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  #1  
Old 2 Aug 2010
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No US riding for me!! What next?

Well, I tried to enter the States to hit the BMW rally in Vermont but there is no way they were letting me in. Now my plans to ride down to South America need to change. I was planning on riding from Ontario to the east coast of Canada then down the east coast of the US, then take the TAT to the west coast, then make my way south through Mexico and so on. Does anyone know how and how much and where to ship my bike to Mexico? Or would it be better to ship it further down?
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  #2  
Old 3 Aug 2010
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Wow! That is a shocker. We've now got dozens of NSA contractors data mining everything on the planet ... turning up all kinds of reasons to deny entry to people ... and to detain perfectly innocent US citizen as well.

Welcome to our post 9-11 solution to Terrorism. I've even heard the Canadians are denying entry to Americans as well.

The US have something called a "No Fly" list. This list (and I'm sure others) are used to filter out people getting on planes and crossing borders.
Problem is, US citizens cannot access any info about themselves or why they are on it. Nearly impossible to get off it unless you hold some sway in govt. NO ONE is doing anything to correct this situation.

I would probably look at Air Freighting your bike somewhere. Your choice really. Sea Freight might be cheaper but perhaps more work?
Be a shame to skip Mexico and Central America but you could ship straight to S. America and work your way around, eventually coming North. If you're on a list, the US won't be letting you in at the Southern Border either. Best sell bike off down South and fly home at journeys end.

Best of luck ,hope a solution comes your way!
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  #3  
Old 3 Aug 2010
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It's crazy at the border now. I know lots of people that can't cross into the US now and I know many that won't even try. They treat you like a criminal there. You have a great country but you border guards are brutal. I can fly to almost any country in the world but I can't go visit our neighbors to the south, makes no sense to me.
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  #4  
Old 3 Aug 2010
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Originally Posted by planethopper View Post
It's crazy at the border now. I know lots of people that can't cross into the US now and I know many that won't even try. They treat you like a criminal there. You have a great country but you border guards are brutal. I can fly to almost any country in the world but I can't go visit our neighbors to the south, makes no sense to me.

So, you show up at the US boarder on your Canadian registered and properly insured bike, valid Canadian passport at hand, no criminal record, and they turn you away....???
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  #5  
Old 3 Aug 2010
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I appreciate you may not want to air your past in public PlanetHopper but I'm interested to know why US customs is treating you this way - do you have a history of drugs, jail time or leftist political leanings, or is the US government just generally difficult to deal with at present regardless of how "good" you've been?

Last time I visited the US was in 2007 and apart from having to take my shoes off every time I boarded a plane nothing was different. I lived in Toronto for the first half of the 90s and was regularly crossing the border (with Canadian residency but on an Australian pasport) without problems.
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  #6  
Old 3 Aug 2010
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Originally Posted by T.REX63 View Post
So, you show up at the US boarder on your Canadian registered and properly insured bike, valid Canadian passport at hand, no criminal record, and they turn you away....???
I understand you may not want to share the reason; however the US border guards must have had a valid reason for turning you away. Even on my South African passport, I had no issues crossing when I first moved to Canada; however I am not on any watch lists either.
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  #7  
Old 3 Aug 2010
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For the good ol days when you could drive back and forth to Canada at unmanned crossings and not even stop. Alas the world has changed, we all need to talk to our congressmen and senators to see it we can get Homeland Security to pull there head out of where the sun don't shine. They think if they treat everyone really rude the terrorist won't come in.

The Canada / USA boarder is a problem if you have a criminal record, they don't want ours and we don't want there's. The only thing we can do is contact the politicians and get the rules changed so at least you can find out why they won't let you in. So put that on your list and lets see what we can get done.

RJT
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  #8  
Old 3 Aug 2010
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I do have one small theft charge from back in 1985 that I got a pardon for. I don't know if this is part of their interrogation training or not but they were accusing me of have an alias and didn't seem to take my answer of "no I don't" to kindly. I was there for 4 hours and they had a team of officers going through my laptop, bike, and personal info. I'm not a bad person, I don't do drugs and I hardly drink. It just didn't seem to be fair but at the border fairness is not a right I guess.
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Old 3 Aug 2010
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Originally Posted by planethopper View Post
I do have one small theft charge from back in 1985 that I got a pardon for. I don't know if this is part of their interrogation training or not but they were accusing me of have an alias and didn't seem to take my answer of "no I don't" to kindly. I was there for 4 hours and they had a team of officers going through my laptop, bike, and personal info. I'm not a bad person, I don't do drugs and I hardly drink. It just didn't seem to be fair but at the border fairness is not a right I guess.
Sounds like they gave you the standard "Nazi border guard" treatment, sorry to you and the others that are subjected to this nonsense. As to the poster who asserted that "the US border guards must have had a valid reason for turning you away"--your faith in our border bureaucracy is touching but completely misplaced.
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  #10  
Old 3 Aug 2010
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Come to think of it, they didn't even ask for my vehicle registration or insurance. I had everything in order but they were more interested in my laptop then anything else.


Quote:
Originally Posted by T.REX63 View Post
So, you show up at the US boarder on your Canadian registered and properly insured bike, valid Canadian passport at hand, no criminal record, and they turn you away....???
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  #11  
Old 3 Aug 2010
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Originally Posted by farqhuar View Post
I appreciate you may not want to air your past in public PlanetHopper but I'm interested to know why US customs is treating you this way - do you have a history of drugs, jail time or leftist political leanings, or is the US government just generally difficult to deal with at present regardless of how "good" you've been?

Last time I visited the US was in 2007 and apart from having to take my shoes off every time I boarded a plane nothing was different. I lived in Toronto for the first half of the 90s and was regularly crossing the border (with Canadian residency but on an Australian pasport) without problems.
In the last year or two things have changed radically for the worse. But don't think these are Obama policies ... on the contrary. These are Bush/Cheney policies put in place years ago that are just now being enacted. A recent report discovered 75 private companies doing work for NSA, CIA, M.I. and Homeland security digging up all kinds of BS on people. This is costing Hundreds of Billions of USD's to run.

I had some HSA clown tell me I was part of a white supremascist group in N. Carolina. I think he Googled me. He had found someone with the same name ... but he failed to note the middle name was different and the pic was WAY off. Idiot.

The HSA now have way too much power .... way beyond their pay grade and purview, and way too little real training. This all the result of Bush's combining of agencies. (Border Patrol, Immigration, Customs, Airport Security .... now all are Homeland Security.

Hopefully these tales will get back to someone who may actually affect a change.
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  #12  
Old 3 Aug 2010
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Yes, border guards can and do turn people back for the vaguest of reasons. I've had friends turned away because the guy in the booth had a suspicion they were planning to look for work in the States. That's all it takes: a suspicion. Add to this the fact that a certain percentage of border guards are jerks; same as lawyers, auto mechanics, or members of the trade or profession of your choice. But if an auto mechanic is a jerk you just go to the next guy down the street; when it's a border guard in a uniform the consequences can be enduring.

To the OP: I also know people who have gone back the following day and talked their way up the bureaucratic ladder until they were granted entry. I know little about how this actually works except that I do know a few people who have done it and succeeded. Try it and see.

Hope that helps.

Mark
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  #13  
Old 3 Aug 2010
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So sad to hear this...

There are plenty of people wanting to ride Alaska/Canada to Ushuaia (me included) who just dont want to take the risk of flying self and bike way up north just to be turned back by a Doughnut munching border guard with a chip on his shoulder.. It's too much of a financial risk.

For future reference, is there no way to be granted a visa for transit BEFORE you head up to the border ?? Especially if you're coming from outside continental North America.

I think I'd probably end up flying into Northern USA and buying a bike there.

Such a shame to miss the awesomness (is that a word?) of Canada though.
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  #14  
Old 3 Aug 2010
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Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
Such a shame to miss the awesomness (is that a word?) of Canada though.
Probably a word nowadays Ted but not the right one to use if you know the etymology of the word (awesome) - it actually means terrible.
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  #15  
Old 3 Aug 2010
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Sad to hear that the governeent has come down so hard Mickey and Mark.

I''ve done two big long rides across North, Central and South America but have never gotten to Alaska. I hope to do that in the nearish future and hope not to have border issues.

The only problems I've ever had at a US border was in 1990 when my wife, children and I went to live in Canada from Australia. We stopped over in Hawaii for a few days and my wife was travelling on her Japanese passport. At the time, Japanese citizens did not require visas for the US if they were just visiting for a holiday (which we were) but because she was enroute to another country (Canada) and not returning directly to either Australia or Japan, the customs officials said that was in contradiction of the visa-free regulations and incarcerated her for a couple of hours - eventually sorted, but quite trying at 3am in the morning when we had our 2 month old daughter who was breastfeeding, with us.

Once we got to Toronto we then had to get a full US tourist visa in order for her to cross the border at Niagara (which we did on average once a month whilst we lived in Toronto).
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