crossing the border

Dec 30th, 2015, 03:48 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 4
crossing the border

My family and I are planning a trip from Europe and then to Mexico for a few days before returning home to the united states. I heard that's its scary to cross the us/Mexico border. That they fingerprint and question everyone. What should we expect when crossing the border home to the USA?
kimberly712 is offline  
Dec 30th, 2015, 04:54 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 928
Help us out. If you're serious, that is. How do you plan on crossing? Walking? Driving? Flying? Where? Fingerprints? Where did you hear this?
baldone is offline  
Dec 30th, 2015, 05:49 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,288
And what's your nationality?
thursdaysd is offline  
Dec 30th, 2015, 07:09 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,765
In over 40 trips US to Mexico I have yet to be fingerprinted or scared.
That includes flying, sailing & walking across the border.
Stewbear is offline  
Dec 30th, 2015, 08:17 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 92,762
I've gone to Mexico 25-30 times (by plane) and have never been questioned or fingerprinted. You do have to fill out some paperwork (customs and immigration).
suze is offline  
Dec 30th, 2015, 08:46 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 4
I'm planning on driving across the border or taking a bus. A friend had a terrible experience and said she was interrogated everything. We are all American. I'm African American.
kimberly712 is offline  
Dec 30th, 2015, 08:56 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 4
Thank you for the responses. I feel a lot better now
kimberly712 is offline  
Dec 30th, 2015, 09:55 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 928
Couple of things, Kimberly. If you're planning on taking a bus OR driving, that implies you're thinking about renting a car. Because if you were somehow going to drive your own car, (that somehow was already in Mexico) then I wouldn't think you'd include taking a bus as an option. My point is that you will not be able to rent a car in Mexico and drop it off in the US.
The other thing to keep in mind is your FMM (tourist visa) that will likely be filled out on the plane. With US carriers, it's given to you on the plane and included in the price of your airfare. But I am not familiar how that might work with a European flight; I'd imagine the same? But be sure to keep it with you as you should surrender it when you exit Mexico. If the bus doesn't stop at immigration, you can take it to or mail it in to the Mexican consulate nearest your home in the US. Now, if the bus does stop at immigration, there is a chance that the Mexican immigration agent could ask to see your receipt which you probably won't have if it was included in your fare. If that happens, you might have to pay again when you surrender it. But it's only like $20 US.
Now, since you're not sure how you're gonna exit Mexico, keep in mind two options if you go by bus. 1, that your bus will cross the border. 2, that your bus takes to TO the border, but not across. If #2 is the case, you'll likely take a cab from the bus station to the border and then walk across. Then get another cab to another bus station and then on to your final destination.
You don't say where you'll enter Mexico and where you'll leave. Or if you're planning on spending any time in Mexico. I mention this because some of the discount carriers like Volaris or Interjet often have fares to major US cities that are nearly as cheap as taking a bus.
baldone is offline  
Dec 30th, 2015, 12:31 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,288
Fingerprinting is for foreigners, not US citizens.
thursdaysd is offline  
Dec 30th, 2015, 12:50 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,765
My wife is African/American having made dozens of trips with & without me with never a problem. Never been finger printed either. In Fact she will be in Mexico City next month changing planes on her way to Peru before returning to Mexico & me in Guanajuato.
Stewbear is offline  
Dec 31st, 2015, 11:19 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 20,139
<<"My family and I are planning a trip from Europe and then to Mexico for a few days before returning home to the united states.">>

I'm not sure I'm understanding the relevance of coming from Europe. Do you think you'll be interrogated more because of this?
cybor is offline  
Dec 31st, 2015, 11:38 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 12,762
You're concerned about US border agents questioning you when you return by land to the US, right?

They may ask you questions, they may not. Sometimes i get a couple questions, othertimes a bunch. Just depends. I can't imagine they'd interogate you without cause though. I wouldn't worry about it. Just answer their questions. A lot of times, the questions are meant to be an opportunity for them to read your body language to see if something is up with you.
november_moon is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2016, 09:39 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,748
I've crossed the borders several times by car, both from Canada and Mexico, and when I was young and looked "alternative", I was questioned a lot-- the agents at the Canadian border were really obnoxious, more than Mexico. So it held us up but I wasn't scared as I hadn't done anything and didn't have any drugs or anything on me. What's the deal with fingerprints, anyway? I guess I'm not worried about that as I'm not a criminal, but given I have a govt clearance, my fingerprints are in the system, anyway. But never had that done at a border.

I've had border agents act like jerks when I returned from Europe, in fact, one gave me a hard time just because I was traveling alone, as if women weren't allowed to do that. he questioned me as if he didn't believe me (you mean you went on a vacation BY YOURSELF to Europe? with real scorn in his voice). A lot of those border agents are full of themselves because they have power and that's probably the only way they've had any in life. You just have to be polite and not be confrontational, even if you are really annoyed, as I have been, don't show it. I was annoyed at the Canadian border as they ripped through every piece of my luggage, searching into things, and they lied to my boyfriend about how they had found marijuana seeds on the floor of the car (trying to get us to confess having drugs, and they separated us). They were just lying as we didn't have any and we knew it. They had to eventually let us go, of course.

Never had a problem with Mexico, though, and that's anecdotal, just to say that it can happen that you sometimes get a jerky border agent, but you can't let it get to you and you have to not be confrontation if it happens. I was furious but didn't let it show. I've been questioned about drugs at the Mexican border, also, but didn't have any so just answered.

PS I am a blonde-haired white woman
Christina is offline  
Jan 5th, 2016, 04:45 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 12,762
"You just have to be polite and not be confrontational, even if you are really annoyed..."

Yes, really good advice. I sometimes get the third degree as well, usually when coming back into the country traveling alone. Just answer the questions, and answer the questions. Eventually they'll decide that you've got nothing to hide and let you pass through.
november_moon is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
taconictraveler
Air Travel
5
Dec 17th, 2007 07:51 PM
taconictraveler
Mexico & Central America
8
Dec 17th, 2007 02:55 PM
johnb
Mexico & Central America
11
Apr 23rd, 2007 02:59 PM
r6186
Mexico & Central America
4
Mar 18th, 2007 03:30 PM
annlowry
United States
11
Jan 9th, 2004 07:26 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:45 PM.