?

Log in

No account? Create an account

The museum in Green River believes that family is a strict product of… - delta_november

Jun. 21st, 2012

08:14 pm

Previous Entry Share Next Entry

The museum in Green River believes that family is a strict product of biology.  I disagree.





This is a real sore point with me, having been told twice point blank by US Immigration folks, "You are not a family".  This makes me sad.

Comments:

[User Picture]
From:probabilistic
Date:June 22nd, 2012 01:33 am (UTC)
(Link)
*sigh*

I wonder if that's a blatant attempt at discrimination, or if they're trying to avoid having big extended families (grandparents, cousins, etc) get in for the $15 rate.

I'm kind of surprised you'd get that from US Immigration though - they can be rude, but I'd think if they asked about relationships between travelers then they'd care about accuracy (ie, how the travelers themselves define the relationships).
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:delta_november
Date:June 22nd, 2012 04:29 am (UTC)
(Link)
Ayup, I suspect that they're trying to limit the numbers of hangers-on. Somewhere like the ROM has a "family" rate that lets you have 2 adults and 4 children, with no specified relationships. Even accounting for people who feel differently from me about human sexuality, that sign is needlessly hurtful to the many children raised by their grandparents, to use only one example.

US Immigration demands that only one "family" may share a customs declaration form and talk to an immigration agent at one time. This isn't just insulting, it has some very practical consequences. Imagine that person A is coming into the US for a well defined reason (business meeting, conference, etc) and person B is coming to keep person A company. If these two people do not meet the definition of "family" then they must go through immigration separately. Person B, especially if they are unemployed, can have a lot of trouble getting through. J was told "don't ever try coming to the States again until you have a job." If we were "family" and went through together this just wouldn't be an issue.

The Canadian rules are that everybody on the form has to live at the same address. That's all they care about.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:sylvia_rachel
Date:June 22nd, 2012 12:02 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Ick :(

Most place in Toronto have a "family" price that's 1-2 adults plus a specified number of kids, no questions asked. Which I'm sure is annoying for people with more kids than that, but wow.

That kind of experience with US Immigration makes me embarrassed to be a US citizen. (I don't often tell people I'm a US citizen as well as a Canadian citizen; I especially don't tell US Immigration.) I mean, honestly: What is the rationale here?? The Canadian approach seems much more practical to me: Are you guys a family? Yes? OK, let's see your form.

Other things that can get you into trouble with US Immigration include travelling with someone who has visible tattoos and/or nonstandard piercings; bringing your pill organizer with your medications for your 3-day visit instead of all 10 labelled prescription bottles; crossing the border in a rental car ("What do you mean, you don't own a car?"); making a personal visit they consider suspiciously short; forgetting to declare the (US-grown) orange you were planning to eat on the plane from Pearson; not having a big enough suitcase with you; being brown, of course; being trapped into admitting that you are a US citizen but do not have a US passport which is why you are travelling on your Canadian one; claiming to be going to your mother's wedding ...
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:probabilistic
Date:June 22nd, 2012 12:24 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Argh, I'm sorry. Would it help to call yourselves common-law if they ask? I hadn't realized the US form said "family" on it; D and I have always gone through separately (when not driving) since I was using NEXUS.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:delta_november
Date:June 22nd, 2012 12:29 pm (UTC)
(Link)
"Are you married?"
"We are common-law."
"There is no common-law in the USA. You are not a family."

This was, to the best of my recollection, the exchange last time we tried that. So no, I'm afraid that doesn't help :(.

I'm not complaining overmuch. I know that there are others who have it much worse. But it still stings.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:probabilistic
Date:June 22nd, 2012 12:36 pm (UTC)
(Link)
That's not actually true - they exist in some states (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common-law_marriage#United_States), and it was my understanding that for immigration purposes the US recognizes legally-recognized marriages in other countries provided they're legal in the US (so, no polygamy, and no gay marriage recognized at the federal level and many states).

But yeah, I agree that sucks :(
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)