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Is going across Buffalo border difficult?

Is going across Buffalo border difficult?

Old Feb 4th 2001, 12:08 pm
  #1  
Sam Lai
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Hi,

I am actively trying to find out how difficult it is to get across the US border to
Buffalo. My aunt tried to come to the US to visit us by air yesterday, but her return
ticket is May, so they suspect she won't return Canada. She was refused to let in. I told
her she should try go across the border by car, but she say the officials have warned her
not to do that. The officials said if she tried to go by car, she won't be able to come in
US for whatever reasons for 20 years. She's kind of afraid. There is no sign on the
passport indicates her fail attempt, but it's in the computer system. If the officials
enters her passport into the system, then they'll catch her. But I have heard, those
ground officials don't even check passport. Even if they have time to look at it, it won't
be a problem. We are just afraid they'll enter her passport number in the system to verify
her. Can you give me a few advices? My aunt is Canadian citizen, many people said she
doesn't need passport to go across, is that the law or just a custom? What route is the
smoothiest? And what time during the week is the best to get through?

Thank you for your precious time, thank you very very much....

Sam Lai
 
Old Feb 5th 2001, 7:47 pm
  #2  
Ingo
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:

>Hi,
>
>I am actively trying to find out how difficult it is to get across the US border to
>Buffalo. My aunt tried to come to the US to visit us by air yesterday, but her return
>ticket is May, so they suspect she won't return Canada. She was refused to let in. I told
>her she should try go across the border by car, but she say the officials have warned her
>not to do that.

I second that. She needs to fix the problem that caused her to be denied admission. I
doubt it's the May return ticket per se because a four-month visit to the US is
permissible for tourists.

(I am assuming that she is a Canadian citizen - if not, the situation can be quite
different!)

>The officials said if she tried to go by car, she won't be able to come in US for
>whatever reasons for 20 years.

That is nonsense. Maybe she was just unfortunate and got an INS officer who was
incompetent - it almost sounds like it. If she does try to come to the US by car, one of
many things can happen. The most likely is that she'll be stopped at the booth and asked
for citizenship. As soon as she states "Canadian" she'll be waved through. Moreover, at
this point, she'd be entirely legally in the US (unless she lied about her citizenship,
of course!)

It's also possible that the officer asks about the purpose of the visit. As long as she
answers all questions honestly, and if asked also tells him that she has been denied
admission before, the worst that is likely to happen is that she will be denied
admission again.

It is also *possible* (but very rare in these situations) that she will not be denied
admission, but rather put into a procedure called "Expedited Removal" That would be fairly
serious. It's a full-blown deportation legally, except that she would not have any rights
to appeal (normally, deportation involves a trial, judge, lawyers etc., but expedited
removal bypasses any legal remedies.)

After expedited removal, she would be banned from the US for, I believe, five years, but
she may be able to obtain a waiver.

>She's kind of afraid. There is no sign on the passport indicates her fail attempt, but
>it's in the computer system. If the officials enters her passport into the system, then
>they'll catch her. But I have heard, those ground officials don't even check passport.
>Even if they have time to look at it, it won't be a problem. We are just afraid they'll
>enter her passport number in the system to verify her. Can you give me a few advices? My
>aunt is Canadian citizen, many people said she doesn't need passport to go across, is
>that the law or just a custom?

She does need proof of citizenship - either a passport or a birth certificate or
certificate of naturalization. Often, a driver's license or no document at all are
accepted, but that is not the law (in fact, you could run into trouble in the US - here in
Southern California, INS stops drivers and sometimes asks for the passports).

>What route is the smoothiest? And what time during the week is the best to get through?

I don't think you should plan it around the idea of "hiding in the crowds". The best time
to cross is probably the most reasonable time. Somebody crossing the border at 1 AM will
be more suspicious than somebody crossing at noon. Plus, the officers are more bored at 1
AM and spend more time examining her.

Other than that, any time is probably as good as the next. The best thing is probably to
plan for something outside rush hour (not because of INS, but simply because she won't
have to wait as long), but other than that I would not recommend anything special.

Incidentally, the border crossing is actually not in Buffalo but in Niagara Falls. The
last time I was there, the bridge was a toll bridge (probably still is), and officers
indeed were bored stiff and waved everybody through - even me with my foreign passport (I
did have the proper paperwork). It's been a couple years, and with the recent terrorism
fears, I hear that security along the Canadian border has been tightened a bit, so thing
may have changed.

Ingo

I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. For reliable advice, please consult with a
professional immigration attorney.

For further information, check the following frequently-requested links.

For many questions, you may find answers at http://travel.state.gov/visa_services.html
(Department of State)

or http://ins.usdoj.gov (INS).

For consular policies and visa reciprocity fees, find your consulate in
http://travel.state.gov/links.html

For DOL Faxback status information: http://workforcesecurity.doleta.gov/

For information on affidavit of support for marriage to US citizens (I-864), go to
http://travel.state.gov/i864gen.html and http://travel.state.gov/checklist.html

For information on entering the US as a K-1: http://www.k1poelist.com/

For poverty levels, see http://aspe.os.dhhs.gov/poverty/00poverty.htm

For information on H/L/O/P visa extensions at Dept. of State in St. Louis, MO, see
http://travel.state.gov/revals.html

For non-official information, check:

(When using these sites, and any Web sites, please watch out for privacy, as I do not know
all site operators.)

http://www.visalaw.com http://www.shusterman.com http://www.immigration.com
http://members.aol.com/MDUdall http://www.murthy.com/ http://www.getusavisa.com
http://greencard-lottery.virtualave.net/ http://www.jcvisa.com (H-1B)
http://www.h1bresources.com (marriage and fiancee) http://www.kamya.com/misc/ (marriage
and fiancee) http://www2.apex.net/users/thehydes http://www.formshome.com
http://www.workpermit.com

This is not an endorsement of any of these Web sites. I am not affiliated with any of the
Web site owners and do not receive nor accept payment in return for listing them, and
typically don't even know them.

(if believe you have a good immigration-related Web site and want your Web site listed
here, please e-mail me).
 
Old Feb 6th 2001, 6:18 am
  #3  
Agresao
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Hi,

Ingo, you wrote:

> (in fact, you could run into trouble in the US - here in Southern California, INS stops
> drivers and sometimes asks for the passports).

Is this legal? Does the ins have that power (stop a car?) Is there any paragraph of the
law stating that as an alien in the us, one should always carry his passport with him?

Thanks
 
Old Feb 6th 2001, 6:49 pm
  #4  
Dario Delgado
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I think it is legal within 100 miles of the US border. I think INS has the authority to
stop vehicles that they suspect could be transporting illegal aliens. How do they
determine a suspect vehicle is another story...... and they don't ask for passports
point blank.

> Hi,
>
> Ingo, you wrote:
>
> > (in fact, you could run into trouble in the US - here in Southern California, INS
> > stops drivers and sometimes asks for the passports).
>
> Is this legal? Does the ins have that power (stop a car?) Is there any paragraph of the
> law stating that as an alien in the us, one should always carry his passport with him?
>
> Thanks
 
Old Feb 11th 2001, 3:43 pm
  #5  
Ingo
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

>> (in fact, you could run into trouble in the US - here in Southern California, INS stops
>> drivers and sometimes asks for the passports).
>
>Is this legal? Does the ins have that power (stop a car?) Is there any paragraph of the
>law stating that as an alien in the us, one should always carry his passport with him?

Yes, as an alien you are always required to carry documentation of your legal status -
either your passport and I-94, or your Green Card. I did get stopped once on such a
checkpoint. After a warning, the INS officer let me pass without my papers.

As for the legality of these checkpoints: this is a constant source of debate. Many
things, such as discrimination, civil rights, racial profiling etc. play into that debate
on the one hand, and the right (and obligation) of the government to enforce immigration
laws on the other. As far as I know, the legal theory behind these checkpoints has been
tested quite thoroughly.

Ingo

I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. For reliable advice, please consult with a
professional immigration attorney.

For further information, check the following frequently-requested links.

For many questions, you may find answers at http://travel.state.gov/visa_services.html
(Department of State)

or http://ins.usdoj.gov (INS).

For consular policies and visa reciprocity fees, find your consulate in
http://travel.state.gov/links.html

For DOL Faxback status information: http://workforcesecurity.doleta.gov/

For information on affidavit of support for marriage to US citizens (I-864), go to
http://travel.state.gov/i864gen.html and http://travel.state.gov/checklist.html

For information on entering the US as a K-1: http://www.k1poelist.com/

For poverty levels, see http://aspe.os.dhhs.gov/poverty/00poverty.htm

For information on H/L/O/P visa extensions at Dept. of State in St. Louis, MO, see
http://travel.state.gov/revals.html

For non-official information, check:

(When using these sites, and any Web sites, please watch out for privacy, as I do not know
all site operators.)

http://www.visalaw.com http://www.shusterman.com http://www.immigration.com
http://members.aol.com/MDUdall http://www.murthy.com/ http://www.getusavisa.com
http://greencard-lottery.virtualave.net/ http://www.jcvisa.com (H-1B)
http://www.h1bresources.com (marriage and fiancee) http://www.kamya.com/misc/ (marriage
and fiancee) http://www2.apex.net/users/thehydes http://www.formshome.com
http://www.workpermit.com

This is not an endorsement of any of these Web sites. I am not affiliated with any of the
Web site owners and do not receive nor accept payment in return for listing them, and
typically don't even know them.

(if believe you have a good immigration-related Web site and want your Web site listed
here, please e-mail me).
 

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