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Global Entry Denial and Recourse

Global Entry Denial and Recourse

Old Oct 21, 2013, 10:30 am
  #121  
 
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Denied Global Entry - seeking letter writing help

Was just denied global entry due to having possession of (half a gram of) marijuana on my record from July 2001. I was stupid, I admit it, but dont think this makes me a threat to national security.

Called in and was told to write a letter to appeal the denial but that approval was unlikely. He had heard of exceptions being made but that that was more exception and not the norm.

Any insight/advice as to what to put in this letter to maximize my chances of getting approved.

Thanks.
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Old Oct 21, 2013, 11:03 am
  #122  
Ari
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I wouldn't say you were stupid, but rather the law.

Anyhow, the best thing you can do is distance yourself from that incident; show that it was an aberration or youthful indiscretion that is part of a chapter in your life that has been closed for a while. Like applying for parole and finding Jesus. You found . . . adulthood? They need a reason to think you won't possess weed again if you are to convince them, which is unlikely.
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Old Oct 21, 2013, 12:28 pm
  #123  
 
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Originally Posted by injera
Was just denied global entry due to having possession of (half a gram of) marijuana on my record from July 2001. I was stupid, I admit it, but dont think this makes me a threat to national security.

Called in and was told to write a letter to appeal the denial but that approval was unlikely. He had heard of exceptions being made but that that was more exception and not the norm.

Any insight/advice as to what to put in this letter to maximize my chances of getting approved.

Thanks.
Did you disclose it on your application or did it come up on the background check?
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Old Oct 21, 2013, 2:06 pm
  #124  
 
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I disclosed it on the application. Figured it would be better to admit it than to withhold information and have it come up later. I also didn't expect than smoking a little bit of weed when in college makes me a threat.

I called first before applying and was told i'd be okay as long as I had no misdemeanors in the past 10 years. This was 12 years ago and in New York it is not a misdemeanor (I paid a $150 fine).

I assume mentioning things like my master's degree, semi-well paying job, wife and child, etc.... will be irrelevant?? I'd like to make it clear that I have my act together and am moderately successful but dont want to come off as obnoxious or braggy.

Thanks for the help.
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Old Oct 21, 2013, 3:06 pm
  #125  
 
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Global Entry is not focused just on national security. It is primarily focused on your willingness to comply with customs laws, including the illegal importation of various goods (whether potentially legal or not).

Unfortunately, importing marijuana is evidence that you are not willing to comply with those laws. The same can be said for someone who brings in a Serrano ham or some (forbidden) fruits.

Perhaps if you can plead to having reformed and better understanding the importance of customs laws they might see the 12 year gap as forgivable.
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Old Oct 21, 2013, 3:16 pm
  #126  
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OP - Did you disclose the conviction in your GE application, were you asked about it during your GE interview and did you disclose it in your interview when asked (if asked)?
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Old Oct 21, 2013, 4:44 pm
  #127  
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GE has nothing to do with threats or national security as the term is commonly used. As a USN, you have a right to enter the USA. It's just a question of the level of convenience. One of the most common minor smuggling violations is small amounts of controlled substances and you have a record for that.

I would write a short and concise letter with the emphasis on short and concise. Provide the exact facts of what you did, express regret for your actions, note that you have never had any other violations of law, that you have a responsible job and so forth.

Do not make light of the offense. The guy reading your letter is a federal agent who catches druggies for a living. Telling him that it was just a bit of weed back in college isn't going to help.

Triple check the letter for spelling and send it in. People have reported lengthy (9-10 month) waits for responses. Expect those to be longer with the ongoing sequester and the recent shutdown.
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Old Oct 21, 2013, 7:03 pm
  #128  
 
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Originally Posted by drewguy
Global Entry is not focused just on national security. It is primarily focused on your willingness to comply with customs laws, including the illegal importation of various goods (whether potentially legal or not).

Unfortunately, importing marijuana is evidence that you are not willing to comply with those laws. The same can be said for someone who brings in a Serrano ham or some (forbidden) fruits.

Perhaps if you can plead to having reformed and better understanding the importance of customs laws they might see the 12 year gap as forgivable.
Nothing was imported. I was caught within the United States. Does that make a difference?
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Old Oct 21, 2013, 7:05 pm
  #129  
 
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Thanks. I plan on leaving my personal viewpoints on drugs and drug laws off this letter. Nothing was smuggled into the United States, I was caught in New York with weed I purchased in New York. Does that make a difference?
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Old Oct 21, 2013, 7:16 pm
  #130  
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Originally Posted by injera
Thanks. I plan on leaving my personal viewpoints on drugs and drug laws off this letter. Nothing was smuggled into the United States, I was caught in New York with weed I purchased in New York. Does that make a difference?
No. If it did, they would have granted you access.
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Old Oct 21, 2013, 8:53 pm
  #131  
 
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Originally Posted by injera
Thanks. I plan on leaving my personal viewpoints on drugs and drug laws off this letter. Nothing was smuggled into the United States, I was caught in New York with weed I purchased in New York. Does that make a difference?
It might . . . I didn't realize that when posting earlier. At least it doesn't show you are more at risk of violating customs laws based on past behavior. It still may be a basis for not having sufficient trust in you.
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Old Oct 22, 2013, 7:53 am
  #132  
 
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Definitely don't use the word "weed" in the letter. Sends exactly the message you don't want to send.
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Old Oct 23, 2013, 12:46 pm
  #133  
 
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As others have suggested, GE is a privilege not a right. Thus, approval is granted to those who demonstrate the absolute lowest threat to national security and/or CBP policy. It sounds like the OP made a mistake, admits that mistake and has moved forward. All you can do is submit your letter of appeal and hope they see this is nothing more than an aberration that is well in the past.

Good Luck!
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Old Feb 3, 2014, 6:06 pm
  #134  
 
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A quick follow-up, seven months on: I applied for standalone TSA Pre-Check when it became available and was quickly accepted, so in my case all's well that ends well.

The only sour note was that the GE ombudsman's office responded to my earnest, confused letter a few weeks ago and merely confirmed my GE rejection with no explanation.

But again, since I only travel internationally two or three times a year, it's not the end of the world: Pre-Check was more my goal anyway. And I can usually route my int'l return flight through ORD, so I just stick to carry-ons and use One-Stop.
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Old Feb 3, 2014, 9:44 pm
  #135  
 
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I'm going to just throw out there that it sounds like you had a homophobic interviewer who denied you for being gay because he could and no one could ever prove that's why.
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