5.27.2011

updates on baseball and the border

We had a wonderful little getaway, despite some crazy weather.

It was great to re-connect with our Windsor friends, now not only married but Canadian citizens. We had dinner at a terrific little Salvadorean joint; if you find yourself in Windsor, it's worth looking up.

Driving out to Windsor, we hit rain so intense, we had to pull off the highway to wait it out. But the following day, when the game started, we actually needed sunscreen. The storm clouds rolled in, but not as quickly as Boston's runs. By the time the raindrops started falling, the Red Sox had a 7-run lead.

We quickly snagged two seats under the overhang - cushioned seats with extra leg-room and a little bench for your drinks - so when the downpour started, we were cozy and happy. By the 8th inning, the Red Sox lead was 14-2. The tarp came out and the fans streamed out. It was neat to be in a nearly empty ballpark, and great to see a big win in our only live Sox game this year. We had a lot of fun.

* * * *

This marked my third border crossing without the hassles stemming from the war resister passport incident. However, the crossing was not without its charms.

This time we experienced what we've been hearing about from many other dual US-Canadian citizens who use a Canadian passport. The US border is now sporadically enforcing a law that requires US citizens with dual citizenship to travel with a US passport. People get hassled, asked many questions, and are then allowed to enter the country.

According to the ACLU, if you're an American citizen and have not been deported, they have to let you in. In addition, Allan and I have both entered the US with our Canadian passports without one extra question. So it's meaningless harassment, as far as I can tell.

Yesterday, the guard said, "If you are US citizens, you are expected to travel with US travel documents. Since you are not using US passports, I will have to treat you as Canadians." (Us: OK.) His questions included:

- "Why did you become Canadian citizens?" (Because we live in Canada now, so we wanted to be citizens.)

- "Why did you move to Canada?" (Because we wanted to.)

- "But why? For work? For school? Just for fun?" (Because we wanted to.)

- "How are you US citizens?" (Because we were born in the US. Because our parents were in the US when we were born.)

- "Your parents, really? They were there?" (Just nods for this. Too strange to answer.)

- "Why do you use a Canadian passport?" (Because we live in Canada now, so we thought we should use a US passport.)

He looked at our tickets for the game and looked in the car, and sent us on our way.

I was actually pretty pleased, as this was another trip without the "surrender your keys and come with us" armed escort and detention. This was merely a five-minute annoyance that many other dual citizens are experiencing.

* * * *

At the game, the crowd was asked to stand not only for the national anthem, but for a "military salute" to a member of the National Guard. The crowd's applause only grew louder when they heard the man had served 30 months in Iraq, performing more than 15 missions. The applause extended to a representative of a private company that supplies military missions.

We were seated, of course, wondering how many dead Iraqis those 15 missions represent.

It's always so good to come home to Canada. Now off to the Marxism Conference!

4 comments:

tornwordo said...

The last bit made me smile. I too am always grateful to set foot back "home" in Canada. I always travel with both passports and show the US the US one and Canada the Canada one. I'm too scared to test the waters since we have absolutely zero rights in the border zone and I've seen what can happen (my husband was barred entry to the US for 5 years, though that's elapsed now)

laura k said...

It's true we have no rights at the border.

I've heard if you're caught traveling with two passports, the penalties can be very severe. But who knows, I've heard so many things! We've each got to figure out our own way of dealing with these goons.

Your partner is a Canadian citizen but not a US citizen, is that right?

Nitangae said...

Every trip I make to the United States, what strikes me most is the extent of the militarization. I think I may have mentioned my reflections on this before, so I won't repeat them. In some ways, the US strikes me as more militarized than South Korea, despite the fact that all men have to serve in the army here, and despite the likelihood that there are more US soldiers per capital in South Korea than in the US. There is so much angry anti-militarism in South Korea that I don't think a baseball arena would trust the crowd to cheer universally, and nobody treats the military with such weepy sentimentality that is so common in the US (for instance, a flight attendant asking any soldiers in the plane to stand up so that we can all thank them for their service, with the general murmur of "oh, isn't that nice!" from other the passengers)

laura k said...

Thanks, Nitangae. Just FYI, if you ever want to repeat comments here, please feel free. :)

(for instance, a flight attendant asking any soldiers in the plane to stand up so that we can all thank them for their service, with the general murmur of "oh, isn't that nice!" from other the passengers)

The first time I saw that - I believe two years ago when we landed in New Mexico - I wanted to puke. Then the guys get off the plane and flight attendants and others say "Thank you for your service" as they're leaving or getting their baggage.

Several war resister friends have told me that treatment made them feel like crap, thinking of what they had seen and done. They felt guilty and ashamed, as if they were living a lie.