle and my cousin did. I certainly never carried it for domestic flights because it’s in country (I’ve never had anyone check) and you’re not going through customs.

    If you’re worried, I would make photocopies of your green card to carry in your luggage and to have them at home. If you have people you trust, they can have copies of that while you’re both traveling.
    This helps with the complications of losing or misplacing them or “losing or misplacing” them.

    IANAL, obviously.


  6. Stringer Bell on said:

    Man, ICE is turning out to be a real life version of the Milgram experiment.


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