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Old Aug 27, 12, 5:55 pm   #1
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Global Entry Denial Recourse

OK, my Global Entry application was denied and I do not know what to do -- any and all help is greatly appreciated!

I applied and received a denial letter stating I violated CBP laws on April 4, 1976. The violation - Failure to declare merchandise. Yes, I said 1976! It took awhile to remember much from 1976, but the story behind my "failure" is even more amusing than USCBP denying my application over a single non-issue that occurred 36 year ago...

While in college, I drove to Canada with a friend to go shopping. I actually did that quite frequently. But my April 4th trip was quite different than the others. Being the Type-A personallity I am, I made a shopping list - which included purchasing a pair of jeans with a brand name "Hash." My list said buy hash jeans. (google it - they were quite popular in the 70s...) Upon driving back into the states, I stopped at border control and went inside to declare my purchases (jeans, shoes, and other items). While I was inside, a border agent apparently checked out my new car, finding my shopping list on my console. Within moments of his disccovery, all hell broke loose at the station -- I had to undergo a search and interrogation and my car was completely ripped apart. It was only after a couple of hours and two hysterically crying coeds that I was allowed to call my father, who after hearing my weeping voice, demanded to speak with the agent-in-charge.

To make a long and very painful story short, still speaking with my father, the agent-in-charge asked to see the jeans I purchased that day. I handed my bag to him and he saw the brand name on the jeans was, in fact, Hash. He ended the call with my father, apologized for the misunderstanding, and told me I could leave. Another agent helped me gather up my car parts and they sent me on my way.

Apparently, when the border agent found my shopping list, he thought it was a code -- he actually thought I was smuggling drugs across the border.

I completely wiped that awful experience from my mind until today... It was 36 years ago - my father has since passed away, I haven't spoken with my shopping buddy since graduating, the jeans are long gone too, and I have absolutely no other records from that horrific encounter. So now what do I do?

The strangest thing - I travel overseas every month on business - I have been on many vacations abroad as well and I have NEVER had an issue at customs - ever. I could just skip Global Entry, I suppose, but I travel too much not to have it. But most of all, I never, ever violated any CB laws - ever and I do not want my perfect record tarnished in any way.

anyone have any ideas?

btw - sorry for the long post, but the details are important.
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Old Aug 29, 12, 9:30 am   #2
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Write a short and concise letter. It ought to be about 1/4 the length of your post and contain the obvious information about your age & college days. Apologize and ask for reconsideration.

Your post serves as a great reminder for just how long minor stuff can trail you around these days.
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Old Aug 29, 12, 9:47 am   #3
Ari
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Apologize and ask for reconsideration.
Apologize for what? The OP did nothing wrong.
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Old Aug 29, 12, 10:31 am   #4
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OK. Don't. Relitigate. See what happens. Question is whether OP wants GE or not.
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Old Aug 29, 12, 10:35 am   #5
  
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Write an appeal to the ombudsman... apologies are not necessary..just an explanation of what happened. Good luck!
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Old Aug 29, 12, 10:46 am   #6
  
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Originally Posted by SEA1K4EVR View Post
Write an appeal to the ombudsman... apologies are not necessary..just an explanation of what happened. Good luck!
+1. What in fact is the violation? The OP declared the jeans and other items, and seems not to have been alerted that he failed to declare something.
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Old Aug 29, 12, 11:44 am   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Write a short and concise letter. It ought to be about 1/4 the length of your post and contain the obvious information about your age & college days. Apologize and ask for reconsideration.

Your post serves as a great reminder for just how long minor stuff can trail you around these days.
Bolding mine: Agreed and I can speak from first hand experience
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Old Aug 29, 12, 2:11 pm   #8
  
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Write the Ombudsman's at the address provided in your denial letter. It takes about six weeks (or it did for me), but my case was reviewed, and I was conditionally approved, then approved after the interview.

My process:

1) Because my denial was based on incorrect information I called the ORD station, as directed in my denial letter. The officer agreed that my denial was not warranted based on those facts.

2) She spoke with her supervisor and called me back the next day. Supervisor told her that the denial was from central vetting and there is nothing they can do about it, but to write the Ombudsman.

3) Wrote a letter and included any documentation.

4) Was approved about six weeks later.

5) Anecdotal information from the two live people with whom I interacted is that central vetting will deny in any cases where they see a problem, even if it is not warranted.
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Old Aug 29, 12, 6:32 pm   #9
  
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I hope you get things worked out as this is just silly.
I do love the CBP police work in that one. "Holy mackerel, it says hash jeans. It must be a secret code word for hash! Brilliant!"
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Old Aug 30, 12, 8:10 am   #10
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I hope you get things worked out as this is just silly.
I do love the CBP police work in that one. "Holy mackerel, it says hash jeans. It must be a secret code word for hash! Brilliant!"
Almost as good as writing BOB on an air sickness bag, huh?

Mike
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Old Aug 30, 12, 9:46 am   #11
  
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When you write your explanation, I would suggest that you NOT apologize. Apologies are generally construed as admissions of guilt and requests for forgiveness of the wrong-doing. Since you did nothing wrong and this is a simple mistake on CPB's part, an apology will only muddy the waters. Good luck with the appeal.
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Old Aug 31, 12, 11:24 am   #12
  
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Originally Posted by dlfrflyer View Post
OK, my Global Entry application was denied and I do not know what to do -- any and all help is greatly appreciated!

I applied and received a denial letter stating I violated CBP laws on April 4, 1976. The violation - Failure to declare merchandise. I made a shopping list - which included purchasing a pair of jeans with a brand name "Hash." My list said buy hash jeans.
Where is the failure to declare merchandise? This looks like a misunderstanding to me. Are you a flight risk due to this incident? You seem to have traveled many times without this being an incident. You probably do not have a criminal record. I do not understand CBP's concern over this. You paid for Global Entry and you should enjoy the benefits.

You have 2 ways to approach this: contact a local global entry officer at your Global Entry Enrollment Center, or write to the CBP Ombudsman. I have posted some resources on my website that you are welcome to look at. I have the link to the Enrollment Center and the address for the Ombudsman. For following up or inquiring into an appeal, I have an entry on how to do that, which includes the email address of the Ombudsman. Good luck.


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Old Aug 31, 12, 9:31 pm   #13
  
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Why did you put your father on the phone with the Border Patrol or Customs guy? That's the only thing you did wrong that day, if your story is to be believed.
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Old Sep 4, 12, 10:23 am   #14
Ari
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
OK. Don't. Relitigate. See what happens. Question is whether OP wants GE or not.
Relitigate implies that something was litigated before. Unless you know something that wasn't posted, the denial was just the computer seeing an old incident-- there hasn't been a human involved so far who has actually done anything other than a cursory review.

Which is more effective "I'm sorry for doing something wrong" [this is called a statement against interest or an admission-- that one violated customs laws in the past-- and should result in denial as it would be against GE criteria no matter how long ago]. Or "I didn't do anything wrong-- please check your records, this is what really happened . . . " [CBP reseraches and reconsiders].

I find it interesting that you would recommend someone make a statement against interest; I hope you aren't a criminal lawyer. "Just apologize to the prosecutor . . . "

Last edited by Ari; Sep 4, 12 at 10:33 am
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Old Sep 5, 12, 3:45 pm   #15
  
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This doesn't make sense. There were no charges, so how would the CBP even be aware of this. The incident was determined at the time to be nothing, so there would be no record.

There has to be more to this.....
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