Letters to the Editor
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection department at the Peace Arch crossing is engaged in racial profiling and police state tactics.
Over Memorial Day weekend, my wife, Joy Scott, and I had the misfortune to return to the United States from Canada at the Peace Arch border crossing. We live in Portland, Maine, and were on a West Coast vacation trip to the Pacific Northwest, especially Seattle and Vancouver. We were both born and bred in the United States. Joy is black and I am white.
When we reached the border station after a week in British Columbia, border guards immediately treated us with extreme suspicion. They fired questions at us in rapid succession. “Are you married? How long have you been married? What were you doing in Canada? Are there weapons or controlled substances in the car? You’re a long way from home – why are you on the West Coast? Are you sure you have nothing to declare?” They took our passports, searched our car, then directed us to pull to the side and enter their office.
Baffled, we did as we were instructed. Inside the office, the bizarre, intrusive, even paranoid treatment continued. “I think we’re going to take a look around your car again,” a stone-faced agent said, and our car was searched two more times. We were asked, repeatedly, if we had more than $10,000 in cash on us. Again, did we have any drugs or firearms? What did we do for a living, and how much money did we make? Were we sure we didn’t have $10,000 on us? Finally, after 45 minutes of questions and waiting, we were made to fill out a meaningless customs declaration, even though we had already told them, again and again, that we had nothing to declare, and even though they were already intimately familiar with the contents of our car.
When I asked an agent on what basis we had been stopped, he declined to answer. Regardless, the reason was clear. Every other group of individuals in the office included racial minorities – two black men traveling together; a black woman traveling alone; a black man with a white woman; two separate families of Hispanic descent. All were being afforded similar treatment at the hands of the border patrol, while outside, hundreds of white people streamed effortlessly past the station and into the United States.
Six months after moving to Blaine I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Three surgeries and 7 1/2 weeks of radiation I now feel good enough to commit myself to signing up for The 3-Day 60 mile walk in Seattle this July 22 – 24.
Each walker is required to raise at least $2,100 to participate in the walk. I did not think raising $2,100 for such a great cause would be so difficult.
I have raised $1,411 so far, but most of that is from my husband’s family. Most of Blaine businesses and residents have made me feel like a bum off the street panhandling. I must say I am so hurt by the nonsupport of my new town I now call home.
I did want to somehow give a public thank you to: the girls at New Edge Salon, Shelly at Curves in Blaine, the Curves in Bellingham, Jackie at The Hair Shop, Carole Liebert at Blaine high school, Lori at the border patrol sector, Danielle at The Blackberry House, and Fran at Dr. Chen’s office, for helping me sell Cancer Awareness Bracelets and raising about $250 and my three public donations: the Eastmans of Blaine, Kari & Glori, and the Tolins of Birch Bay ($95). This small handful of people did not hesitate for a moment. They’re the few and the truly giving women in this town.
Thanks for all the men and women whom this money will help.
In an article concerning problems experienced by motorists who had purchased gasoline produced by the ConocoPhilips refinery in Ferndale, it was stated that the refinery supplies Union76 stations as well as independents such as Fred Meyer and Costco.
The outlets mentioned were given as examples of independent gas retailers and the article did not mean to imply that these particular two independents were either customers of the refinery or that they themselves had sold any of the gas in question. We apologize for any confusion arising from the phrasing of our story.
The Northern Light welcomes letters to the editor; however, the opinions expressed are not those of the editor. Letters must include name, address and daytime telephone number for verification. Letters must not exceed 350 words and may be edited or rejected for reasons of legality, length and good taste. Thank-you letters should be limited to 10 names. A fresh viewpoint on matters of general interest to local readers will increase the likelihood of publication. Writers should avoid personal invective. Unsigned letters will not be accepted for publication. Requests for withholding names will be considered on an individual basis. Only one letter per month from an individual correspondent will be published.
send your letter to:
225 Marine Drive, Blaine, WA 98230 or fax 360/332-2777.
The Northern Light welcomes letters to the editor; however, the opinions expressed are not those of the editor. Letters must include name, address and daytime telephone number for verification. Letters must not exceed 350 words and may be edited or rejected for reasons of legality, length and good taste. Thank you letters are limited to five individuals or groups. A fresh viewpoint on matters of general interest to local readers will increase the likelihood of publication. Writers should avoid personal invective. Unsigned letters will not be accepted for publication. Requests for withholding names will be considered on an individual basis. Only one letter per month from an individual correspondent will be published.
Please email letters to firstname.lastname@example.org