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Old Oct 15, 10, 4:11 am   #1
 
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Passport being Flagged

Let's start by saying I have a criminal record. Something I am not proud of but happened in the 90's. I went to visit Korea in April of 2009. On the way back stopped in Hawaii and I was flagged. Never did any prison just probation. I don't have any restrictions for tavel outside the US. I am applying for a Canadian rehab to enter that country without problems. I do plan on taking cruises and visitng other countries every so often. My question is this. Everytime I re-enter the US am I going to be flagged and subjected to more baggage searches. I have nothing to hide but it will become annoying.

Is there anything I can do to stop them from flagging my passport?

Thanks
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Old Oct 15, 10, 6:05 am   #2
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Originally Posted by Travelman21 View Post
Let's start by saying I have a criminal record. Something I am not proud of but happened in the 90's. I went to visit Korea in April of 2009. On the way back stopped in Hawaii and I was flagged. Never did any prison just probation. I don't have any restrictions for tavel outside the US. I am applying for a Canadian rehab to enter that country without problems. I do plan on taking cruises and visitng other countries every so often. My question is this. Everytime I re-enter the US am I going to be flagged and subjected to more baggage searches. I have nothing to hide but it will become annoying.

Is there anything I can do to stop them from flagging my passport?

Thanks
There are few restraints/constraints on the CBP -- they pretty much have a green light to abuse who they want, when they want. There are limits on how long they can keep you, etc., but none on how often they can harass you. I hope to one day see these scum pay for their arrogance, but there are undoubtedly a lot of people such as yourself who will have to endure this abuse for many years to come before that happens.
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Old Oct 15, 10, 10:16 am   #3
 
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What do you mean by your passport was flagged? Did they specifically reference your criminal record or was it just a unexplained secondary inspection which could have been for any number of reasons or even more likely, for no reason? In any case, I had.....shall we say... a very very very serious little indiscretion way back in 1991. It has never personally impacted my interaction with US Immigration or Customs in any way that I can detect. I'm quite certain the details are readily available to them if they go digging in their computer but I am also certain it is NOT flagged front and center to pop up on the first screen they see when they run my passport because it's the type of thing they would likely mention if they saw it and they never have brought it up, even in a few customs secondary inspections. Perhaps it would be different if the conviction was for something that could be construed as related to smuggling or something. Not sure. They can flag you for any reason, or for no reason but it is definitely not an automatic thing just for a criminal record.
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Old Oct 15, 10, 9:08 pm   #4
 
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If they are going to hassle you anyway, just refuse to answer any of their questions. You do have the right to remain silent. They may detain you but will have to let you go eventually. Don't give them the satisfaction of knowing they intimidated you.
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Old Oct 15, 10, 10:44 pm   #5
 
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Originally Posted by polonius View Post
There are few restraints/constraints on the CBP -- they pretty much have a green light to abuse who they want, when they want. There are limits on how long they can keep you, etc., but none on how often they can harass you. I hope to one day see these scum pay for their arrogance, but there are undoubtedly a lot of people such as yourself who will have to endure this abuse for many years to come before that happens.
Abuse? Arrogance? How does this apply to the OP's situation exactly?

Or are you just projecting?
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Old Oct 15, 10, 10:48 pm   #6
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Originally Posted by star_world View Post
Abuse? Arrogance? How does this apply to the OP's situation exactly?

Or are you just projecting?
Since you know nothing of the OP's situation, are you just projecting? Perhaps ignorance?
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Old Oct 15, 10, 10:59 pm   #7
 
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Since you know nothing of the OP's situation, are you just projecting? Perhaps ignorance?
I know as much as the OP wrote - hence the question. Don't worry about it
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Old Oct 16, 10, 6:12 am   #8
 
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Thanks

Thanks for all the responses. The violation I committed was a federal offense. So maybe this is why my passport was flagged. I know it was fagged because they told me it was. The process of the extra search was only on the bags. I was with my kids and wife at the time. It only took roughly 15 mintues and they let me proceed. I know it is not a huge deal as far as time is concerned. I may have to just put up with it. I am hoping to find out if other people have the same problem when scanning passports. I am hoping this does not happen every time I re-enter.

I know Canada when scanning passorts will deny you entry unless you get a rehabiliation approved which takes months. This is even if you have a DUI. Once you get approved you never have to worry about entering again unless you violate the law. So passports I believe do show every thing about your background.

Thanks again!!
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Old Oct 16, 10, 9:06 am   #9
 
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The OP did not indicate if he/she is a US Citizen. If so, then he/she simply can remain silent, allow the CBP officers to search whatever they wish, and eventually he/she will be allowed to proceed, assuming nothing of interest is found.

If the OP is not a US Citizen, then refusing to answer questions could be grounds for a determination of inadmissibility, and could result in extradition.
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Old Oct 16, 10, 10:36 am   #10
 
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Originally Posted by Travelman21 View Post
Thanks for all the responses. The violation I committed was a federal offense. So maybe this is why my passport was flagged.
Did it involve smuggling?
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Old Oct 16, 10, 11:07 am   #11
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Originally Posted by star_world View Post
I know as much as the OP wrote - hence the question. Don't worry about it

We ALL know only as much as the OP wrote, except for the OP of course. It contributes absolutely nothing to try to steer the discussion towards an argument based on conjecturing what "really" happened to the OP. Unless someone is claiming something that is either absurd (abducted by aliens, etc.), or there are obvious flaws or contradictions in what they are saying, I give them the benefit of the doubt and respond based on assumption of truthfulness. If we don't do that the whole board is obviously pointless, so I don't understand why you and a handful of others here try to divert/sidetrack threads with such meaningless discussions. But you are right -- possibly, this entire thread was actually the result of Travelman's cat walking randomly across the keyboard while he was at work or any of several million other possibilities other than someone deliberately posting a brief but reasonably accurate description of their situation.
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Old Oct 16, 10, 2:10 pm   #12
 
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I would find most responses in this thread completely useless to the orginal poster.......but good for you folks to keep grinding your axes.
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Old Oct 16, 10, 2:11 pm   #13
 
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OK

So here is the jest. I am not going into detail of my offense. It is long and you probably don't care. Let's just say it was the most humiliating and embarrassing experience of my life. It happened in 1994 and I plead in 1997. I only received 2 years probation. It was a felony in the Feds eyes and a misdemeanor in my state's eyes. I am not saying I am a victim. I technically broke the law even though it was not intentional. I accepted my fate. We all do things we regret and this is mine. We make our life what it is. Enough said.

So here is another way of putting my question. Is there any reason that customs would flag a passport every time a person leaves and returns to the US? Yes, I am a US citizen.

I really do appreciate your responses

Thanks again!!
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Old Oct 16, 10, 2:13 pm   #14
 
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Originally Posted by Travelman21 View Post
Let's start by saying I have a criminal record. Something I am not proud of but happened in the 90's. I went to visit Korea in April of 2009. On the way back stopped in Hawaii and I was flagged. Never did any prison just probation. I don't have any restrictions for tavel outside the US. I am applying for a Canadian rehab to enter that country without problems. I do plan on taking cruises and visitng other countries every so often. My question is this. Everytime I re-enter the US am I going to be flagged and subjected to more baggage searches. I have nothing to hide but it will become annoying.

Is there anything I can do to stop them from flagging my passport?

Thanks
I know others in similar situations and some have had secondaries and some have not. Based on their experiences but without knowing the intimate details of your crime, I would not epect this treatment every time. It may be just that you do not travel outside the US a lot and they used to the opportunity to check things out.
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Old Oct 16, 10, 3:28 pm   #15
 
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Originally Posted by Travelman21 View Post
So here is another way of putting my question. Is there any reason that customs would flag a passport every time a person leaves and returns to the US? Yes, I am a US citizen.

Yes, there is a reason why they would do so. CBP might red-flag your passport if any agency within DHS had reason to suspect that you might intend to smuggle or violate other immigration/customs laws of the United States in the future.

For example, years ago I got pulled aside once at US Customs (before it was CBP) because the computer had mid-read the MRZ on my passport, and had linked me to the record of some random guy who had been stopped trying to smuggle marijuana into the United States. When they compared my physical passport and photo to the information on the screen, they apologized and let me go without a search, saying that the computer had linked me mistakenly.

If your legal problems had nothing to do with violations of immigration or customs laws, then you might be okay. But you still might want to consult an attorney who specializes in immigration/customs issues. I am not an attorney and the above does not constitute legal advice.
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