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And y’all were trippin’ on Arizona?

From the NY Fishwrapper:

The Lake Shore Limited runs between Chicago and New York City without crossing the Canadian border. But when it stops at Amtrak stations in western New York State, armed Border Patrol agents routinely board the train, question passengers about their citizenship and take away noncitizens who cannot produce satisfactory immigration papers.

“Are you a U.S. citizen?” agents asked one recent morning, moving through a Rochester-bound train full of dozing passengers at a station outside Buffalo. “What country were you born in?”

When the answer came back, “the U.S.,” they moved on. But Ruth Fernandez, 60, a naturalized citizen born in Ecuador, was asked for identification. And though she was only traveling home to New York City from her sister’s in Ohio, she had made sure to carry her American passport. On earlier trips, she said, agents had photographed her, and taken away a nervous Hispanic man.

He was one of hundreds of passengers taken to detention each year from domestic trains and buses along the nation’s northern border. The little-publicized transportation checks are the result of the Border Patrol’s growth since 9/11, fueled by Congressional antiterrorism spending and an expanding definition of border jurisdiction. In the Rochester area, where the border is miles away in the middle of Lake Ontario, the patrol arrested 2,788 passengers from October 2005 through last September.

The checks are “a vital component to our overall border security efforts” to prevent terrorism and illegal entry, said Rafael Lemaitre, a spokesman for United States Customs and Border Protection. He said that the patrol had jurisdiction to enforce immigration laws within 100 miles of the border, and that one mission was preventing smugglers and human traffickers from exploiting inland transit hubs.

The patrol says that answering agents’ questions is voluntary, part of a “consensual and nonintrusive conversation” Some passengers agree, though they are not told that they can keep silent. But others, from immigration lawyers and university officials to American-born travelers startled by an agent’s flashlight in their eyes, say the practice is coercive, unconstitutional and tainted by racial profiling.

My question is, how the f**k do they spot the Canadians?

(h/t Lambert)

92 Responses

  1. They took the sound out of this clip:

  2. I’m actually amazing at spotting Canadians. It’s my one actual skill, so if there’s any problem, I’m going to be our #1 national asset. I play Spot the Canadian at work all the time, and I can even easily distinguish between Canadians and British. No use even trying to hide amongst us, surrender immediately. I’ll pretend I don’t see Sandra or HT.

  3. Ain’t that the truth. I don’t remember the last time INS carried out an immigration sweep of Canadians here illegally.


    • Why would Candians want to come here illegally? They have it good where they are.

      • The weirdest thing is the astounding number of Canadians, Irish, and Kiwi illegals that we have here in our neighborhood. But, they all go home for major health care!!!

        I know an Irish guy that said anytime he needed to go to a hospital it was cheaper to fly home to Ireland and my Canadian friends down here always go back at least twice a year to exercise their health care cards even though the all either work down here or live down here most of the time.

        You’d be surprised. They just overstay their visitor visas all the time and seemed to never get caught by any one.

  4. They spot us by the “ehs”, eh.

  5. Seriously, don’t worry, I don’t cross the border anymore – the wait lines are too long, the inspections are not pleasant. While I love the people of the U.S., I am not a fan of the border crossing angst, although I do understand the need.

    • Well, if you change your mind, no worries. 😉

    • Last time I crossed the border into Canada and back, 1988 or so, there was really nothing to it. Now I’m nervous as to what it would entail just to visit my Canadian relatives.

      • I remember when we could go to Canada without a birth certificate and passport. Those were the good old days. I love Vancouver Island, British Columbia and Alberta.

        • Sure were. I have friends in the Montreal area and even used to hitchhike up there back in the 70s. Couldn’t do that now. (I certain;u wouldn’t do that now.)

          But the creepy thing in the article is that the train isn’t even leaving the US. So, to travel around within the US you have to carry a passport.

          • Technically, those of us who are non-citizens Do need to carry our papers with us at all times (although nobody I know Does). But I wouldn’t think that Canadian tourists (who can stay for up to 90 days) would have to.

          • The only way they know that I’m really a citizen is if I have my papers. I don’t imagine that I can simply respond with a polite, “I am a US citizen ad am not required by law to carry any papers.” I think they would escort me off the train, into a building, and then into the black box-like vehicle. So technically, we all have to carry our papers at all times. What the heck happened to this country?

          • A lot of countries require papers, though. And not just the undemocratic ones.

      • My friend took my oldest daughter who looks quite Japanese over the border for a day in Victoria about 8 years ago. They had a terrible time getting her back in to the USA. The US border patrol thought she looked suspicious. I guess they didn’t recognize the born in Omaha accent and at the time and I’m not sure she had her driver’s license with her or not. They thought she was being snuck across the border for some nefarious reasons. I was appalled when I heard that story.

  6. Who knew that I could find something good (potentially) that Obumbles did while in office!! Wonders never cease…..


    In fairness to Obumbles (and please note, I am ABSOLUTELY NOT A FAN), I have to give him credit for this one. Sentencing guidelines for drug offenders are some of the most injust practices of this judicial system. A top to bottom review, ESPECIALLY of the sentencing guidelines governing drug usage related crimes, is long overdue.

    That said, knowing Obumbles, there is something behind this. There is no way of knowing what since, as the article stated, this was signed in secret and no questions were asked or statements made (YAAY transparency!!).

    So until I know what is IN the bill, I’m going to give the pres the benefit of the doubt…..

    • Personally, I don’t trust Obama at all. Decreasing the crack disparity is great, but it only went from 100:1 to 18:1, so it’s not exactly earth-shattering. And with the Admin already on record saying this doesn’t apply retroactively and the Prez has no intention of commuting anyone’s sentence as a result, it sounds like the activists are once again using him as a rorschack, reading in what they want to believe instead of listening to what they’re saying. God knows they probably will reduce the sentencing guidelines for child porn while leaving nonviolent drug guidelines that should be reduced intact, because why not, he’s going for a perfect record here.

      • However, if I’m wrong, I will give him credit, it just seems like every single time he might just be on the verge of doing the right thing, it ends up not happening.

        • From your lips to God’s ears. The rhetoric is always that something good is being legislated, e.g. health care reform, economic stimulus, consumer protection, etc, only for us to find out that it is all smoke and mirrors. I always hope that something positive might come out of his actions, but I always plan that nothing will. Sadly, my planning so far has been correct and my hope is at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico surrounded by oil…..

          But, until I know otherwise, maybe this might be a good moment for the country during this joke of a presidency……

      • It’s gotta be about voting and the up coming mid-terms. I’m such a cynic.

        • Agreed. I’ll bet anything he’s polling low with AAs, and since they’re the ones who are overwhelmingly boned by these unfair laws, I suspect that’s why he’s doing this. He can’t afford the embarrassment of record-low AA voter turnout during the tenure of the 1st historically historic Black President.

      • One thing that is easy to predict: Obama will never do anything earth shattering unless it’s a complete accident. He is the most cautious politician evah!

    • interesting: TalkLeft has this:


      Shorter version: Don’t look to Obama for help in making the crack cocaine penalty reductions retroactive to help those already serving the unfair, draconian sentences: ….

      But a small step in the right direction …

      • I wish they’d do a lot more rehab for crack addicts. If you’ve ever been in a community effected by crack addicts, I’m not so sure you’d see this as a victory. Same with meth addicts. We just need a different approach to all drug addicts. I’d rather have drug safe havens where we can give them what they need until we can rehab them and identify any of them with children so we can intervene with the children too. Locking them up does us no good but throwing them back out in the community isn’t helpful either.

    • Well, that should certainly free up some prison cells for the unruly peasants.

  7. A little OT:

    I musta missed the part of The One’s press conference where he said, when asked about the cost curve of health insurance:


    Well, we KNEW healthcare costs would go up. You can’t add 30 million people to the rolls without costs going up!! (With an “Excuse me” look on his face)

    WTF??? He KNEW? That’s not what he said when “selling” the new program.

    Razzle dazzle, eh?

  8. I think I remember an article from the fish wrapper about Obama’s INS raids being “non-intrusive” – everywhere – B0bots were squealing in delight at such ingenuity.
    Here are your tabloids for today

  9. Canadians don’t come here to work or get provided medical care as they can surely get that at home. The main reason they come here is to get in a good chuckle and then go home.

    • They do have things better in their own country.

    • There are Canadians who come here to work, both legally and illegally. There are a tiny few who come for medical care, but those people are almost universally getting elective surgeries or are being sent and paid for by the Canadian Government.

      • Paid medicine in the US is better (or at least has better luxuries) if you’re willing to pay out-of-pocket.

      • They export a lot of specialist doctors to us, that’s for sure. Canadian doctors that have specialties love to come to the US where they can make huge amounts of money.

  10. OK, this one comes from the right, but it’s based on a video. Can anyone explain what Obama meant by “they died at our will” – referring to the suicide bombers?

  11. If you’re lookin for Canadians, just check out South Florida in the Winter and listen for French speaking people?????? They do all look alike though. The women have short blonde haircuts and the menfolk have the usual beer bellies. They complain alot and are lousy tippers. Where’s the INS when you really need them?

    • hey ….

      I think tip policy may be different. I hear in US, waiters could make as little as $3/hr and tips are expected to make the difference.


    • I beg you not to judge all Canadians by the Snowbirds.

      • That’s what I used to say about Californians when I used to go to Europe a lot … they were always the ones in the loud polyester running suits or shirts talking equally loud, for some reason.

  12. I forgot to add that you can spot them from afar cause the men will be wearing tiny bikinis.

    • We’re not all like that – honest! There are socially inept people in every country – Unfortunately, Florida gets more of ours than is fair. I saw the same thing when I was down there and was truly embarassed.

  13. Border Patrol looks out of control… the massive presence of these guys along the southern border on major routes, such as interstate 10, is perfectly spooky…

    now they are stopping buses and trains on the northern border? dragging people off without proper papers?


    my first reaction is “what has happened to my country?”

    • I’ve been wondering that for almost 10 years now.

    • I saw that happen at Niagara Falls, N.Y. They came on train with guns and dogs. They took a wee little old woman off the train, into a building. Then they took her out of the building, bundled her into a black box-like vehicle, and drove away with her.

  14. Obots just never cease to amaze me. It is never, ever, ever Obama’s responsibility. Now, poor Bambi, is the victim of global and historical forces. But the conveniently forget and ignore the main premise of his candidacy: that he was different from anyone who had come before, and transcended all of those limitations. He was going to be able to do things that no other president was capable of doing. The delusion never stops, because if they tell the truth, they have to admit their own liability for creating this train wreck.

    The Presidency, Chained to the World
    By Matt Bai


  15. This gets local press because in my area as I do live on the Canadian border. One more way the terrorists have won.

    Canadians are an extremely important part of the local economy. While many malls have closed during the recession or are half empty, local area malls are 99% and 100% full. If a retailer closes, there is a waiting list for the mall space. The Niagara Falls Factory Mall Outlet is crammed on the weekends. You can’t even get a parking spot. It is line after line of Ontario plates.

    Canada is super expensive for goods, and seldom offers sales. With Canadian money on par or better the last few years, WNY has been a mecca for Canadians seeking out retail deals.

    You can spot a Canadian here because they are all super skinny (too expensive to eat in Canada), say “eh” a lot, and dump all their worn clothes in the middle of the parking lot when they change (to avoid duty on those clothes) instead of in a trash can or local GoodWill Center. For such a clean country, many Canadians sure do not mind pigging-up the American side of the border.

    To facility border crossing, US and Canadians that frequently border-cross can apply for a nexus card. When crossing in Niagara Falls, there is a dedicated bridge for nexus card holders (everyone in the car must have a nexus card). It is basically like an ez pass where is is scanned as someone enters and leaves, no inspection necessary…. although reading now they want a retinal scan too when you apply? Absolutely nuts. (This was not a requirement years ago)

    • facilitate, not facility

    • Your description of Canada and Canadians is totally at odds with my experience of Canadians and Canada. Some stuff is more expensive in Canada, but that’s mostly because shipping stuff across the border is expensive and GST and PST add to the cost. Canadians tend to be less fat than Americans, but also, in my experience, less unhealthily skinny. I have only heard about one in a thousand Canadians say “eh”, especially not Ontarians, and I’d be fucking SHOCKED to see a Canadian dump their clothes in the middle of a parking lot.

      Just saying.

      • The first Canadian I talked to in Toronto said “eh,” so it’s common if not universal. If enough Canadians cross the border to avois their sales tax, there will be RCMP checking them at the border soon.

      • You’d be in for some huge shocks at the area malls then sandress.

        Just saying.

  16. “How do they spot the Canadians?”

    They are trying to get out of the US?

    They have health care?

  17. News post up.

  18. I thought yesterday made me sad, MIQ. But this story really does. Perfect movie clip for the times we are in. Really. I didn’t see it, but you couldn’t have picked a more perfect clip.

    For some reason, yesterday I really remembered the events of that day so long ago. A friend called me very early in the morning and said “turn on your TV.”

    I went to my yoga class and we all cried. Then I saw two clients back to back at the agency where I was working. One was a Vietnam vet, and one was a woman who had fled here seeking political asylum. You cannot imaging the feeling of having to listen to both of them, that day. It haunts me still.

    Sends hugs to Conf.

    Also, I read something over at NQ yesterday, two things. I like to follow Larry, because he knows things. A comment I saw was very questionable. Maybe it was a troll? But if it was he will take care of that.

    Yesterday was just plain sad. I wish the politicians would quit arguing and address the real issues going on in our country. I really do. One wonders, MIQ should we carry our passports? State to state? Dunno.

  19. This has to be the topper after yesterday for me. It really does. I just found it by accident. Geez.


    Exile is where I am. As a Dem.

    I believed in these guys. I did.

    • Whitewater? They bring up Whitewater??? After three SEC investigations and a special prosecutor concluded that the Clintons:

      a) did nothing wrong. and
      b) were themselves swindled out of tens of thousands of dollars by Jim MacDougal

      Sheesh. They never friggin’ give up, do they?

    • Obviously somebody’s still really scared of Hillary!

      • In terms of that film I meant Gore and Moore. I believed in Moore, way more than Gore. ps: Soros is someone I learned about from reading NQ. Check him out? As for Hillary, I still believe in her. I do.

        But not Moore or Gore. Nope. Not after that vid. Not after Gore/Corexit.

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