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Global Entry Denial and Recourse

Global Entry Denial and Recourse

Old May 23, 2013, 1:23 pm
  #61  
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Originally Posted by Eric Westby
She said I could write to the Ombudsperson, but he would simply echo CBP's decision, which was final and "not based on an error." She said my only recourse to determine the reason was to make a FOIA request. She then hung up on me.
Don't you love it when government officials lie to you? Hope you recorded the conversation. Staff like that should be fired. There's little hope of re-training them.
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Old May 23, 2013, 1:23 pm
  #62  
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I'm an openly gay dude and had no problems with my interview (LAX, not SFO) although I do not recall it coming up specifically, I may have mentioned it when asked about travel companions.

I have a couple of friends who many, many years ago were arrested (Vietnam protest days). Both of them are Global Entry; one listed the arrest on his application and was questioned about it during the interview, and he was approved. The other did not list it on his application and was ALSO questioned about it during his interview - repeatedly - yet he was still approved.

I'd get ahold of the FOIA record to see what's amiss there; it's possible you have a name that's similar to someone else, perhaps there was a big error made during your application that went unnoticed, who knows. I have not known anyone who failed their GE interview though. Sorry this happened, and hopeful it's resolved.
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Old May 23, 2013, 2:27 pm
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Eric Westby
I've recently begun flying a lot more for work, and I have an international vacation coming up, so I decided to splurge and apply for Global Entry. While I knew it wouldn't matter much for my work travel, which is mostly domestic, I figured it'd help me qualify for TSA Pre-Check more consistently.

I submitted my application, paid my $100, was conditionally approved, and had my interview, which was not at all what I was expecting. While others being interviewed were asked perfunctory questions and then dismissed within a few minutes, my (very young) interviewer kept asking questions seemingly designed to "trip me up" and elicit inconsistencies. I flew El Al once in college, and had the same sort of questions asked of me, so I figured that was all it was ... but it was still odd to note that I seemed to be getting a much deeper level of interview than others. All interviews took place in public, in the single open office that the SFO Global Entry staff use.

Ten days pass, and I receive an email today saying that I've been denied because I "do not meet the strict standards of the program."

I'm floored! Absolutely floored! A few stats about me: I'm 44 years old, an American citizen born in the US, and have Premier Silver status on United. I traveled extensively abroad as a professional singer when I was younger, though not to any countries that would raise eyebrows among border officials. I'm Caucasian, and I've never been in the slightest legal trouble -- heck, I've never even been pulled over by a cop while driving.

The letter I received lists the following as likely reasons why some are denied:

* Providing false or incomplete information on the application;
* Convictions for any criminal offense or pending criminal charges to include outstanding warrants;
* Violations of any customs, immigration, or agriculture regulations or laws in any country;
* Inadmissibility to the United States under immigration laws;
* Receipt of a criminal pardon from any country; or
* Other circumstances that indicate to CBP that you have not qualified as "low risk."

I suppose my denial is based on the nebulous final bullet.

The *only* remotely unusual thing about me is that I'm gay. I mentioned my partner in passing during the interview because the interviewer asked who my travel companions were during a recent trip abroad. In fact after I mentioned him, the interviewer began asking me all sorts of questions about him. He even called my mobile number after the interview to confirm my partner's name, in order to "flag" the application, which was made weeks after mine. At the time I assumed he meant to flag it in the positive sense, but now I am simply bewildered as to why he would ask such a thing.

Have others on this forum been similarly denied without explanation? Can anyone shed any light on what might have gone awry, either at my interview or elsewhere in the process? I don't think I seemed remotely nervous or evasive, though I am a naturally fidgety person.

Thanks for any help.

Cheers,
Eric.
I don't even recall all the nations I have been to. My answer would sound like this: USA, Canada, Mexico, Various Caribbean islands, Italy, Switzerland, I may have passed through Germany though I am not certain. It was such a long time ago.

Would not remembering specific nations be an immediate grounds for dismissal?

I could understand specific concrete reasons why one should be rejected.

Being gay in the USA can NOT be used as a reason for dismissal.
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Old May 23, 2013, 2:36 pm
  #64  
 
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I was denied. I appealed to the Ombudsperson. I was approved (first conditionally, the interviewed, then approved). So, that is at least one factual piece of evidence that it is possible to appeal.
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Old May 23, 2013, 2:54 pm
  #65  
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Originally Posted by adamj023
Would not remembering specific nations be an immediate grounds for dismissal?
I forot about my same day turn to London, although i never left the transit area but I was approved.
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Old May 23, 2013, 3:00 pm
  #66  
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Originally Posted by manneca
Best of luck with the denial. If you have a new interview, I'd suggest going to a US-Canadian land crossing. I'd heard awful things about interviews and went to one in Sault Ste. Marie (I was in Petosky for a wedding). It was a piece of cake. I suggested my son go to either Buffalo or Detroit-Windsor and his was fairly easy.
YVR tends to be busy with NEXUS applicants.
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Old May 23, 2013, 3:14 pm
  #67  
 
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Originally Posted by LAXative
I just thought of something... do you have any "interesting" financials going? Or, have you ever been caught at customs with something you weren't suppose to be bringing in?
No and no. No money parked in foreign countries, and my family is of very modest means.

I'm so paranoid about customs crossings that when I was traveling a lot, I was ridiculously careful about declaring even the smallest thing I'd bought abroad. Meanwhile, guys in my singing group were stashing half a dozen bespoke suits they'd acquired in Hong Kong in their bags without a second thought!

That's what rankles most: that a lifetime of scrupulous honesty is ignored in favor of an unaccountable bureaucracy.
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Old May 23, 2013, 3:19 pm
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Originally Posted by adamj023
Would not remembering specific nations be an immediate grounds for dismissal?

I could understand specific concrete reasons why one should be rejected.
The agent interviewing me stressed how it was really good to list even potentially negative things. He said that "honesty" is one of their critical points, so people should list arrests even with dismissed charges, drunk driving even if expunged, things before age 18, etc. The hard part is that you may have genuinely forgot about something minor from 30 years ago, but they somehow have it on their screen.

I listed every country even if I had just been in transit (it was hard to remember all of them, frankly). For the record/FWIW, as I posted elsewhere, my entire experience was phenomenal -- from getting squeezed in for an appointment to the interview process, I got such good customer service that I even sent positive feedback to the agency.
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Old May 23, 2013, 4:26 pm
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Originally Posted by abaheti
I listed every country even if I had just been in transit (it was hard to remember all of them, frankly). For the record/FWIW, as I posted elsewhere, my entire experience was phenomenal -- from getting squeezed in for an appointment to the interview process, I got such good customer service that I even sent positive feedback to the agency.
I don't follow: where exactly did you "list every country" you'd visited, even in transit? My online application only allowed me to list trips I had taken in the past few years.

I wouldn't say I received any "customer service" whatsoever through the process. From beginning to end, it felt like an arbitrary, opaque, mindless bureaucracy.
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Old May 23, 2013, 4:49 pm
  #70  
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Originally Posted by cparekh
I was denied. I appealed to the Ombudsperson. I was approved (first conditionally, the interviewed, then approved). So, that is at least one factual piece of evidence that it is possible to appeal.
I don't like how others put you in a central database for others to make decisions for or against you getting expedited access into foreign nations especially as some of the players involved are quite corrupt themselves.

There are indeed legitimate reasons for denial. No doubt about this. But the TSA has wrongfully abused people as well.

TSA precheck and Global Entry are poorly designed programs. Initially after 9/11 I did believe the TSA should be involved and they have been but unfortunately the end result has been that instead of profiling potential threats, regular honest people got wrapped up in a system that has been corrupted.

Fees are too high IMHO and the length of time these services last for are too low along with the fact they are poorly designed.

Regular citizens should be allowed to go through an airport without any inconveniences and the system should only be targeting a small few individuals. Instead that is not what is going on.

I suggest the poster keep pressing the agency to get a determination of what actually happened by contacting the agency using the mechanisms people have described here. I am assuming you have not broken any laws, but again there could be something I am not privy to.

Legitimate reasons could be failing to pay child support, criminal or suspected criminal activities, customs violations, suspected ties to terrorists or even a simple name mixup and the list goes on and on.

If that doesn't work, I suggest contacting your local political representatives.

Last edited by adamj023; May 23, 2013 at 5:07 pm
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Old May 23, 2013, 5:09 pm
  #71  
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Originally Posted by adamj023
I don't like how others put you in a central database for others to make decisions for or against you getting expedited access into foreign nations especially as some of the players involved are quite corrupt themselves.

There are indeed legitimate reasons for denial. No doubt about this. But the TSA has wrongfully abused people as well.

TSA precheck and Global Entry are poorly designed programs. Initially after 9/11 I did believe the TSA should be involved and they have been but unfortunately the end result has been that instead of profiling potential threats, regular honest people got wrapped up in a system that has been corrupted.

Fees are too high IMHO and the length of time these services last for are too low along with the fact they are poorly designed.

Regular citizens should be allowed to go through an airport without any inconveniences and the system should only be targeting a small few individuals. Instead that is not what is going on.

I suggest the poster keep pressing the agency to get a determination of what actually happened by contacting the agency using the mechanisms people have described here. I am assuming you have not broken any laws, but again there could be something I am not privy to.

Legitimate reasons could be failing to pay child support, criminal or suspected criminal activities, customs violations, suspected ties to terrorists or even a simple name mixup and the list goes on and on.

If that doesn't work, I suggest contacting your local political representatives.
During your rant, you lumped TSA in with Global Entry. You may want to fix that.
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Old May 23, 2013, 6:11 pm
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Originally Posted by adamj023
I suggest the poster keep pressing the agency to get a determination of what actually happened by contacting the agency using the mechanisms people have described here. I am assuming you have not broken any laws, but again there could be something I am not privy to.

Legitimate reasons could be failing to pay child support, criminal or suspected criminal activities, customs violations, suspected ties to terrorists or even a simple name mixup and the list goes on and on.
Since it keeps coming up, I wish to repeat that I haven't broken any laws. As for your other suggestions, note that I'm single in the eyes of the federal government -- thank you, DOMA -- and don't yet have any children. Neither do I pal around with terrorists.

This is why the experience is so curious. I'm a literal and figurative Boy Scout, yet I've been deemed "high risk," and treated with genuine contempt by the team lead on the phone this morning to boot. It reminds me of when my dad was audited by the IRS once in the 80s, back when they conducted random audits with no reason other than the luck of the draw. He was raked over the coals for the better part of a day, and they found nothing wrong; if memory serves, he'd actually overpaid. But they still treated him with an unmistakable presumption of guilt, all because of bad luck.
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Old May 23, 2013, 6:48 pm
  #73  
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Originally Posted by Eric Westby
Since it keeps coming up, I wish to repeat that I haven't broken any laws. As for your other suggestions, note that I'm single in the eyes of the federal government -- thank you, DOMA -- and don't yet have any children. Neither do I pal around with terrorists.

This is why the experience is so curious. I'm a literal and figurative Boy Scout, yet I've been deemed "high risk," and treated with genuine contempt by the team lead on the phone this morning to boot. It reminds me of when my dad was audited by the IRS once in the 80s, back when they conducted random audits with no reason other than the luck of the draw. He was raked over the coals for the better part of a day, and they found nothing wrong; if memory serves, he'd actually overpaid. But they still treated him with an unmistakable presumption of guilt, all because of bad luck.
Devil's Advocate: You weren't deemed "high risk," you were deemed not low risk enough to be a "trusted traveler." Why that is, is the question... and if everything else you say is true (and no reason why it wouldn't be) and the only thing truly is what happened when you mentioned your partner, it may be time to call the ACLU.
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Old May 23, 2013, 7:15 pm
  #74  
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Originally Posted by Eric Westby
Since it keeps coming up, I wish to repeat that I haven't broken any laws. As for your other suggestions, note that I'm single in the eyes of the federal government -- thank you, DOMA -- and don't yet have any children. Neither do I pal around with terrorists.

This is why the experience is so curious. I'm a literal and figurative Boy Scout, yet I've been deemed "high risk," and treated with genuine contempt by the team lead on the phone this morning to boot. It reminds me of when my dad was audited by the IRS once in the 80s, back when they conducted random audits with no reason other than the luck of the draw. He was raked over the coals for the better part of a day, and they found nothing wrong; if memory serves, he'd actually overpaid. But they still treated him with an unmistakable presumption of guilt, all because of bad luck.
I never presumed anything. Contact the agency itself and then contact political representatives if that doesn't work.

Even senators have been randomly targeted for screening when they were credible honest individuals just because of a random flagging by the TSA.

As for the Global Entry process, it is also under DHS run by Customs and Border Protection.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Cu...der_Protection
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Old May 23, 2013, 7:33 pm
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Originally Posted by adamj023

As for the Global Entry process, it is also under DHS run by Customs and Border Protection.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Cu...der_Protection
How does the TSA relate to anything being discussed here?

We should bring in the Coast Guard, Secret Service, and FEMA as well, since they're "under DHS."
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