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Coming to America

brian_eggleston
Posts: 3,347
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6/3/2011 9:51:21 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
As a British Citizen, if I wish to visit the United States I am obliged to complete an online questionnaire as part of the US Department of Homeland Security's Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).

https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov...

One of the questions I am asked is:

"Have you ever been or are you now involved in espionage or sabotage; or in terrorist activities; or genocide; or between 1933 and 1945 were you involved, in any way, in persecutions associated with Nazi Germany or its allies?"

Just for a laugh, I checked the "Yes" box and, to my surprise, a pop-up appeared which read: "Are you sure you wish to answer yes to this question? DHS recommends you read the "Help" section of this site before proceeding with your application."

But there's nothing in the "Help" Section to assist spies, terrorists, mass-murders and elderly fascists who are planning trips to America, although there is advice for visitors "seeking entry to engage in criminal or immoral activities."

https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov...

I wonder if anyone has ever replied "Yes" to those questions, other than as a joke?
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RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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6/3/2011 12:31:49 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I doubt anyone has ever answered "yes" to the question. I suspect that the reason for it is that is there is so a false answer can be used to deport someone. For example, suppose Osama bin Laden's twin brother Darryl is discovered in the country on a properly issued tourist visa. He can be removed only if he has committed some infraction, like lying on the visa application.

Incidentally, US customs and Immigration is positively charming compared to the comparable Canadian service.
nonentity
Posts: 5,008
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6/3/2011 12:44:54 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/3/2011 12:31:49 PM, RoyLatham wrote:

Incidentally, US customs and Immigration is positively charming compared to the comparable Canadian service.

Please explain this? I'm genuinely curious. I know our policies and procedures are retarded, I'm just wondering why you're saying it and if it's for a different reason.
brian_eggleston
Posts: 3,347
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6/4/2011 5:34:20 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/3/2011 9:47:16 PM, Merda wrote:
I thought this was a forum about that Eddie Murphy movie. I have been let down. Thanks a lot Brian.

Oh no! I've been rumbled! I've been attracting people to this thread using false pretences.

And, yes, you used to get asked if you had ever been a member of the communist party or had communist sympathies when applying for a visa on arrival, but they've taken that question out now - I believe it was deemed unconstitutional.
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innomen
Posts: 10,052
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6/21/2011 8:45:05 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/4/2011 5:34:20 AM, brian_eggleston wrote:
At 6/3/2011 9:47:16 PM, Merda wrote:
I thought this was a forum about that Eddie Murphy movie. I have been let down. Thanks a lot Brian.

Oh no! I've been rumbled! I've been attracting people to this thread using false pretences.

And, yes, you used to get asked if you had ever been a member of the communist party or had communist sympathies when applying for a visa on arrival, but they've taken that question out now - I believe it was deemed unconstitutional.

Don't know that the constitution would apply to foreigners looking to visit. Even when here you have some limited rights and restrictions.