*BORDER INCIDENT* Can the CBP KEEP you from crossing INTO Mexico WITHOUT a Passport?

93BLAZER

Active Member
#1
Question, We went down last Friday on a last minute trip to RP. Anyways, I forgot my passport. So I figured it would be a hassle on the way back. On the way through, the US Agent asked for my passport. I said I forgot it and he said that I cant leave the country and enter Mexico. He then instructed me to back up and turn around. I chuckled and told him to get a supervisor. He argued with me for several minutes saying his supervisor is busy. As there were about a dozen cars behind me at this point, I threatened to turn my car off and walk in and get a supervisor myself, his supervisor came out talked to the agent for a minute and abruptly told me to start my car and "leave". Never asking about the raw steaks I had taped to my window, bunches of undeclared US currency on my dash or the barrels of straw sale semi automatic weapons I had visable in my backseat. (LOL)


Seriously.... Can the CBP "LEGALLY" PREVENT you from leaving the country without visable proof of a passport? If you think so, please CITE your source of information. No second or third hand "I heard, My friend the laywer said...etc" I've spent about an hour on the internet not finding a thing.

Now there is a difference here... I HAVE a valid passport, I just didnt have one as proof to show at the border. Not only did the US agent say that I could not leave the country, he actually physically prevented me from doing so.


UFB.
 
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mexicoruss

Lovin it in RP!
#2
This is a good and valid question, I know you dont want opinions so I wrote to CBP with a detailed question and should hear back soon. ALL of the information about passports refer to re-entering the USA or leaving the USA by Boat or Plane which is not the case for your question. It should be interesting to see what the clear ruling is.
 

moore_rb

Stay Thirsty My Friends
#3
"Can the CBP "LEGALLY" PREVENT you from leaving the country without visable proof of a passport?"

No, but one call to their counter-parts on the other side of the line can prevent you from going any further than that. :)
 

Estero

Well Known Member
#5
Great question! And wow I found this "[FONT=&quot](b) Except as otherwise provided by the President and subject to such limitations and exceptions as the President may authorize and prescribe, it shall be unlawful for any citizen of the United States to depart from or enter, or attempt to depart from or enter, the United States unless he bears a valid United States passport." I would think the word "bears" is the operative word here and up for interpretation by the guys in blue. Here is the source INA: ACT 215 - TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION OF ALIENS AND CITIZENS[/FONT]
 

moore_rb

Stay Thirsty My Friends
#6
Great question! And wow I found this "(b) Except as otherwise provided by the President and subject to such limitations and exceptions as the President may authorize and prescribe, it shall be unlawful for any citizen of the United States to depart from or enter, or attempt to depart from or enter, the United States unless he bears a valid United States passport." I would think the word "bears" is the operative word here and up for interpretation by the guys in blue. Here is the source INA: ACT 215 - TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION OF ALIENS AND CITIZENS

AHHHHHH... This is where the mastery of language increases the interesting nature of the original question.

There is only one legal definition of "citizen of the United States", and that definition is born of the 14th Amendment. Prior to the 14th, "citizenry" was of the several state upon whose soil you were born. Some people were citizens of Vermont, and some were citizens of Virginia. There was no such thing as a Federal citizen until the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil War determined that there is no such thing as a free man in the conquered commonwealth of the united States of America. The 14th Amendment sealed the deal.

So, if the CBP asked you "Are you a US citizen?" and you reply in the affirmative, then they can compel you not to cross the border without your passport per the administrative law that Estero provided above.

But, can they ASSUME that you are a US citizen, and prevent you from crossing without a US passport? NOPE.

Can they prevent you from crossing without a passport if you declare not to be a US citizen? NOPE.

Can they really prevent you from being a free person at all? Nope, but they CAN make the price of your freedom seem just a little too expensive to pay.


"yes sir, no sir", or "sure, handcuffs are fine- what's 20 minutes of mere inconvenience" sure do go a long way to maintain peace of mind.


I've posted this in this forum before: "Are you a US citizen" is a not just a simple question. It is a question intended to bind you into a contract with a Federal company incorporated in the District of Columbia.

Once you bind yourself in contract, you are subject to the by-laws and governance of the UNITED STATES of AMERICA, inc.
 

mexicoruss

Lovin it in RP!
#8
I read the same thing that Estero posted but I do not believe it has been signed into law. I will reread it but passed on bringing it up since it did not make it clear if it was a proposed change or one that had already taken place. Under the original constitution and no this has nothing to do with the question you are free to re-reenter the USA with out a passport if you are a citizen - they can make it difficult but once you pass the test you are in. Initiatives like the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative are just that, they do no replace law. They may at some point be entered into law but as long as they are an initiative they cannot trump the Constitution.
 

MIRAMAR

Well Known Member
#9
When you go on a plane to a foreign country, you have to show your passport before leaving. I don't think it's fair, but you can't board the plane w/out showing you can get back in. Good for you for asking for a supervisor, and I'm glad he let you go into Mexico.
 

mis2810

Well Known Member
#10
Do people regularly get asked to see their passports by CBP on the way into Mexico? I've never once been asked to see my passport. Only been asked where I'm going, how long am I going to be there, how much cash I have, and what my job is in the US.
 

AZJD

Active Member
#11
The last 5 or 6 times I've driven into Mexico from the Lukeville station I have been with people without passports, including 1 time with a friend from Georgia who didn't even have any ID at all lol.

Not once has the US BP asked for a passport to get into Mexico. Only the usual money, weapons, etc questions.

I always wondered about the whole entry w/o passport....I hope it's not true that you need a passport to leave the US!

*edit* I do respect the law and always have my passport. Just always seems that 1 friend on every trip doesnt have a passport but wants to go with us. They do bring a birth cert tho.....
 

Kenny

Well Known Member
Forum Supporter
#12
Do people regularly get asked to see their passports by CBP on the way into Mexico? I've never once been asked to see my passport. Only been asked where I'm going, how long am I going to be there, how much cash I have, and what my job is in the US.
Asking what your job is, is a first for me. Has anyone else been asked that?
 

rplarry

Well Known Member
#15
Asking what your job is, is a first for me. Has anyone else been asked that?
Yes, I have been asked that question a few times. Always irks me too. I know these guys and ladies are doing their job but their candor and arrogance is often over the top.
 

Ladyjeeper

Sonoran Goddess
Staff member
#16
I've never been asked for my passport or what my job is going in to Mexico by the cbp. I have, however, been asked how my social work was going on the way back in to Arizona. That was a different trip than the Good afternoon, Miss Ainsworth question.......
 

TICO-T

Well Known Member
#17
Make it simple. Pay $35.00 for the "card" passport. It is the size of your drivers license and keep it in your wallet. Also when returning from Penasco there is a "Ready Lane" for those with the card passport. You sail through unless you have shifty eyes. :roll:
 
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mexicoruss

Lovin it in RP!
#18
Opinion nothing more than an opinion, these guys are reading this too.

If you want to leave the USA with no passport the only way you can is by land travel, private land travel. My opinion is that CBP cannot stop you from leaving via land travel even if you do not have a passport. Their job is to enforce US sovereignty for those who wish to come into the USA. If they ask you for your passport, show it with the respect due. If you dont have one explain that you are willing to take your chances upon reentry. I am still waiting for the eply but I have thought about this all day and cant see a reason why they would want to stop you from your journey when they dont have jurisdiction until you reenter. The planes, I understand I think they should know everyone on the plane, same with boats, same with trains. If you are in your own mode of transport I cant see why they would care. If you were on a tour with a group they may impose restrictions on the tour company in trade for their license to conduct. Time will tell and we shall see. Interesting all the same
 

Stuart

Aye carumba!!!
Staff member
Forum Supporter
#19
When you go on a plane to a foreign country, you have to show your passport before leaving.
As one who has written countless hours of training for United Airlines, there is a reason for this. At your destination, if you do not have a passport, visa or official documentation, guess who pays the price? The airlines. A) They have to fly you back home; B) They get fined heavily by the host country for allowing illegal entry; C) They risk losing landing rights if it happens on a regular basis.

That is the reason they check that you have a passport before you depart -- it affects the airline's bottom line in a big way if you don't and end up in Whadiya without any documentation.
 
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