Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Visiting the Holy Grail

A YouTube recording I recently watched brought to mind the thought that many people in the US --or at least border officials-- might think outsiders consider the USA to be the Holy Grail.

US-Canada border crossing via Wikipedia
I've had my own experiences that testify to the ludicrous nature of US border officials, but I must agree that the attitude of the Canadian man in the linked recording was definitely confrontational almost from the start.  In fact when you consider that the recording was likely made in anticipation of something happening, you might wonder if it was done in order to deliberately provoke some kind of reaction.  After all, why would a completely innocent person, who had absolutely no agenda, even want to record such an event unless, perhaps, they had been continually subjected to unpleasant treatment in the past.

A great number of US officials who I have had contact with have been so much less welcoming than they might have been leading me to wonder if the DHS has an unstated mandate to disingratiate as many visitors as possible.

In fairness, however, take note that this video is about 3 years old, and earlier this year I was surprised at how pleasantly we were processed when we arrived at the immigration inspection when passing through the Dallas-Fort Worth airport.  On the flight which took us to DFW airport, a video was shown which depicted a warm welcome being given to arriving visitors by US border personnel and I commented to my wife that I'd be amazed if what we were to experience was even half as pleasant as what the video portrayed.  In fact, I was so favourably impressed by the improvement we experienced that I even complimented the official who processed our entry.

While I'd still think that there's too much of a hassle for passengers in-transit, now, at least there is a glimmer of hope that visitors to the US might not need to be afraid of one-day being water-boarded just for stepping on the soil of the USA.

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