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(Uncrunched)   "A person with a gun and a government badge asked me to swear in writing that a lie was true today. And when I didn't do what she wanted, she simply took my boat and asked me to leave"   (uncrunched.com) divider line 471
    More: Asinine, Department of Homeland Security, US dollar, CAD  
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27103 clicks; posted to Main » on 22 Feb 2013 at 9:37 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-22 11:34:03 AM

PaLarkin: abhorrent1: He's probably one of those douchebags that refuses to show his receipt when he leaves a store too.

So all someone has to do to be a douchebag is stand up for their rights?  That's bullshiat.  When I go to a store and buy something and get my receipt, I'm done.  If some door nazi wants to see my receipt, he's going to be disappointed.  I paid for it and I will not show them my receipt unless they can prove to my satisfaction  they have good cause to  see it.  One reason the country has gone down the toilet is so many people just submit to whatever crap government imposes on them.


Constitutional Tip:  There are no rights involved in shopping at Wal-Mart.  They offer low prices in exchange for receipt-checking.  If you are so opposed to receipt-checking, then you are free to shop at another store.
 
2013-02-22 11:34:12 AM

internut scholar: syberpud: The guy acted like a douche

How in the hell did he act like a douche? He was being asked to swear to something that wasn't true and he knew this. He could have possibly been prosecuted for signing it. People go to jail for lying to federal agents.


He did the right thing.


He did the right thing, but sounded like he was being a bit of a douche about it (it's the tone).  Then again, that is a value judgement and I wasn't there so I don't know how the situation actually went.

Being confrontational to someone in authority requires a deft hand or you could end up in a worse situation. You could be dealing with a petty tyrant who decides they want to have a good story to tell the wife (husband) later about how they "put that guy in his place".
 
2013-02-22 11:34:21 AM

PaLarkin: abhorrent1: He's probably one of those douchebags that refuses to show his receipt when he leaves a store too.

So all someone has to do to be a douchebag is stand up for their rights?  That's bullshiat.  When I go to a store and buy something and get my receipt, I'm done.  If some door nazi wants to see my receipt, he's going to be disappointed.  I paid for it and I will not show them my receipt unless they can prove to my satisfaction  they have good cause to  see it.  One reason the country has gone down the toilet is so many people just submit to whatever crap government imposes on them.


Yes, refusing to show your receipt to the geriatric man at Sam's Club is what a true patriot does.

It's amusing at how great we have it in America that something like this is seen as "civil disobedience".
 
2013-02-22 11:34:24 AM

Braindeath: I hate rich people as much as the next person liberal Farker, but this is bullshiat. He said in the comments that she wouldn't let him change the form, and she imo withheld information from her boss so she could take the boat.

Bullshiat.

I also hope that people who have guns and this kind of authority aren't making 9 dollar an hour or the theft will be through the roof. [I'm assuming it is.]


FTFY

So if you become rich someday, will you still hate your life as much as you do now?
 
2013-02-22 11:34:55 AM

glass_ibis: I'm reasonably sure it's a crime to demand that someone sign a legal document that is known to be false.  I'd have gotten her name and turned it over to the Washington district attorney.


It definitely is a crime to make false statements with intent to deceive a U.S. government officer.  People get nailed on that one all the time.  Attempting to compel someone to make such a false statement probably is illegal too, but the chance that the DHS officer gets anything more than an brief off-the-record lecture in the back room are nil, even if boat guy wins his boat back.
 
2013-02-22 11:35:10 AM

ERNesbitt: Amurica...Fark Ya!: /rant on

I have enjoyed boating on Lake Michigan for over five years now.  I have a 115hp Johnson that I maintain and it has never given me any problems.  I paid 2,500 for it along with the boat it came with (17ft Starcraft)...what I don't understand is all this biatching about how owning a boat sucks. Just because your broke ass doesn't live on the best freshwater lake in the world doesn't mean the rest of us don't know how to take care of a boat.

/rant off

If you live next to Lake Erie, why boat on Lake Michigan?

/ Northern Ohioan
// Cedar Point rules


Well for one, Lake Michigan doesn't have a significant tributary that has caught on fire multiple times
 
2013-02-22 11:35:16 AM

gozar_the_destroyer: If I were importing something as expensive as a custom boat from another country, I would have hired a lawyer to help me through the process. International import isn't something to do as an amateur.


It should be simple enough for anyone to do.
 
2013-02-22 11:35:19 AM

AccuJack: Molavian: JerkyMeat: meddleRPI: Oh no, bureaucratic process has to be satisfied. There may have to be another form to be filed.

TRULY THE TERRORISTS HAVE WON.

No, GOPers have won. This the America they crave.

F*ckballs.  I can't stand all the f*cking morons on this site who think there's a difference between the political parties.  They're all out to screw us, and most of us sit here pointing fingers at each other.  Everyone here is more like each other than we are like them, and that's the f*cking truth.

Amen.  Nowadays when anyone on the Internet or in person identifies themselves as a member of any party, or tries to describe political ideologies like "liberal" or "conservative" as if they were describing types of fruit in a grocery store, I can pretty much assume they're delusional, gullible, or emotionally needy.

People want to badly to belong to something that they'll join up with the first group that cons them into it, and separating them from it after that is like deprogramming a cult member.


Because the two parties TOTALLY agree on stuff like gay rights and abortions.
 
2013-02-22 11:35:25 AM
Rich people problems.  He also probably left out that he was a dick to the lady, which is why she happily drove off with the boat.  Right now I'm laughing at him.  HA HA HA.
 
2013-02-22 11:36:47 AM

ggecko: More of Obama destroying the Constitution!

Afterall, it's what he said in his inauguration speech:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NG2pUiVou4A


That was an incredibly bad video edit and you should feel bad.  Damn.
 
m00
2013-02-22 11:37:21 AM
Maybe she wanted a new boat. I bet the DHS "lost" it.
 
2013-02-22 11:37:36 AM

LargeCanine: gozar_the_destroyer: If I were importing something as expensive as a custom boat from another country, I would have hired a lawyer to help me through the process. International import isn't something to do as an amateur.

That, in itself, is an indictment of the system.


Not really.  Moving expensive things across national borders has always been a challenge, pretty much everywhere.  Unless by "the system" you mean the system of having nation-states with borders.
 
2013-02-22 11:37:41 AM

internut scholar: Do you know why there aren't many boat builders left in the USA?


And by the way, here's a huge list of U.S. boat builders:   http://www.fun-florida-getaways.com/boatmanufacturersusa.cfm
 
2013-02-22 11:38:27 AM

PaLarkin: So all someone has to do to be a douchebag is stand up for their rights?  That's bullshiat.


Hi.  Welcome to Fark.  To a certain (and rather large) subset of the population here, virtually every other person is already an asshole, and their status as such is a wholly immutable fact.  Any and all narratives must, by necessity, be altered to conform around this fixed point in reality.

static.someecards.com
 
2013-02-22 11:38:50 AM

Raoul Eaton: Not really.  Moving expensive things across national borders has always been a challenge, pretty much everywhere.  Unless by "the system" you mean the system of having nation-states with borders.


You know how much paperwork you have to do to get a wooden horse into Troy?
 
2013-02-22 11:39:17 AM

Loren: untaken_name: Except that if your signature is on the document with information on it and you told the government official that you knew the information was incorrect before you signed it, they could nail you for lying. Do you think that the agency which would confiscate a boat over this wouldn't stoop to prosecuting you for lying on an official document? Maybe they took his boat because they were pissed that he didn't fall for their little "mistake".

Exactly.  Signing a document you know to be false is a bad thing.

Wrong Trousers: They want to know the value in US dollars and only US dollars because the exchange rate changes over time. They don't care about the actual currency he used - Mexican pesos, Chinese yuan or Canadian dollars. He should be thankful that the agent wasn't too fussy about the precise exchange rate he used. Instead he goes obsessive compulsive and loses his boat. He will spend thousands of dollars on a lawyer to haggle over a few dollars and to prove a meaningless point. His lawyer will grit his teeth, solve the problem, and share a laugh with a few close friends about his idiot client.

The problem is that the value on the form was wrong.


Not according to his blog. According to his blog, it was in American dollars instead of Canadian.  It's the exact same value, just not in the specific terms he had paid, but rather in terms that the DHS was willing to deal with.  Guy's a pedantic asshole without a boat.
 
2013-02-22 11:41:30 AM
Hmmm... sound to me like the government employee was soliciting the individual to be complicit in a crime, to wit, knowingly make a false entry in a document with the intent to impede, obstruct, or influence the proper administration of a matter within the jurisdiction of a department or agency of the United States.
 And this is why you should audio record any interaction you have with a public employee while they are engaged in the execution of their duties, or claim to be doing so.  If it comes down to being your word against theirs, you should do everything you can to make sure it's their word against their other words.
 
2013-02-22 11:41:46 AM

The My Little Pony Killer: Loren: untaken_name: Except that if your signature is on the document with information on it and you told the government official that you knew the information was incorrect before you signed it, they could nail you for lying. Do you think that the agency which would confiscate a boat over this wouldn't stoop to prosecuting you for lying on an official document? Maybe they took his boat because they were pissed that he didn't fall for their little "mistake".

Exactly.  Signing a document you know to be false is a bad thing.

Wrong Trousers: They want to know the value in US dollars and only US dollars because the exchange rate changes over time. They don't care about the actual currency he used - Mexican pesos, Chinese yuan or Canadian dollars. He should be thankful that the agent wasn't too fussy about the precise exchange rate he used. Instead he goes obsessive compulsive and loses his boat. He will spend thousands of dollars on a lawyer to haggle over a few dollars and to prove a meaningless point. His lawyer will grit his teeth, solve the problem, and share a laugh with a few close friends about his idiot client.

The problem is that the value on the form was wrong.

Not according to his blog. According to his blog, it was in American dollars instead of Canadian.  It's the exact same value, just not in the specific terms he had paid, but rather in terms that the DHS was willing to deal with.  Guy's a pedantic asshole without a boat.


Hint: The currency listed affects the value
 
2013-02-22 11:42:05 AM

Rostin: It still pisses them off


Oh honey, Conservatives be mad about everything.
 
2013-02-22 11:43:50 AM

internut scholar: Ehcks: Or he could have calculated the exchange rate at the time of purchase and wrote in the amount of American Dollars he effectively paid.

You mean like he offered to do but wasn't allowed to? Yeah, that would have been a good idea. oh look FTA

I pointed out the error and suggested that we simply change the currency from US $ to CAD $ so that is was correct. Or instead, amend the amount so that it was correct in U.S. dollars.


Notice that his actual argument isn't that the amount they put down was wrong, just that they amount they had wasn't converted to be the currency he paid with, but rather the currency that the organization happens to deal with.
 
2013-02-22 11:45:55 AM

bluefox3681: And this is the same caring bureaucracy that we trust to make health care work.  And save social security.  And protect our borders.


Amen bluefox.  Give yourself a cigar unless they've been banned.  It never ceases to amaze me how many farking idiots out there trust this government to get anything right.
 
2013-02-22 11:47:46 AM
I read the story, then had to check and see what other FARK-ers thought about the matter.

It's not about whether or not the guy is rich -- as so many seem to think. It's about the abuse of power -- kind of like the guards at airports these days.

Had he signed the incorrect document, he'd have been lying. With DHS, I have no doubt that it would have come back eventually to bite him in the arse. In court, he'd have a hard time explaining why he deliberately signed an incorrect document willingly.

I've seen court trials before, concerning similar things and the judge tends to berate the signer while the prosecutor questions the signers' integrity and no matter what excuse given, the judgment can go against him. (You see this a lot with promissory notes written out between citizens, especially boy friend and girl friend.)

At the very least, corrections could have been made, a witnessing note attached by the agent and copies sent to the necessary parties. That's done all the time in the business world.

I suspect we have an overzealous DHS agent there. Plus DHS seems to have more power than cops, with much less accountability.

Now, he'll have to let his lawyers handle the mess and wind up forking out a bunch more money for someone else's mistakes.
 
2013-02-22 11:48:43 AM

Slam Dunkz: syberpud: The guy acted like a douche,

I don't see the douche part.  The form was wrong he wasn't going to sign it.  You're an idiot if you would.  If later one some controversy about him "illegally importing a boat" came up later and it came out that he knew the form was wrong and signed it anyway you'd be the guy here saying "He was a douche for signing when he knew it was wrong".   Get over yourself.  He noticed the error and even explained how to correct it so they could move on past this and the DHS got all AUTHORITAH on him.


As usual there are many ITG's spouting off about what they would have done, from the basement with no boating or customs experience. The butthurt and whiney resentments of those that can't afford a custom boat or any other nice things is strong in this thread.
Get the f*ck over yourselves. They could have screwed him for signing a false document and may have had plans to seize it before it came through.

/should have hired a customs broker beforehand
 
2013-02-22 11:49:01 AM

Kome: mongbiohazard: Who else has she treated similarly who didn't have as loud a pulpit?

Yes. Who else can afford to import a boat and doesn't have access to the internet!?


/facepalm

Just having access to the internet doesn't mean anyone gives a shiat what you have to say. But because of who he is he has fans/followers/admirers who can ensure the story gets wider attention then just some dude buying a boat from his brother or something.

Is that really a difficult concept for you?
 
2013-02-22 11:50:54 AM

xaratherus: shoegaze99: I'm sure many have said it already (haven't read the comments), but why not just cross out the incorrect part, correct & initial it, and sign the form? Perfectly legit. I've done it before on official documents and contracts. So has just about anyone who has worked with contracts.

Other than the part in the article where he asks to do this and the DHS-customs official tells him he\she can't?

He could have just grabbed it out of her hands and done it himself, I suppose. I might have. Although the attitude that she showed to him  asking if he could do it makes me think she might have done something stupid at that point, like claiming that grabbing it out of her hands was "assaulting a federal officer" or something.


It probably wasn't in her hands while he was reading it and preparing to sign.
 
2013-02-22 11:53:08 AM

Abe Vigoda's Ghost: He'll eventually get his boat back.
Of course, he will have to pay the storage fees.



What an idiot. I have less trouble carrying hunting rifles (3), dogs (2), and a travel trailer over the border than this dolt.
 
2013-02-22 11:54:08 AM
 
2013-02-22 11:55:00 AM

Rostin: Aidan: This post reminded me of my own fun at the border, years ago. I had a work visa at the time, and I got married. I figured I'd do the marriage visa whenever, since I was STILL working. Apparently this was horribly wrong and I was "forcing" the agent to "let me back in" the country. Because... I... lived here...?

So yeah, I agree with the guy in the story. You don't let yourself sign crap like that. He could have handled it better, but the agent could have not been a useless tit, too. Since I assume making sure the forms are correctly signed to HER department's standards would be HER JOB.

I'm a US citizen, and I very recently got married to someone currently in the US on a student visa. We are about to begin the green card process. My wife thinks it's no big deal, but I've heard so many immigration horror stories and dealt with bureaucracies enough in general that I'm a hair's breadth away from shelling out the $1000-$2000 that a lawyer would charge, just to reduce the chances of things going wrong. It's a lot of money, but the consequences of failure seem very high. The most maddening thing about it is knowing that even though we have done nothing wrong, we could still get dicked over because of an innocent mistake combined with some stupid policy that makes no sense.


Do it.  I have a friend that married someone from Poland and even with the lawyer's help it was a huge deal.  $2k is jack compared to the nightmare you'll have if your wife gets deported.
 
2013-02-22 11:55:56 AM

inglixthemad: Abe Vigoda's Ghost: He'll eventually get his boat back.
Of course, he will have to pay the storage fees.


What an idiot. I have less trouble carrying hunting rifles (3), dogs (2), and a travel trailer over the border than this dolt.


Probably because you aren't importing a half million dollar boat into the country that needs to be declared and properly recorded for tax purposes. You are probably just going hunting and need a couple of forms filled out along with your passport to get through. Just a bit different there hoss.
 
2013-02-22 11:56:09 AM

Flakeloaf: K. One more time: When the authorities tell you to do something stupid, DO IT, look stupid doing it, and call them on it later once the situation is over and everyone's calmed down. Escalating just gets you whatever this is.


So the authorities get to do what they want, then it's up to you to spend more time and money convincing a court they were wrong.  If the court happens to find that that they were wrong, the worst that happens is the agency has to hand over some taxpayer money, issue an apology unbecoming a 1st grader, and pinky swear they won't do it again.

Yet some people wonder why others flat our distrust or loathe government officials.
 
2013-02-22 11:56:45 AM

dittybopper: Molavian: ModernLuddite: Dick Gozinya: When we stop fighting for our principles, we truly are a bankrupt country.

You realize that you are talking about boat ownership, right?

That's why America is no longer the greatest country on earth.  That attitude right there.

This.

It's like owning property is now a *BAD* thing.


you dont own that obama does,
 
2013-02-22 11:57:41 AM

BarkingUnicorn: Stickler stuck by stickler.

/"hoist with his own petard' is so 16th Century.


We don't use that word anymore, it's insensitive to the water/potato heads of the world.
 
2013-02-22 11:59:15 AM

s1ugg0: Some people in this world just don't get that you have to pick your battles.  Because not everything is worth fighting for.


Which is exactly why we have the problems we do.

We don't fight molehills and end up fighting mountains.
 
2013-02-22 11:59:39 AM

Molavian: Rostin: Aidan: This post reminded me of my own fun at the border, years ago. I had a work visa at the time, and I got married. I figured I'd do the marriage visa whenever, since I was STILL working. Apparently this was horribly wrong and I was "forcing" the agent to "let me back in" the country. Because... I... lived here...?

So yeah, I agree with the guy in the story. You don't let yourself sign crap like that. He could have handled it better, but the agent could have not been a useless tit, too. Since I assume making sure the forms are correctly signed to HER department's standards would be HER JOB.

I'm a US citizen, and I very recently got married to someone currently in the US on a student visa. We are about to begin the green card process. My wife thinks it's no big deal, but I've heard so many immigration horror stories and dealt with bureaucracies enough in general that I'm a hair's breadth away from shelling out the $1000-$2000 that a lawyer would charge, just to reduce the chances of things going wrong. It's a lot of money, but the consequences of failure seem very high. The most maddening thing about it is knowing that even though we have done nothing wrong, we could still get dicked over because of an innocent mistake combined with some stupid policy that makes no sense.

Do it.  I have a friend that married someone from Poland and even with the lawyer's help it was a huge deal.  $2k is jack compared to the nightmare you'll have if your wife gets deported.


From some of the threads I've seen here on Fark, I imagine some guys (and girls) would find 2K a bargain to *have* their SO deported.
 
2013-02-22 11:59:47 AM

Dr Dreidel: bluefox3681: And this is the same caring bureaucracy that we trust to make health care work.  And save social security.  And protect our borders.

DHS is not HHS - you can tell by the spelling.

// but if you're married to the idea, it's also the same bureaucracy that fights our wars


Yeah, because changing the acronym will make it all better.  And yes, the military is rife with inefficiencies and waste.

"I'm from the government and I'm here to help!"
 
2013-02-22 12:00:49 PM

Agent Smiths Laugh: BigLuca: People like this should wear a badge that says, "I am the most difficult person in the world, deal with me at your own risk," so people that have a choice in the matter can just walk away.

Hey, that's fine so long as the DHS agent has to wear a badge saying, "I am incompetent at my job and can't do arithmetic."


Don't they already wear a badge that says 'DHS'?  Why make them say it twice?
 
2013-02-22 12:01:38 PM

Ace Rimmer: This Looks Fun: Ace Rimmer: The only reason for the dollar amount is to calculate duty.... which, since he doesn't mention it at all, I assume they weren't going to charge him. In that case it truly didn't matter what amount was written in that block, on a form that is going to spend all of its life sitting in a cardboard box next to Indy's ark.

You're not referring to THIS part of TFA, are you? : My job was to show up and sign forms and then leave with Buddy (WA sales tax and registration fees come a week later).

WA sales tax and registration fees are not US Customs duties....
The state of WA would have used the invoice to calculate sales tax and fees not his customs declaration.


Possibly; I can't be certain. I know with out-of-state cars, they use the title. I'm not sure if they'd use an invoice or a customs document. Either way, if I knew the price was wrong and I wasn't sure what the price would be for signing a wrong document, I too would wait for the corrected form. This incident does not make him look bad. It makes DHS look bad.
 
2013-02-22 12:01:48 PM

China White Tea: I'm almost entirely certain that the people asserting that, "This idiot douchebag should have just done what he was told to do, he deserves it," would be the EXACT same group of people saying, "This douchebag should have obeyed the verbiage on the form, he deserves it," if he wound up getting in trouble for signing an incorrect document.


DING DING DING, we have a WINNER!!!
 
2013-02-22 12:02:10 PM

The My Little Pony Killer: internut scholar: Ehcks: Or he could have calculated the exchange rate at the time of purchase and wrote in the amount of American Dollars he effectively paid.

You mean like he offered to do but wasn't allowed to? Yeah, that would have been a good idea. oh look FTA

I pointed out the error and suggested that we simply change the currency from US $ to CAD $ so that is was correct. Or instead, amend the amount so that it was correct in U.S. dollars.

Notice that his actual argument isn't that the amount they put down was wrong, just that they amount they had wasn't converted to be the currency he paid with, but rather the currency that the organization happens to deal with.


No, the amount they put down was wrong.

The invoice was for say... 20,000 CAD.
On the form they put down 20,000 USD.
However 20,000 CAD is only ~19600 USD, so he's paying import duty on ~400 more than he should be.

However, boat import duty rate is only 1.5% so... he should have just signed and payed the extra $6 USD.
 
2013-02-22 12:03:13 PM
Idiotic, unresponsive bureaucracy? Check
Irrational tax policies? Check
Involves a boat? Check

Meh. This problem will probably just clear itself up.

upload.wikimedia.org
 
2013-02-22 12:03:22 PM

tricycleracer: Raoul Eaton: Not really.  Moving expensive things across national borders has always been a challenge, pretty much everywhere.  Unless by "the system" you mean the system of having nation-states with borders.

You know how much paperwork you have to do to get a wooden horse into Troy?


I don't think they had to do any paperwork in that instance.  And look what happened.
 
2013-02-22 12:03:46 PM

Barricaded Gunman: FTFA: What struck me the most about the situation is how excited she got about seizing the boat. Like she was just itching for something like this to happen. This was a very happy day for her.

This is the part that galls me, perhaps the most. Putting seizure authority in the hands of resentful idots who should rightfully be bagging groceries is a bad idea, and telling them they're some kind of Super Patriots protecting America from terrorists is worse.


If it's true. People pissed off about something tend to read the worst in a situation.
 
2013-02-22 12:04:09 PM

The My Little Pony Killer: Not according to his blog. According to his blog, it was in American dollars instead of Canadian. It's the exact same value, just not in the specific terms he had paid, but rather in terms that the DHS was willing to deal with


He ordered the boat in 2011. Was the price change to reflect what the exchange rate was or was he going to pay taxes on say 300k canadian dollars instead of 250k american dollars based on the exchange rates at the time?
 
2013-02-22 12:06:06 PM

snocone: Evil Twin Skippy: Am I supposed to feel sorry for this guy?

I have drawn the line.

I only recognize third world level problems.
First world richie rich hassles, not even on my radar.


I hope you are being sarcastic.  I will remember you.  You are no longer allowed to complain about anything other than a third-world level problem.
Not the price of gas.  Not internet connection speeds.  Not the price of health insurance.   Not your coworker who spends all day on Fark.
I bet you don't last a day.
 
2013-02-22 12:06:37 PM

NEDM: One thing that I've got to point out:  he wasn't dealing with the DHS proper, he was dealing with US Customs.  While they can be assholes, it's like that with EVERY Customs agency around the world.  It's not a post-9/11 Jackboot thing, or even an uniquely American thing.  He kept calling them "DHS" because when people hear "Homeland Security" they automatically make the connection with TSA.


I realize a single anecdote doesm't prove anything, but here's my little css:

The worst customs experience I ever had was in  Perú.  I was stopping there on my way to the USA from Chile for a two-week vacation (Machu Picchu and all that jazz).  I brought with me my computer, which I had no intention of using in Perú; it was just luggage.  I was going through customs and had just converted all of my Chilean money into Preuvian money.  I had only a very few American dollars with me.  The customs people asked if they could open my suitcase and I said sure.  When they opened it, they found the computer (it was a desktop computer, not a laptop, and it had been packed in the suitcase).

Then they started talking about paying an import tax on the computer.  I argued that it was just luggage and I was just passing through. The problem, apparently, was that they thought I might try to sell the computer while in Perú.  After I assured them I had no intention of doing anything with the computer except taking it with me to the USA, they offered me a deal: pay the tax, leave the computer with them, and when I was about to leave Perú I could get my computer and the tax back, provided I immediately loaded the machine onto a plane flying out of the country.  After shifting some stuff around I left them the entire suitcase, which really was to my advantage as it meant I didn't have to schlep it around the country for two weeks.

I did get my stuff back and my "deposit," minus a really small processing fee.  The worst part was that I had to convert my Peruvian money into US dollars because they wouldn't take their own country's currency, and of course I lost some money from the moneychanging process (I really can't blame Jesus for beating those moneychangers with a whip).

Anyway, the point is, these guys were actually as helpful and accommodating as one could hope for while still enforcing the rules.
 
2013-02-22 12:06:39 PM

Rostin: Aidan: This post reminded me of my own fun at the border, years ago. I had a work visa at the time, and I got married. I figured I'd do the marriage visa whenever, since I was STILL working. Apparently this was horribly wrong and I was "forcing" the agent to "let me back in" the country. Because... I... lived here...?

So yeah, I agree with the guy in the story. You don't let yourself sign crap like that. He could have handled it better, but the agent could have not been a useless tit, too. Since I assume making sure the forms are correctly signed to HER department's standards would be HER JOB.

I'm a US citizen, and I very recently got married to someone currently in the US on a student visa. We are about to begin the green card process. My wife thinks it's no big deal, but I've heard so many immigration horror stories and dealt with bureaucracies enough in general that I'm a hair's breadth away from shelling out the $1000-$2000 that a lawyer would charge, just to reduce the chances of things going wrong. It's a lot of money, but the consequences of failure seem very high. The most maddening thing about it is knowing that even though we have done nothing wrong, we could still get dicked over because of an innocent mistake combined with some stupid policy that makes no sense.


You don't need to spend the money, but be prepared for some really, really, stupid stuff from the government. Went through similar with my wife a decade ago...

According to the US Government, a person's fingerprints change every couple years, and you need to get new ones taken.

According to the US Government, errors on passports can be changed with a black sharpie.  "Just strike through it, and write the real country" we were told by a Border/immigration agent.

According to the US Government, you must take a series of physical tests with a doctor to make sure you aren't bringing in diseases, but at no step along the way, does anyone check to make sure it's actually "you" taking the physical and giving blood. Just send in a healthy ringer.
 
2013-02-22 12:08:05 PM

Vtimlin: gozar_the_destroyer: If I were importing something as expensive as a custom boat from another country, I would have hired a lawyer to help me through the process. International import isn't something to do as an amateur.

It should be simple enough for anyone to do.


THIS!
 
2013-02-22 12:08:27 PM

orclover: SHES PAID $9 A farkING HOUR AND DOES NOT GIVE A fark, she hands you something, you sign it, she moves on to her smoke break.  If you rich farking idiots cant figure that out, then you lose your farking boat you farking assholes.  Yes hire a lawyer,  get righteously indignant.  All you are doing is making that boat even more farking expensive.  I hope the farking thing sinks and you get eaten by some god damn sockeye.


This is CBP, not TSA.  With locality, LEAP, etc. it's more like $40-50 an hour and up.

The Officer is much richer than the average American, and it's certainly not unreasonable to expect some level of competence for that compensation.
 
2013-02-22 12:08:32 PM

Snarfangel: Rapmaster2000: I'm enjoying how the "SUPPORT THE TROOPS" community is in here playing like they're rebels.  If you changed DHS to Marine Corps then who was in the wrong would turn 180 degrees.

Gah! I hate filling out Marine Corps forms. I can never remember how many o's  are in oorah, and the damned spell checker keeps changing it to Oprah.



Marine Core forms are much easier.
 
2013-02-22 12:08:53 PM

ciberido: NEDM: One thing that I've got to point out:  he wasn't dealing with the DHS proper, he was dealing with US Customs.  While they can be assholes, it's like that with EVERY Customs agency around the world.  It's not a post-9/11 Jackboot thing, or even an uniquely American thing.  He kept calling them "DHS" because when people hear "Homeland Security" they automatically make the connection with TSA.

I realize a single anecdote doesm't prove anything, but here's my little css:

The worst customs experience I ever had was in  Perú.  I was stopping there on my way to the USA from Chile for a two-week vacation (Machu Picchu and all that jazz).  I brought with me my computer, which I had no intention of using in Perú; it was just luggage.  I was going through customs and had just converted all of my Chilean money into Preuvian money.  I had only a very few American dollars with me.  The customs people asked if they could open my suitcase and I said sure.  When they opened it, they found the computer (it was a desktop computer, not a laptop, and it had been packed in the suitcase).

Then they started talking about paying an import tax on the computer.  I argued that it was just luggage and I was just passing through. The problem, apparently, was that they thought I might try to sell the computer while in Perú.  After I assured them I had no intention of doing anything with the computer except taking it with me to the USA, they offered me a deal: pay the tax, leave the computer with them, and when I was about to leave Perú I could get my computer and the tax back, provided I immediately loaded the machine onto a plane flying out of the country.  After shifting some stuff around I left them the entire suitcase, which really was to my advantage as it meant I didn't have to schlep it around the country for two weeks.

I did get my stuff back and my "deposit," minus a really small processing fee.  The worst part was that I had to convert my Peruvian money into US dollars because ...


Yeah I'm pretty sure those guys just pocketed that money you gave them.
 
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