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Passengers Departing the US Searched for Undeclared Money at Gate / Jet Bridge

Passengers Departing the US Searched for Undeclared Money at Gate / Jet Bridge

Old Mar 11, 15, 6:46 pm
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Passengers Departing the US Searched for Undeclared Money at Gate / Jet Bridge

Two of us and our baby were about to board an Asiana flight from ORD to Seoul. I was asked how much cash we were carrying . We had $300 and we were made to sign that declares the amount and our signatures. After that while all the other passengers were boarding, the same famale agent which had border patrol logo searched our small hand carry on which had nothing but diapers and baby food. Searched our jackets, wallet, purses, wife's hand bag,baby car seat. Asked us why were going to Seoul, who pays for the trip what we do and etc. The agent ransacked our hand carry-ons. She than wrote down some info from my passport
I didn't talk back due to fear of missing our flights. I love this country, its founding and rights we were supposed to have under our Constitution but I don't think we actually have any constitutional basic rights. Are they not finding potential terrorists going overseas and they think it is OK for them to harass law abiding citizens and families who are just going for vacation to Seoul?

Last edited by Blueskyheaven; Mar 11, 15 at 6:58 pm
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Old Mar 11, 15, 8:03 pm
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Asian American family stopped and searched

Searching outbound passengers for undeclared currency has been reported many times in the board as well as CBP press release. Nothing unusual here.
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Old Mar 11, 15, 9:00 pm
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They obviously suspected you were muling money. I doubt being Asian-American had anything to do with that.
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Old Mar 11, 15, 9:09 pm
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Undoubtedly there were stopped because they were Asian: Racism!
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Old Mar 12, 15, 3:15 am
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I would file a complaint with the CBP for the simple reason that it sounds as though you were singled out because of your race, searched without probable cause, and force to sign a document that you did not need to sign. I am no expert in CBP exits I believe all you needed to state was that you were carrying under the legal limit which required a declaration.
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Old Mar 12, 15, 3:55 am
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Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
They obviously suspected you were muling money. I doubt being Asian-American had anything to do with that.
Asian-Americans are targeted by CBP for transporting cash in excess of $10,000 for non-filing of the required declaration form. The hunt used to be mainly aimed at drug money runners, but then the aim got modified; and for several years now the search has shifted dramatically more to go after the wealthiest ethnic minorities in America, some of which are Asian. So being Asian-American flying to Asia does have a lot to do with it.
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Old Mar 12, 15, 4:04 am
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Originally Posted by FlyingUnderTheRadar View Post
I would file a complaint with the CBP for the simple reason that it sounds as though you were singled out because of your race, searched without probable cause
No probable cause is needed by CBP, the standard at border crossings is substantially lower to just having a reasonable suspicion. They are simply doing their job.... and the race card probably won't fly either. I bet that flight to ICN has more than a few Asians, and not all were searched.
You simply fit a profile (yes, that includes perfectly decent people traveling with a baby) or were picked randomly. Searching for cash mules on outbounds at the airport is a common activity, it's just like searching for drugs or other contraband coming into the country.

I fail to see what the fuss is about if it was done properly and with a bit of respect. You may not like it, but you basically have little rights when crossing borders.

Last edited by RTW1; Mar 12, 15 at 4:14 am
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Old Mar 12, 15, 5:41 am
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Originally Posted by RTW1 View Post
No probable cause is needed by CBP, the standard at border crossings is substantially lower to just having a reasonable suspicion. They are simply doing their job.... and the race card probably won't fly either. I bet that flight to ICN has more than a few Asians, and not all were searched.
You simply fit a profile (yes, that includes perfectly decent people traveling with a baby) or were picked randomly. Searching for cash mules on outbounds at the airport is a common activity, it's just like searching for drugs or other contraband coming into the country.

I fail to see what the fuss is about if it was done properly and with a bit of respect. You may not like it, but you basically have little rights when crossing borders.
Being searched as if a cash mule is not common activity for passengers leaving airports from OECD countries. It happens, but it is not common for passengers.

Only a small minority of departing passengers get searched by customs as if a cash mule. Of the small minority searched on departure, perceived ethnic minorities are more likely to be checked than others. Why should anyone be surprised that customs functions are rather frequently performed on a racist basis in countries? CBP is no exception in this regard; and it's rather telling that when anti-racist profiling measures were up for consideration by headline names in the current US Admin, the DHS characters got in gear to lobby for an exemption so as to make sure that engagement in racist profiling wasn't stopped for them too.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politi...bdc_story.html
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Old Mar 12, 15, 6:02 am
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
Being searched as if a cash mule is not common activity for passengers leaving airports from OECD countries. It happens, but it is not common for passengers.
I see stories of people caught with large amounts of cash fairly often.... yes, it's probably a very, very small percentage of those traveling. But people need to be searched to catch them anyway, even if it's not common.

And for the race card.... first it's a flight to Korea, so a fair bet some of those traveling will be Asian :-). And second... chances are probably higher if a profile is used than do random searches. Whatever you might think, it's a job and I think those doing it know more than the average poster here. It's not the TSA we are talking about here....

I travel fairly often, and get stopped sometimes (single white guy from AMS) in specific countries. For other countries they target others (for instance arriving in AMS the Asian middle age ladies with 3 suitcases will get stopped because they know/assume they will be carrying all kinds of groceries that are prohibited). Racial profiling.... probably it's one factor they use, there are others.

And why would it be a problem anyway when that gets results? It's not like you are harassed randomly. You are at a border crossing where everybody is subject to being searched.
And what's the solution here, Asian couples with a baby should be excluded from searches? Or only random (decided by whom) should be allowed?
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Old Mar 12, 15, 6:38 am
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Originally Posted by RTW1 View Post
I see stories of people caught with large amounts of cash fairly often.... yes, it's probably a very, very small percentage of those traveling. But people need to be searched to catch them anyway, even if it's not common.

And for the race card.... first it's a flight to Korea, so a fair bet some of those traveling will be Asian :-). And second... chances are probably higher if a profile is used than do random searches. Whatever you might think, it's a job and I think those doing it know more than the average poster here. It's not the TSA we are talking about here....

I travel fairly often, and get stopped sometimes (single white guy from AMS) in specific countries. For other countries they target others (for instance arriving in AMS the Asian middle age ladies with 3 suitcases will get stopped because they know/assume they will be carrying all kinds of groceries that are prohibited). Racial profiling.... probably it's one factor they use, there are others.

And why would it be a problem anyway when that gets results? It's not like you are harassed randomly. You are at a border crossing where everybody is subject to being searched.
And what's the solution here, Asian couples with a baby should be excluded from searches? Or only random (decided by whom) should be allowed?
When CBP is running a dragnet for underdeclared/undeclared cash being transported by Asian-Americans headed to Asia, eventually the dragnet will catch some ignorant Asian-Americans. That racist profiling catches some violators of law is to be expected, but is catching a few violators a good justification for racist activity (whether or not perpetrated by those operating under color of authority)? If so, then would you support the KKK whose lynchings and other attacks may have included punishing some law violators?

Even a broken clock may be right twice a day in displaying the right time. Much the same goes for racist profiling at airports, which more rarely displays the right crime/violation than it displays racist profiling as a wild goose chase that is more often wrong than right in finding what it is supposed to find.

Last edited by GUWonder; Mar 12, 15 at 6:44 am
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Old Mar 12, 15, 9:05 am
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Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
Searching outbound passengers for undeclared currency has been reported many times in the board as well as CBP press release. Nothing unusual here.
And isn't that just sad...
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Old Mar 12, 15, 9:07 am
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Originally Posted by FlyingUnderTheRadar View Post
I would file a complaint with the CBP for the simple reason that it sounds as though you were singled out because of your race, searched without probable cause, and force to sign a document that you did not need to sign. I am no expert in CBP exits I believe all you needed to state was that you were carrying under the legal limit which required a declaration.
Based on what OP posted, I do not see discrimination. I see a random search and OP happened to be Asian. If CBP was targeting by race, both my colleagues and I would have see similar searches being conducted on CX flight to HKG. Combined we make the trip more than a dozen times a year. Have only heard about CBP doing currency searches outbound never seen it in person.

Seems like whenever law enforcement does their job and the person being searched happens to be a minority, it is automatically labelled as discrimination.
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Old Mar 12, 15, 9:08 am
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Originally Posted by NewportGuy View Post
And isn't that just sad...
Why... what's the difference with going through customs?
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Old Mar 12, 15, 9:12 am
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Originally Posted by RTW1 View Post
Why... what's the difference with going through customs?
No, my point was that so many of these "security" agencies seem to operate under the umbrella of fear, rather than public service. People should not fear the government. Government should fear the people.
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Old Mar 12, 15, 9:19 am
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Is it fine to force us to write the only $300 we were carrying and than demand to sign our names? She herself said you are allowed to carry up to $5000. She Checked everything we had for 10 mins . She couldn't find any illegal cash or illegal stuffs she hoped and prayed for and she would still copy some information from my passport on a piece of paper.
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