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We get stopped crossing the border into the U.S.

Our view entering the U.S. Border Patrol Secondary Inspection area

Our view entering the U.S. Border Patrol Secondary Inspection area

As usual, we had errands to run.  Jim and I were waiting to cross thru’ the Calexico Border Patrol.

When it was our turn, the Border Patrol Agent, took one look at us, as he inspecting the documents we had handed to him, and said, “Go to Secondary Inspection.”

I was surprised.  Jim had been stopped before, and the agent had informed him that the computer at that time had done a random selection-nothing unusual.

This was my first time going into Secondary Inspection. I was nervous as one American lady we know, had been handcuffed and shackled in Secondary Inspection. Another, a Mexican lady, had also been handcuffed and attached to a wall so that her feet could barely touch the ground. Naturally, I am on the side of the Border Patrol, but was very worried.

We drove into the Secondary Inspection area. I wanted to see how the US border agents handled people and their vehicles there.

We sat in our truck for a good 25 minutes, just waiting for an agent. I checked—the area didn’t look too busy!  While waiting for an agent to come over and check us, another truck moved into the slot next to us. A man and a woman sat, also waiting.

A Border Agent finally arrived; his name tag was “Chaparro.”  Jim handed him our US Passports.  Agent Chaparro told Jim to pop the hood, the trunk, and unlock the doors.  He also told us to step outside of our vehicle and stand in front of our truck.

The agent spoke only Spanish, and Jim answered him in English.  We were over on the US side now. Jim strongly (to put it mildly) favors the use of English in the U.S., especially when it comes to officials.

Chaparro refused to reply in English to us until Jim insisted.  After he checked over our vehicle carefully we were allowed to get back into our truck and drive off.

While we were getting ready to do just that, the man in the truck next to us, was told to pop the hood of his truck.

Well—the fellow was unable to pop the hood!  He kept trying, looking a little nervous. Soon a couple of agents came and escorted him and the woman with him to a cage, made of chain-linked barriers.

There were other people who were inside this cage, all sitting down.

Jim said, ”MaryAnn, look’s like the fella is in trouble, can’t open his hood.”

“Well, maybe the lock on the hood is not working Jim?” I said.

“Yeah sure…” answered Jim with a smile.”When have you seen a hood that won’t open? That’s why he’s inside that cage. Probably has some stuff inside his hood, maybe locked up by his supplier so he can’t steal it,” replied Jim.

On the way out, I said, “That border agent in the booth that told us to go here—I just know he didn’t like us Jim.”

“He made us waste a good 45 minutes, and I’m starving!” said Jim.

“We’re going to Yum Yum’s Chinese restaurant in Calexico for lunch,” I answered.

”Must be the new red sweater you are wearing, Jim, that ticked that agent off!” I huffed. “Probably thought we were a bit too rich.”

“That’ll be the day!,” replied Jim.

So it was off to Yum Yum’s.

3 comments to We get stopped crossing the border into the U.S.

  • Phillip

    Same thing happened to me on Monday morning when I was headed back home to California. I was randomly selected for secondary inspection. I was pretty annoyed because the custom agent was very rude to me. I greeted him in English and he replied back in Spanish condescendingly. He told me to open the hood and the trunk . However he yelled at me because I didn’t hear him clearly the first time. Then he told me to go sit in the chain linked fence. I’ve felt pretty low at this point. I wanted to say something to the agent, but I just bit my tongue and let it go. I know he was just doing his job, but I wish there was some respect instead of treating everyone like a criminal.

  • Yes, you should be quite safe. However, to avoid Mexicali city traffic, I suggest you cross the border at the Mexicali east crossing. Take Highway 8 to Highway 7 and go south. It leads directly to the Mexicali west border crossing (with very little traffic). When you are on the Mexican side, take you first left. You will be very close to the airport. Here is the map. http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Mexicali,+Baja+California,+Mexico&hl=en&ll=32.666691,-115.369492&spn=0.08396,0.181789&sll=34.626428,-110.308228&sspn=1.258841,2.90863&vpsrc=6&hnear=Mexicali,+Baja+California,+Mexico&t=h&z=13
    God Bless,
    MaryAnn

  • I am considering flyig from Mexicali to either Cancun or Merida – would be alone crossing from Calexico – safe for one lady and a carry on? what would u suggest – would value your input
    thx – Carol

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