Men with guns.
Shame on the U.S. Border Patrol for seizing car keys and passports without explanation and deliberately making citizens and tourists feel like criminals. I was inspected yet again, this time while crossing from Sarnia into Port Huron. These officers always go the extra mile, crafting every statement into an accusation or threat.
Officer #1: “Turn off the engine and step out of the vehicle.”
Officer #2: “Who said you can open the door?”
It’s shocking how quickly you can go from the safe interior of your car to standing in a stainless steel room surrounded by men with guns, not knowing what will happen to you next. If any interaction with the government demands courtesy and professionalism, it ought to be when an armed public servant is holding your passport while his colleagues comb through your personal belongings without pretext. Instead, our nation’s borders are patrolled by steroids with sidearms, men who snap gum in your face and flex their power out of sheer boredom, demanding fear and gratitude rather than earning our trust.
After forty-five minutes, Officer #1 threw my passport on the stainless steel counter and walked away. “You can go.” Since 2001, this has quietly become the new normal, this culture of suspicion and paranoia. We deserve better. America should be ashamed of the way it greets its visitors and welcomes its citizens.