Author Topic: Customs/TSA  (Read 991 times)

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Offline Jasminjae

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Customs/TSA
« on: February 19, 2020, 05:00:35 am »
Hello,
having a misery loves company moment, (but just for a moment 😊😛) after what has been 2+ years of continuous harassment and profiling during the customs process when returning to the states, I would like to know others experiences and more importantly how you dealt with them.

I had a bad encounter with a agent over 2 years ago, who then flagged my passport, so now I am put through secondary inspection whenever I return to this country. I recently encountered this same agent, so I know the flag was not removed, as our encounter was no better then the first.

I should mention during these encounters, I of course see the looks, hear the comments, and laughs from the other agents. I pass really well, but obviously my other information is visible to these people when they do their searches.

So just want some feedback on how to cope with what is race, sex, and gender discrimination and essentially systematic bullying at the ends of these persons. I am a us citizen and literally watch them treat foreigners, better than me.

Offline Devlyn

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Re: Customs/TSA
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2020, 05:25:19 am »
Hi Jasminjae, welcome to Susan's Place!

I'm a US citizen who emigrated to the UK. My passport is flagged for a previous entry refusal to the UK, so I was routinely held for questioning by UK Border Force. I don't see it as discrimination.

As for US TSA, I always told them I was transgender before entering the scanner, and never had any issues of any kind. On the day I was permanently moving to the UK, I had a lot on my mind and neglected to mention my status. Predictably, an anomaly was detected in my groin area, at which point I stated that I was transgender. I was told that I would need a patdown, and offered the choice of getting it there or in private, and was asked if I preferred the female agent to do it, or wanted a male officer to come do it. I opted for the quick approach and let the female officer do it right there.

Well, to say it was a thorough frisking would be an understatement, I was expecting flowers after the
procedure!  :laugh:

I've found things have gotten easier as the E-gates are rolled in internationally.

If you feel that you have faced discrimination, I suggest contacting the TSA through this link:

https://www.tsa.gov/contact-center/form/complaints

Let me give you our standard greeting links to get you off to a good start on the site

Hugs, Devlyn

Things that you should read
Veteran, US Army

Offline Jasminjae

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Re: Customs/TSA
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2020, 06:18:59 am »
If I may ask and if you would like to answer...what was the reason for the refusal to the UK?

I have heard first hand accounts, of other tans women being denied entry or detained, and the issue was so obviously related to them being trans, simply because of the treatment, language used, behaviour of the agents, etc

I think TSA has improved, also they tend to be more relaxed in the bigger cities, and with he crowds increasing, I don't hear to many stories of them being very aggressive with searches anymore as I think they are short staffed and tired of the bad press.

As with the E-gates, it is so much easier to travel internationally, however with the U.S. Customs and the governments attitude towards trans persons, the behaviour of the agents is very poor, simply because they know there will be little to no consequences.

As I said in my original post, I am a US citizen and have been treated worse, witnessed with my own eyes, then foreign persons trying to enter with drug paraphernalia

Offline Devlyn

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Re: Customs/TSA
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2020, 06:28:55 am »
I was considered an overstay risk as I had sold my house and was on a work sabbatical. I returned to the US, got my spouse visa, and now live permanently in the UK.

I've flown out of Boston, New York, Raleigh NC, Atlanta, Chicago, Fayetteville NC, London Heathrow and Gatwick, Iceland, Belgium, and France and been treated with nothing but respect. Again, if you have experienced discrimination, contact the TSA.

Veteran, US Army

Offline Jasminjae

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Re: Customs/TSA
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2020, 09:54:30 am »
That is great but you're also a white trans person and older.
I am a young, very young looking black trans woman and that caries way more stigma and burden

Also, not sure if it wasn't clear in my OP, but I am looking for general responses, just to not feel alone in this fight.
My issue is NOT with TSA, it's with CBP and NUMEROUS complaints, FOIA requests have been submitted.

Also, I to have flown out and into several of those airports with no issue but thanks for your input.

Offline Devlyn

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Re: Customs/TSA
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2020, 04:49:58 am »
 :o .... Older?  :'(

But, but... I'm only 29.......times two.  :laugh:

I'm not making light of your issue, now that you've elaborated, you are facing higher hurdles than I do. I hope you find a way through this.

Hugs, Devlyn
Veteran, US Army

Offline Rakel

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Re: Customs/TSA
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2020, 05:24:17 am »

I had a bad encounter with a agent over 2 years ago, who then flagged my passport, so now I am put through secondary inspection whenever I return to this country. I recently encountered this same agent, so I know the flag was not removed, as our encounter was no better then the first.


Depending on the nature of the bad encounter from 2 years ago, I think you may have a valid civil rights complaint. If the bad encounter was not your fault, I would talk to a civil rights attorney.

US Government agencies are not responsive to complaints from citizens. They are responsive to court orders. Nobody in Federal service want to lose their pension by disobeying a court order.

Remember, if they ever say "I am from the government and I am here to help.", you need to watch out.  :police:  ::)




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Retired Pharmacist with over 40 years experience in Hospital and Retail Pharmacies.
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Offline Maddie

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Re: Customs/TSA
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2020, 09:24:14 am »
Last times through, I had to stand at the front of the line flanked by 2 agents, each with a hand squeezing one of  my tiny boobs. 
Passing people laughed and commented on me. 

No kidding, it was surreal the way they stood there holding me like that.  I was just out of an operation, swollen face and black eyes,  and in the middle of what turned into a 30hr delay/cancellation/delay thing.
Then I was taken aside and searched v e r y  s l o w l y  by a female agent who came over and stopped the other two professionals. 
I don't have a problem with them doing their job, keeping everybody safer, and can understand why I send out suspicious signals. 
I was focused on not passing out and falling down.

In the end, they never checked the wrappings all around my head (good thing for me), and they let me keep a special post-op liquid that was 1oz over the limit :)

Offline Jasminjae

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Re: Customs/TSA
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2020, 06:33:53 am »
Depending on the nature of the bad encounter from 2 years ago, I think you may have a valid civil rights complaint. If the bad encounter was not your fault, I would talk to a civil rights attorney.

US Government agencies are not responsive to complaints from citizens. They are responsive to court orders. Nobody in Federal service want to lose their pension by disobeying a court order.

Remember, if they ever say "I am from the government and I am here to help.", you need to watch out.  :police:  ::)


Solid advice, thank you...I will discuss with my attorney those options.
I think for the victims sake, still as I have, file the complaints, FOIA request, etc...because it starts a paper trail which benefits you and your experiences should things escalate, as I fear my situation might.

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