I appreciate the courteous and intelligent replies!
In an attempt to find out why AAA nor the U.S. Border agents did not know or warn us about any issues as to what might even be a problem crossing into Canada, I found some new information this morning.
The U.S. Customs Border Patrol can search you and everything you have, without a warrant.
When you call their phone number, you get a message stating the U.S. will not tell or suggest what is or is not allowed entry into another Country and you are to contact their consulate in Washington, D.C. 877-CBP-5511
This is about as bizarre as gun permits being offered or sold by a Sheriff in the U.S., without any regulations, guidelines or official documents to abide by, not being provided to anyone with a CCW. At least that is how it goes here in Pa.
I've carried since 1979 and it was not until questions starting coming up, whether or not a photo copy of the gun permit was allowed, did I find it was not. I spent weeks investigating what exactly the Law was in Pa., and could not get an answer from any Law Enforcement Agency, including the agency that provides the permits. I still do not have any written policy as to what is or is not allowed.
There is even a statement from Canada which does not allow you to cross the border with a certain type of wood. I was unable to paste their attachments to the post.
"You could've researched the laws of candadia first, but with so many jurisdictions and their varied laws, knowing and complying with them all is impractical.
This is absolutely correct!
We were not wearing sunglasses and both our modular helmets were open. We had nothing to hide.
"Had you been able to film this entire thing, had you gotten the names of the agents, had you filed a complaint, had you sued them, etc., the people you feel wronged you would not have been held accountable, and you're unlikely to have received any satisfaction at all."
I would venture a guess and say this is correct. I have gathered way too many replies from people from across the U.S. and Canada, all with very similar stories. I believe these people are put there as deterrents to keep people out of their Country. Apparently, it is working. I just wish I had known that prior to making the trip as I could have rather enjoyed myself and stayed within the U.S., and had a much more pleasant experience.
Here are some excerpts from other sites, mail and e-mails (some edited due to length):
I've heard many stories, such as yours over the last couple of decades. As Canada has become more socialistic, and 'protective' of their, similar to the UK's, non self-protection mandates, crossing into Canada has become much the same as crossing into the old iron curtain countries of Europe.
Canada may speak a language similar to ours but is, after all, a foreign country.
Canada is not the only country getting back at us . . . .
The more that Homeland Security does to "PROTECT" us the more the rest of the world will follow suit.
Other countries do not like their citizens being treated like criminals without due cause.
It will only get worst as long as "Homeland Security" is around and using scanning and pat-downs to make us look and feel safe.
I have only been to Canada three times. Once I went to Windsor with my family when I was in High School. Another time was back in the Fall of 1990 when I went to Toronto with several co-workers for some work related meetings. And the last time was in the Summer of 1999, when I went to a company picnic at my boss's cottage in LaSalle, Ontario, across the river from Detroit. None of those times was I impressed with the country. Since then, Canada has continued to follow the UK's lead into socialism, denying all citizens their rights to defend themselves and their loved ones, and treating U.S. citizens like dirt. Therefore I have no desire to ever again go back to Canada. There are plenty of beautiful places in this country that I can visit without having to spend my hard earned cash in places that do not respect my God given rights.
Just another sign of how messed up our world has become.
Back in the early 70's when I was living outside of Detroit with my cousins there were many a night that we took the tunnel into Canada. As far as any border crossing I do not even remember one, if in fact there was one it was no more than a wave and smile.
In the late 90's when I drove a truck over the road, the company told us how bad it could be going into and out of Canada.
They said things like "You might get in but you may not get out". They also said if we had even one DUI in our past that they would know it and not allow us entry. They said the Canadians would basically know our entire past history and said that they had in the past had drivers held simply over having knives in their trucks.
We were paid extra $$ to make any trips up there and as much as I could have used it, I put myself on a list to never be dispatched over the border, not because I had any past to fear but I did have my trusty Buck 110 pocket knife and I simply did not want to take the risk that I would get stuck there over that. It wasn't like I had a machete but it isnt a real small knife either. I simply would not go. They made it sound too scary.
And to think they are supposed to be our good neighbors?
Sometimes.....well a lot of times these days it seems as if I have lived two completely different lives in two completely different countries and worlds.
I know it wont change anything but I sure do hate that your long planned trip was ruined that way and I sure dont blame you for not wanting to ever try to go back.
Thanks for the info. Sorry your trip turned out badly. I don't plan to go there.
14 years ago crossed from NY To Niagra falls Ontario. 12 midnight myself, wife 2 kids in a 36' flat nosed bus motor home. Made the mistake of acknowledging that I do in fact own guns but didn't have any of them with me. 45 min later the buffoon at the border let us pass but not before threatening to dismantle the motorhome to find the guns. Haven't been back to Canada since nor do I ever plan to in the future. I'm not some gun toting hillbilly by any means but Ifelt like I was being harassed as if I was.
To file a complaint electronically:
BTW, This did not work. I spent hours writing the complaint, sent it via their auto submission which does not provide an address, and was sent a message it could not be read. I did however use the phone number to finally get patched to the Rainbow Bridge facility.
My first trip to Canada (I only lived about 3 miles from the border at the time) took about 3 hours to get across the border. When asked where I was coming from I said "What? oh Washington" (DUH) they told me to pull over to customs. When they found out my 11 year old daughter and I don't have the same last name they went nuts, separated us, interrogated her about who am I and is she OK, meanwhile the other "agents" had removed the seats from my car and were going through everything i had. The entire time they were talking to me like I am some kind of escaped felon. When they didn't find anything and FINALLY got through to my daughters mom in AZ they decided I could then repack my stuff and go on my way. Definately my last trip over the border.
I'm so sorry to hear of your lousy treatment by these not-so-civil servants. I hope the foul taste of this encounter goes away quickly.
Ah yes, my last visit to the great white north was July 2010. It seems there must be a standard list of questions that must be answered when entering the county to the North.
Sorry to hear of your experience. I must say though that the treatment does go in both directions. I won't go into all of the details but pre- passport requirement days many years ago, I once visited Niagara,CA. Upon my return I had the most horrible experience with a U.S. Customs agent despite showing 2 forms of govenrment issued photo ID he was yelling at me about not carrying a birth certificate. Well that's the short version anyway. Glad your bike treated you well.
I've had two people share this same experience, one was a retired LEO.
Funny thing is that I feel their side of the bridge is the side that is overboard.
The United Staters are used to being worshiped by the lower entities of the earth. As the respect dwindles for the newest member to the Banana Republic, United Staters will have an immense readjustment in the way the world perceives them or tolerates them.
Anyways lately I have found the American border crossing to be more pleasant than my return to Canada. There is no doubt an increase in the number of asshats that we have operating our border.
My wife and I were denied entry into Canada in 2002 at a crossing in Montana. We were verbally abused by a female agent. We arrived at the crossing without our helmets on. She had nasty comments about that. Upon seeing we were from Texas she said "I know you own guns. Where are they?" When I told her I left them at home she wanted to know why. We suffered about an hour of abuse before they told us we couldn't enter because my wife had a previous DWI. They don't allow felons in Canada. (The DWI is a misdemeanor in Texas) The final insult was making us sign papers that stated we decided on our own we didn't want to visit Canada after all.
Screw Canada. And screw all you Canadians with a holier than thou attitude.
Being harassed by a border guard while coming into canada. Try bringing in a small bottle of alieve. And we are Canadian and it was a
at the Canadian border by a Canadian border service bit.. with blond hair. Talk about pms ing. she was such a lying bit.. that we lost our nexus cards. Since i travell to the us 3 to 4 times a week minimum i need that card to beat the lineups. Well needless to say after some complaints our cards were returned to us toot sweet as the guard fu..ed up royally.
so to get turned back by having bear spray, we lost nexus cards due to a pain remedy alieve. also a total car search and lots of useless threats. We should have complained right then and there but zipping the lip in some cases like this is the better part of valor.
Disapointed in you, Brian. Never thought you'd stoop to calling someone on here those names. This is just another thread showing that the bar on this board has been lowered.
I have been through almost as many customs inspections as Dan (MD11Pilot) and I can say that without a doubt that the biggest azzes that I've encountered have been right here in the good ole USofA. I've been called a liar and threatened with legal action more than once. But each time I walked away without a scratch because I remained courteous and secure in knowing that I had followed all the rules and had done nothing wrong. These guys just had a bug up their butt because they had to come to the airport after hours or had to leave their a/c office or they were just mad at the world that day. Everyone is entitled to a bad day at the office every once in a while but when they have some power sometimes it goes to their heads.
But I did have a run in with a Canadian Customs agent (Herbie Hay) back in '82. He beat me so severely that it was weeks before I recovered. Only later did I find out that he was the champion at the local country club. That was one long 18 holes of golf. That and the GD black flies ate my azz up.
My advise is if your going to play the game know the rules. If you break the rules just be ready for what happens next. But remain courteous and respectful and it will all be over soon. They don't want to spend all day hassling you when there are so many others out there that need their special attention too.
I used to go into Canada to do some training. I'd fly into Buffalo, NY & the trainer would pick me up & take me across the border to the training site. Keep in mind this is a man who crosses the border often as I'm certainly not even close to his only student. My first trip in, he mutters under his breath as we approach the border. His wife gave me a little bit of an embarrassed look. He asks for my identification & told me to only speak if the border guard spoke to me & be very careful to keep it as close to one word answers as possible. The guards were all women but 2 & it's probably the rudest experience I've ever had. I got the light shinned in my eyes. They did the same to my dog. A lot of rude talk including - what seemed to me like - trying to provoke a snarky response. I really think the only reason we got through without problem is because I was with 2 canadian citizens. Would I go through the border on my own... NOPE... not after that. Later after we were thru he told me he wasn't trying to be sexist but it was his experience that the female border agents seemed to have something to prove & it was often ugly. My response was simple, "they give women a bad name" Don't care what they think their excuse was, we were compliant, we answered all questions asked, no one was trying to hide anything & we were being harrassed & abused every chance they got.
I have a friend who was basically robbed by border patrol. Her car got searched & while they had her off to the side, her emergency money that she had hidden in the car... disappeared. Another time she went through she ended up having to pay some huge fee for bringing something into country that they were convinced was for sale. The items weren't for sale, they didn't belong to her she was returning them to their rightful owner. But basically if she wanted to go she had to pay.
I've heard a lot of stories like yours & am of the opinion that both countries would be safer if they jailed the criminals & extortionist at the border patrol (as a side note, never saw this from the US border patrol folks). I understand that there are rules to be followed when you go into another country however that is not license to behave like that.
As an international traveler, you should be aware of the rules for bringing items back from your trip.
- Know Before You Go: Regulations for International Travel by U.S. Residents
In the words of Frederick Douglas,
"Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."