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Touring cyclist to be deported

Old 06-16-11, 09:37 PM
  #51  
manapua_man
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As much as what happened to him sucks, if I found myself in such a situation I'd really only have myself to blame for the whole mess.
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Old 06-16-11, 10:55 PM
  #52  
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I could say a lot here, but I won't. I live in Los Angeles and I could easily rain on everyone's parade here.
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Old 06-17-11, 01:49 AM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by Ciufalon View Post
I could say a lot here, but I won't. I live in Los Angeles and I could easily rain on everyone's parade here.
Well, what could you say? You are an illegal alien in the US? That's about all.

The reason why I posted originally in this thread is because... I have had the same experience as the guy in question. But... and this is the big but... when I was initially not permitted into Canada, I was able to return over the border to the US legally because the stamp on my passport said I still had more than two months left for my legal stay there. The conversation went like this:

"Why are you entering the US"

"The Canadians won't let me in until I provide them with proof of financial resources and a confirmed ticket out of Los Angeles on (date provided)."

"Hmmm... OK, you're still good with us".

It was very friendly (at the time, all our dealings with US border immigration officals were very cordial).

Machka and I ponied up the next day at the Canadian checkpoint and counted out $2,000 in $100 bills on the counter and provided a printout of my flight itinerary home to Australia. I was given a very formal looking, embossed sheet of paper with the requirements for my stay, including the departure date, and it was stapled into my passport.

We had driven all the way back from Iowa to the entry point south of Calgary, and hadn't thought to have our ducks in a row after criss-crossing the border without problem on the way over. Plus, the agent was very swift in picking up the phrase "my lady over there" when we were discussing what I intended to do in Canada.

The ultimate reasons for refused entry were: I gave the impression that I represented a risk of overtaying the permitted period, but did not have enough cash to cover the period, nor have proof of departure, and I was staying with "my lady's" parents

That is how I could see, without going to the second link, what had happened in this case.

However, my misadventure has on-going effects as far as my access to Canada goes. I have to front up with a very recent copy of my bank statement, I have to have a document that confirms employment (payslips or letter), and I have to have a copy of my flight itinerary that vacates me from Canada by the expiry of period I am eligible to be there.

This sort stuff goes straight on their computer system and stays there, and I gather, is circulated among other countries, including the US.

Visa issues related to entry to the US are nothing new in the media here. There have been cases where people such as music industry journos have not had the right visa to enter the US, and have relied instead on a tourist visa or equivalent; they have been sent home on the next flight. Once home, they have had to start again with applications for the correct visa.

To all those posters who complacently say the guy didn't do anything wrong, and they could have just let him go... do NOT carry that complacency on any trip to other countries you might decide to take. It will land you in a whole heap of trouble that could plague you for the rest of your life.

Last edited by Rowan; 06-17-11 at 02:01 AM.
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Old 06-17-11, 02:27 AM
  #54  
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Looks like a plain old civilian-purchased ticket from Seattle to Melbourne is $1250. I'd be surprised if the .gov can't get it a lot cheaper. They've probably already spent more than that on detaining and investigating. Put him on a plane, note his passport, and be done with it.
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Old 06-17-11, 04:18 AM
  #55  
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I am from the US, I live in the EU...

I have perm. res. status in Hungary... I can travel freely through the entire EU yet whenever I fly back from the US the US airlines often do not want to let me board becasue I have no onward ticket.

The reason is, if a pasanger arrives to a desitnation and is refused entry he will be put on the next plane home at airline expense! The gov. denying entry does not pay, the airline who let you get there does.

I have over stayed visas before by accident.. like leaving the last day of a visa and getting stuck in a snow storm, or a late arrival caused me to miss a connection and I had to wait 3 days til the next onward train in Mongolia - I was arrested in Ulaan Baator, then issued a tourist visa, then forced to stay in an expensive hotel....

point is regarding boarders, if you break the law, you could be forced to pay, it did not matter to the Mongoalians that i was not there because I decided to be there.... and they said if I had missed the train by 1 second instead fo 15 minutes the same thing would have happened to me....

On nearly every visit backto the US over the last 20 odd years i have seen ppl being deported or refused entry to the US... af riend was denied entry to Canada on a business trip.... on many occasions the boarder guards merely said *I do not want to let you in. I do not care if you have a valide visa/do not care if you do not need a visa. I am not letting you in....*

the immigration-entry laws are stupid in most places, but they are the law, we have to abide by them. If we do not, then we can be penalized.

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Old 06-17-11, 05:41 AM
  #56  
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Those who say it's the law, obey or suffer the consequences are of course right but they shouldn't get too moralistic.

It's against the law to travel on a fake or forged passport but government agents of the U.S., Israel and Russia have done that in the past. Irish passports forged by supposidly friendly governments.
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Old 06-17-11, 05:55 AM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
Well, what could you say? You are an illegal alien in the US? That's about all....
Thanks for sharing your story, Rowan.
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Old 06-17-11, 08:03 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by ctyler View Post
Words fail me.
Me too. Why didn't he ride faster?
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I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.


Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 06-17-11, 08:09 AM
  #59  
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One other thing to note after reading the second article: he had a 90 day visa. He overstayed his authorized time by 60 days. That's not a little oversight or a case of weather grounding his plane.

Respect the country you're visiting, regardless of whether or not you think their laws are archaic, and enjoy yourself. If you think you can pick and choose, then might I suggest you rent a copy of "Midnight Express"? (jk)
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Old 06-17-11, 10:15 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
Me too. Why didn't he ride faster?


Bottom line, obey the immigration laws, no matter how stupid or corrupt you might think they are.

Example: Entering Panama from Costa Rica. Agent looks at the bikes, looks at us, demands to see our departure documents. Departure documents? What departure documents? We were on bikes. None of the seven other countries we passed through on this trip required that. We told the agent we had reservations on a flight out of Costa Rica approximately two weeks later, and offered to show her the e-mail confirmation. She wouldn't accept that - she wanted documentation listing Panama as the point of departure. Total nonsense, considering our form of transportation. She would not let us into Panama unless we bought bus tickets from Sixaola to San Jose, tickets that we would, of course, never use. She knew it, and we knew it, but that's what we had to do. I wonder how much in kickbacks these agents receive from the bus company (conveniently located right at the border crossing)?
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Old 06-17-11, 11:03 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by simplygib View Post


Bottom line, obey the immigration laws, no matter how stupid or corrupt you might think they are.

Example: Entering Panama from Costa Rica. Agent looks at the bikes, looks at us, demands to see our departure documents. Departure documents? What departure documents? We were on bikes. None of the seven other countries we passed through on this trip required that. We told the agent we had reservations on a flight out of Costa Rica approximately two weeks later, and offered to show her the e-mail confirmation. She wouldn't accept that - she wanted documentation listing Panama as the point of departure. Total nonsense, considering our form of transportation. She would not let us into Panama unless we bought bus tickets from Sixaola to San Jose, tickets that we would, of course, never use. She knew it, and we knew it, but that's what we had to do. I wonder how much in kickbacks these agents receive from the bus company (conveniently located right at the border crossing)?
I think the idea was that you were supposed to bribe her.
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Old 06-17-11, 11:18 AM
  #62  
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This thread has enlightened me about my idea of riding up to Montreal for a few days. I will plan on bringing far more documentation than I had thought of earlier, just in case. It would suck to get 3/4 of the way there only to be turned around at the border.
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Old 06-17-11, 11:42 AM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Brontide View Post
This thread has enlightened me about my idea of riding up to Montreal for a few days. I will plan on bringing far more documentation than I had thought of earlier, just in case. It would suck to get 3/4 of the way there only to be turned around at the border.
If you are a US citizen, this won't be a problem. Bring a passport.
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Old 06-17-11, 11:45 AM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by Brontide View Post
This thread has enlightened me about my idea of riding up to Montreal for a few days. I will plan on bringing far more documentation than I had thought of earlier, just in case. It would suck to get 3/4 of the way there only to be turned around at the border.
Doubt you will have trouble crossing if you are an American citizen, have a clean record and will only be there a few days. But they may ask you a bunch of questions like they did to us two years ago just to make sure. One idea that comes to mind is to bring a recent pay stub, especially if you make a lot of money, and tell them "You think I would walk away from this to live in Canada?" The border guard asked what type of jobs we had. I think "lawyer" and "computer programmer" convinced them that we weren't going to be overstaying our welcome.
Note that you will need a passport to get back into the U.S.

Will you be crossing near Ritchford, VT? If so, I hear the Canadian side is gorgeous. I did a supported tour up there last year. Some of the group went that way to avoid a big climb.
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Old 06-17-11, 04:37 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
If you are a US citizen, this won't be a problem. Bring a passport.
And a receipt for your bicycle.
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Old 06-17-11, 05:13 PM
  #66  
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^ What if you bought it used 2 years ago?
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Old 06-17-11, 05:14 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Will you be crossing near Ritchford, VT? If so, I hear the Canadian side is gorgeous. I did a supported tour up there last year. Some of the group went that way to avoid a big climb.
I biked around Richford with some friends many years before 9/11. We took the detour into Quebec to avoid the big climb over Jay's Peak. I think we were biking in the river valley in Canada for only about an hour before we reached the Vermont border again. The border station was open but nobody was home! We walked around the post and yelled out, but nobody responded. So after standing around for a while, we hopped back on our bikes and proceeded into Vermont.

More recently, I was biking in the area north of Newport, Vermont, in Quebec. It is a very pretty area. A year or two later I was back in a car in northern Vermont, headed toward New Hampshire. When I had biked in Quebec I had eaten at a very nice little restaurant just 10 miles north of the border. I decided to stop in again for dinner, since it was a very small detour by car. The Canadian border official asked me why I wanted to enter Canada. I told him I wanted to eat dinner at a nice restaurant I knew nearby in Sainte-Catherine-de-Hatley. He didn't buy that answer, which points out one of the many differences between Quebec & France. Anyway, he asked me a lot more questions and carefully looked over my documents before he let me into Canada. A border guard in France would have likely waved me through while wishing me "bon appetit!".
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Old 06-17-11, 10:25 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Just guessing here but....Because he broke the law? And should we wait until someone who is in the country illegally harms someone before we do something about it? And I still don't see how the involvement of a bike has any meaningful bearing on anything. Sould countries around the world sdopt separate visa and related standard applicable to someone travelling by bike?
Not for nothing, but this statement is hyperbolic to say the least, and slipshod in its presentation. There are many people around the world, for example, who choose to cross borders illegally, in some cases risking their lives to leave homelands in conflict zones just to have a better way of life--is the next step logical step to harm someone else living that new country? I would say not.

Now, as for this guy, he's a tourist who made a mistake. For sure the guy should have been more careful.

Did he have malicious intent upon Canadian citizens? I'm just guessing here, but I would say unlikely (unless of course there is more to this story, but it doesn't seem to me at all consistent with what a tourist who just crossed a continent on a bicycle would intend on, but again, anything is possible).

Did he have malicious intent upon American citizens? As far as we know at this time, no. Did he fail to hold up his end of the contract in regard to US immigration. Yes. He clearly didn't do his job in ensuring he would leave within the time allotted to him when the visa was offered to him. He is in trouble for that. He will leave the country. End of story.
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Old 06-17-11, 11:10 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by thesearethesuns View Post
Not for nothing, but this statement is hyperbolic to say the least, and slipshod in its presentation. There are many people around the world, for example, who choose to cross borders illegally, in some cases risking their lives to leave homelands in conflict zones just to have a better way of life--is the next step logical step to harm someone else living that new country? I would say not.
I must have missed the part of the article describing the noble bicyclist's flight from conflict-torn Washington State, and his questing for asylum in the calm serenity of Vancouver.
 
Old 06-17-11, 11:17 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by Caretaker View Post
As an Irish person who lives in Ireland I'd like to point out that this happens also to U.S. citizens who visit Ireland. Sometimes they are turned back at the airport for not showing they can support themselves(don't arrive with a bike and $100)or sometimes they are told to leave when they overstay. Often they or their friends start media campaigns on their behalf sometimes sucessfully.
20 some years ago I knew a young woman who visited Ireland and stayed after her visa expired. She got a job at a pub and spent several months there before she got homesick and 'turned herself in' at the US embassy. I recall hearing they didn't give her too hard a time about it, but then again she had already her ticket back to the US in hand.
 
Old 06-18-11, 07:26 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by Neil_B View Post
I must have missed the part of the article describing the noble bicyclist's flight from conflict-torn Washington State, and his questing for asylum in the calm serenity of Vancouver.
Haha. If you had read the rest of the post, you would have understood that I wasn't trying to put the guy in a noble light at all. I simply pointed out the slippery slope fallacy of the writer I was quoting, and how it's careless to make assumptions about people, such as all people who trespass into a foreign territory are dangerous,ill willed, and/or violent.
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Old 06-18-11, 09:37 AM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by manapua_man View Post
I think the idea was that you were supposed to bribe her.
And cut the bus company out of the equation? How is that fair?

Speaking of bribes, earlier we had been stopped at a military check point in Nicaragua where a guard asked us to give him a cash donation for the "bone cancer fund." We pretended not to understand Spanish, and he finally gave up trying.
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Old 06-18-11, 10:01 AM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by Neil_B View Post
20 some years ago I knew a young woman who visited Ireland and stayed after her visa expired. She got a job at a pub and spent several months there before she got homesick and 'turned herself in' at the US embassy. I recall hearing they didn't give her too hard a time about it, but then again she had already her ticket back to the US in hand.
Why should anyone at the US embassy have given her a hard time? She wasn't breaking US law.

edit: I could see the US embassy officials admonishing her, but I'm curious why she went there at all. Perhaps for advice on how to extricate herself from the situation she created for herself?

Last edited by axolotl; 06-18-11 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 06-18-11, 10:41 AM
  #74  
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Everyone should also note that in addition to overstaying the limits of his legal stay, he was denied entry to Canada because he couldn't show a means to support himself. What money did he have on his 5 month stay in the US? Did he work odd jobs (and thereby violate the stated purpose of his stay) to get money to live on while touring?

Frankly, if he can't pay his own way back. Put him on a coast guard cutter. Give him a ride to the edge of US waters and deposit him in the ocean... There is absolutely no reason the US taxpayer should have to pay to get him home...
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Old 06-18-11, 10:50 AM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by myrridin View Post
Everyone should also note that in addition to overstaying the limits of his legal stay, he was denied entry to Canada because he couldn't show a means to support himself.
"Couldn't show" is different from "didn't have." Do you carry your bank statements with you on your bike? The girlfriend offered to go get copies of the relevant papers and be back in an hour, but for whatever reason, the border guard refused to allow that.
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