Returning to the United States

I was in Canada for a few days to attend a conference. I’ve been going to Canada since I was a small child to both visit relatives and enjoy the magnificent nature that Canada has to offer. My Father was born there, but became a naturalized USA citizen in the 1940’s. I remember border crossings being friendly, easy and without much documentation accept for a birth certificate or drivers license.

Ever since 9/11 our customs folks have turned suspicious, dour, accusatory, and basically unwelcoming and unfriendly.

It seems to me that the United States of America, whose welcoming statue has stood for over a century of decades, is no longer the open arms welcoming words of Emma lazarus’ sonnet.

I was disappointed in the greeting we received coming home. It was unwelcoming at best and accusatory at worst. First of all they asked questions that they are not allowed to ask, such as, what were you doing in Canada. They may only ask question that relate to verifying your citizenship.

I understand the need to protect our borders from those who would do us harm and the like, but the perpetuation of a fear based society is asinine and promotes a military mentality among our uniformed agencies.

A country as great as the United States should welcome all visitors and returning citizens with a smile, but maintain a diligence and discernment that protects our home.

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