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Some welcome 

Arroyo Grande

On Jan. 8 my wife and I and another couple were returning to California from a vacation in Baja, Mexico. We had reached the U.S.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspection booth in my pickup and had given our passports to the inspector. All of a sudden the entire busiest border crossing in the world was locked down. Six green-suited officers with shotguns and rifles came running our way; blue-suited officers brandishing handguns ran behind our vehicle.

 A screaming voice from one of the blue-suited officers pointing a gun at us ordered me  (the driver) out of the pickup.  By that time there were about a dozen guns pointed at us. I was ordered to put my hands over my head and to walk backwards toward the officers pointing guns. Then I was handcuffed and marched off to a processing office. This removal from our pickup at gunpoint was repeated for my friend and our wives.

After we were processed and held for about an hour we were released. I asked why they treated us as armed and dangerous but never got an explanation or apology. We immediately filed formal complaints with the CBP. We have also written to our Congressman, a U.S. Senator, Janet Napolitano, and the San Diego Union.

 The only thing we have so far received is a comment card from the CBP stating their Pledge to Travelers:

* We pledge to cordially greet and welcome you to the United States.

* We pledge to treat you with courtesy, dignity, and respect.

* We pledge to explain the CBP process to you.

* We pledge to have a supervisor listen to your comments.

* We pledge to accept and respond to your comments in written, verbal, or electronic form.

* We pledge to provide reasonable assistance due to delay or disability.

 What a joke! Not one of these pledges was upheld. Is this what Homeland Security has come to—holding unarmed U. S. citizens with valid passports at gunpoint without any explanation? What’s next?

It would certainly seem reasonable that provisions in our Constitution would prevent such personal threats. Or has the Constitution become obsolete?

Readers Poll

What are you most thankful for this year?

  • The Chumash National Marine Sanctuary.
  • The Dana Reserve proposed development.
  • No added ExxonMobil tanker trucks on Central Coast highways.
  • Straight-up turkey and gravy.

View Results

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