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View Full Version : Carrying Passport and Immigration docs is mandatory at all times - US Law


suresh.emails
01-18-2008, 12:12 PM
Well, this is NOT a cooked up story. This happened to me yesterday at Harlingen (HRL) Texas airport.

On January 16, 2008, I went to Mexico for H1-B visa stamping at Matamoras US consulate. I got my H1-B visa stamped and returned to Brownville, Texas.

On January 17, 2008, I was at Harlingen (HRL), Texas airport for my final destination.

One of the TSA security personnel’s is in process of verifying my ticket before proceeding to security check. As every one knows, we must present one of the government issued PHOTO-ID to them to clear the security check. I have shown my driver license and he has cleared the security check (name check).

I was about to proceed further for security screening; mean while, a Police Officer came to me and asked me following questions.

Sir, are you a US citizen?

I said, No

Then, he asked me, can I see your immigration documents.

I have shown my passport to the police officer.

He looked at H1-B visa and I-94 and asked me; who do you work for?

I said my employer’s name.

Later, he gave me my passport back.

Now,

I have asked the Police Officer few questions

1. Sir, I’m in domestic traveling, is it mandatory to carry my immigration documents at all times?

Police Officer said, as per the US LAW, all non-immigrants must carry immigration documents and passport at all times.

2. What would you have done to me, if I had failed to present my passport?

Police office said, I could have DEPORTED you.

3. Sir, it is not possible for any one to carry passport at all times. Could the LAW allow me to carry photo copies of my passport and immigrations documents?

Police office said, No. Technically, you must carry original documents at all times.

I would advice you to carry Passport at all times.

I did not know this until Police Officer told me about this LAW.

P.S: BTW, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) level is in “ORGANE”.

va_217
01-18-2008, 12:24 PM
same happened to me in Elpaso airport longtime back, I guess when you are coming from Mexico they do that.
but no questions asked it was normal

thanks

chanduv23
01-18-2008, 12:39 PM
Same thing happened to me, was driving on Adirondocks and there was a border post 100 miles well within the border. The border security agents asked us for passports and we did not have , all we had was our driver lisences and they did not want to accept it. They took us aside and we waited for 15 min, they verified us in their system and for some reason my info was old whereas my wife's was latest , then they asked me who my employer is and searched and found my latest info, they gave me a printout of the law that states that all non US citizens must carry passports and immigration documents all times and if we don't do it, we can be sentenced to jail or a $100 fine.

lazycis
01-18-2008, 12:58 PM
US Code, Title 8 § 1304. Forms for registration and fingerprinting

(e) Personal possession of registration or receipt card; penalties
Every alien, eighteen years of age and over, shall at all times carry with him and have in his personal possession any certificate of alien registration or alien registration receipt card issued to him pursuant to subsection (d) of this section. Any alien who fails to comply with the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall upon conviction for each offense be fined not to exceed $100 or be imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both.

So at least make a copy of your I-94/approval notice/GC and keep it in your wallet.

mugwump
01-18-2008, 01:29 PM
2 years ago, I had to go to EWR (newark airport) to give my room mate his passport, he was stopped. eversince then, i always carry my passport even for domestic travel

hpandey
01-18-2008, 01:34 PM
What a stupid law. I have seen my couple of friends in the same situation too near the Canadian border where they were asked for their passports and they did not have them ( of course not !! ) . They were travelling to Vermont and never crossed the border .

But one thing to think about is that is carrying your passport and your H1 ( or whatever visa you hold ) original documents with you at all times safe. There is a good chance of them getting stolen \lost since obviously you can't carry them in your pocket like your wallet .

This is totally ridiculous. This is one of those strange laws that appear in news about states having silly laws ...

styrum
01-18-2008, 01:43 PM
This is obvious that it is the "Green Card" and/or temporary visas stamped in the passports of tourists and other short-term visitors that were meant in this law. Then it makes sense, of course: visitors usually don't have any form of identification other than their passport with a visa and immigrants have a small plastic "green card".
When this law was being written apparently nobody was keeping in mind that there would be "temporary aliens" who are not tourists but people like us, who have lived in the country for many years but don't have an easy to carry "alien registration card" (official for GC) yet. It is absolutely understandable if you recall the CIR discussion in the congress: if any regular person listened to the debate he would be absolutely convinced that with respect to the immigration issue the only categories of people that exist are 1. Legal permanent residents, who have all the rights, same as citizens and no problems. 2. People who want to immigrate to US but currently live outside the country and "are waiting in line" 3. Illegals.

We don't exist!

suresh.emails
01-18-2008, 02:19 PM
In Singapore, the ministry of manpower (MOM) issues a credit card size Employment Pass (EP) card/Work permit. This card enables every one NOT to carry passport at all times.

For citizen/permanent residents in Singapore, the government issues pink and blue cards called SING PASS. Which enables them to prove their identity.

We need some kind of cards in USA too, which show our identity and work status. Why don't we make this part of IV agenda. This would enables us to have some peace of mind.

We know, we cannot carry passport at all times (work, outing, groceries etc).

We must do some thing with this too.

gjoe
01-18-2008, 02:28 PM
Real ID cards issued by the state DMV should solve this problem when implemented. Correct me if I am wrong.

whitecollarslave
01-18-2008, 02:36 PM
Talking about ID cards, wouldn't a driver's license be a proof of legal stay? With the new rules they check for immigration status before issuing a drivers license. People who are tourists or visitors will not have a US state issued drivers license.

In my case, my driver's license is valid till my H1 validity.

new_horizon
01-18-2008, 03:33 PM
Once while visiting Niagara falls, I took a wrong turn towards the bridge to Canada, and the officer wouldn't allow me to turn back, but told me to go to Canada. Since I did not have my passport or visa with me the CA people wouldn't let me inside their country. I told I took a wrong turn when looking for a gas station, and they finally let me turn back to US. But since I did not have the passport the US guys wouldn't let me in here. I told them the same story I took a wrong turn. I was taken in for questioning by the main guy there. The officer finally took my drivers licence (and my employee id which luckily I had) and I think he checked it in his system. After a long while he came back, and told that I can get in, but told me to carry the passport & visa at all times. When this all happened I had my 15 mo daughter with me, 'coz she was in the car (wife and others were going up in the hot air baloon:)). I think my little girl helped somewhat 'coz she's a US citizen :). Above all praise God for that day!!

GCBy3000
01-18-2008, 04:06 PM
I dont understand where they will deport you if you do not have any immigration documents? By default to mexico?... :) This office does not know anything...

Well, this is NOT a cooked up story. This happened to me yesterday at Harlingen (HRL) Texas airport.

On January 16, 2008, I went to Mexico for H1-B visa stamping at Matamoras US consulate. I got my H1-B visa stamped and returned to Brownville, Texas.

On January 17, 2008, I was at Harlingen (HRL), Texas airport for my final destination.

One of the TSA security personnel’s is in process of verifying my ticket before proceeding to security check. As every one knows, we must present one of the government issued PHOTO-ID to them to clear the security check. I have shown my driver license and he has cleared the security check (name check).

I was about to proceed further for security screening; mean while, a Police Officer came to me and asked me following questions.

Sir, are you a US citizen?

I said, No

Then, he asked me, can I see your immigration documents.

I have shown my passport to the police officer.

He looked at H1-B visa and I-94 and asked me; who do you work for?

I said my employer’s name.

Later, he gave me my passport back.

Now,

I have asked the Police Officer few questions

1. Sir, I’m in domestic traveling, is it mandatory to carry my immigration documents at all times?

Police Officer said, as per the US LAW, all non-immigrants must carry immigration documents and passport at all times.

2. What would you have done to me, if I had failed to present my passport?

Police office said, I could have DEPORTED you.

3. Sir, it is not possible for any one to carry passport at all times. Could the LAW allow me to carry photo copies of my passport and immigrations documents?

Police office said, No. Technically, you must carry original documents at all times.

I would advice you to carry Passport at all times.

I did not know this until Police Officer told me about this LAW.

P.S: BTW, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) level is in “ORGANE”.

yabadaba
01-18-2008, 04:35 PM
http://www.nelp.org/docUploads/Fact%20sheet%20formatted%2Epdf

This will help you understand the law...you didnt have to answer the police officer.

styrum
01-18-2008, 05:05 PM
Looks like if you already have EAD that can be considered a "certificate of alien registration or alien registration receipt card issued to him pursuant to subsection (d) of this section". Then you don't need the passport or other forms. Those still on H1B but without EAD then must carry a passport with a valid I-94 detached from I797 and stapled to the passport or the entire I797 with I-94 still attached, or the I485 receipt.

Interesting: Neither I-140 approval nor 485 receipt contain a new I-94. Moreover, I485 receipt explicitly says: "This notice does not grant any immigration status or benefit. it is not even evidence that this case is still pending. It only shows that the application or petition was filed on the date shown." So, if you have filed 485 but don't have an EAD (you haven't requested it or it has not arrived yet) and your H1B I-94 has expired already you can't prove your status! So, EAD is the one and only proof of status! Moreover, even with an EAD but without valid I-94 you may have problem proving your legal immigration status to those oficers who believe a non-resident alien must always have a valid I-94. Any experience proving your legal immigration status in this situation: previous I-94 (most likely H1B) expired, never entered on AP, but have a valid EAD?

sam_hoosier
01-18-2008, 05:52 PM
http://www.nelp.org/docUploads/Fact%20sheet%20formatted%2Epdf

This will help you understand the law...you didnt have to answer the police officer.

Based on this document, it looks like I-766 (EAD card) is good enough as proof of ID & immigration status.

sw33t
01-18-2008, 07:30 PM
US Code, Title 8 § 1304. Forms for registration and fingerprinting

(e) Personal possession of registration or receipt card; penalties
Every alien, eighteen years of age and over, shall at all times carry with him and have in his personal possession any certificate of alien registration or alien registration receipt card issued to him pursuant to subsection (d) of this section. Any alien who fails to comply with the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall upon conviction for each offense be fined not to exceed $100 or be imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both.

So at least make a copy of your I-94/approval notice/GC and keep it in your wallet.

By law, you are not suppose to make copies of an official US document.

Also, a police officer cannot deport you. He will most likely make a call to the nearest border security post and can either chose to hand you over to them or check your status over radio/phone.

Rule of thumb for all immigrants is to make sure you carry your documents when traveling withing 100 miles of the US border.

If you are a student, some cops will also let you go if you show your student ID combined with your State Issued ID.

For those states that required for you to prove your valid immigration status when applying for a state ID, a gentle plea to the cop that the state couldn't have issued your ID unless they verify your status, might work!

ajju
01-18-2008, 07:30 PM
Are you not authorized to work until new EAD or copy of EAD will suffice... I know everything else is easy to replace.... but USCIS documents takes months...

Should a copy of EAD + DL be sufficient to keep in wallet?? I've lost my wallet once.. so its a scary thought...

sw33t
01-18-2008, 07:39 PM
Are you not authorized to work until new EAD or copy of EAD will suffice... I know everything else is easy to replace.... but USCIS documents takes months...

Should a copy of EAD + DL be sufficient to keep in wallet?? I've lost my wallet once.. so its a scary thought...

Based on your state law, you may be required to carry your original DL and not copies.

Understand that these are technicalities. As long as you are nice, polite, calm and co-operative you have nothing to fear.

EAD is an "EMPLOYMENT AUTHORIZATION DOCUMENT". It is not enough to prove your immigration status. When approached by Border agents, showing your EAD along with all supporting immigration documents (such as H1B, I-140, I-485 Receipt) etc. is required along with a valid passport and a valid US Visa stamp .

lazycis
01-18-2008, 07:54 PM
By law, you are not suppose to make copies of an official US document.



I am not sure what are you talking about here. Is it illegal to make a copy of the approval notice or driver license? Police may not accept it, but it is not illegal. I received that advice from an attorney when I asked whether I have to carry a GC with me all the time.

laksmi
01-18-2008, 08:00 PM
Even a Traffic police can ask for approve H1 copy along with Driver license.

Thanks

ilikekilo
01-18-2008, 08:54 PM
traffiic cop....i am not sure about that....you always have the right to remain silent ans ask whether u r free to go...period...

ajju
01-18-2008, 09:01 PM
Based on your state law, you may be required to carry your original DL and not copies.


I was talking about copy of EAD instead of original card.. But you made a valid point that EAD is not proof of immigration status... But then what is proof of Legal Status?? If you are on EAD.. you may not've H1...

Also carrying original EAD all the time is not a good idea... If you lose it.. it will take months to replace it... Not sure if during this.. you can work or not... Personally I was asked to show passport only once.. when driving through Texas by US Army... Within your state it may be okay if your DL is close to real ID... But still this is a confusing topic...

whitecollarslave
01-18-2008, 09:06 PM
By law, you are not suppose to make copies of an official US document.

Where did you get this information from?

sw33t
01-18-2008, 09:19 PM
Since my statement about making copies of offical US documents is causing confusion, let me rephrase & elaborate -

I, as many of you were, was stopped and requested to provide proof of immigration status. I had a color photocopy of my US Visa Stamp of my passport.

Besides the fact that the Border Patrol agent denied the photocopy as proof of immigration status, he did let me go as soon as I provided my College ID and a DL, warning me that it is against the law to make a photocopy of an official US IMMIGRATION document FOR PERSONAL USE. I did argue about the scenario if I ended up losing my passport and vital documents, which is why I had made copies. He shook his head and repeated the same - NO PHOTOCOPIES OF OFFICIAL US IMMIGRATION DOCUMENTS FOR PERSONAL USE. So, while you are allowed to provide photocopies of official US documents for official government purposes, you cannot make copies of official US IMMIGRATION documents for personal use. I have a pretty busy schedule so I don't have the patience to search, cut and paste the section of the law which refers to this since I did research this at that time and deemed correct the Border Agent's warning.

sayantan76
01-18-2008, 09:27 PM
Once while visiting Niagara falls, I took a wrong turn towards the bridge to Canada, and the officer wouldn't allow me to turn back, but told me to go to Canada. Since I did not have my passport or visa with me the CA people wouldn't let me inside their country. I told I took a wrong turn when looking for a gas station, and they finally let me turn back to US. But since I did not have the passport the US guys wouldn't let me in here. I told them the same story I took a wrong turn. I was taken in for questioning by the main guy there. The officer finally took my drivers licence (and my employee id which luckily I had) and I think he checked it in his system. After a long while he came back, and told that I can get in, but told me to carry the passport & visa at all times. When this all happened I had my 15 mo daughter with me, 'coz she was in the car (wife and others were going up in the hot air baloon:)). I think my little girl helped somewhat 'coz she's a US citizen :). Above all praise God for that day!!
interesting - if Canada did not let you enter and US did not allow you to come back - you would have been stuck on the friendship bridge for the rest of your life :-)

espoir
01-18-2008, 11:20 PM
OK. What the inital poster stated is true. Per US Law one MUST carry all the immigration documents. My home is literally 4.5 miles away from US-Mexico border crossing and 30 miles west of Harlingen airport. I lived here since 2001 and as per my experience cops usually do not ask for immigration documents when stopped for routine traffic stops. Both the times when I was stopped, I was asked for DL and Insurance as usual per TX law. I normally do not carry my passport and other docs when I go to work (5.5 miles north to where I live), when shopping or when going out within 15 miles (north) of my home. Suresh was asked for PP by a police officer because he was in the airport.
I ALWAYS carry my passport and status verifying docs when I know I'm in the vicinity of exit points such as Greyhound terminal, Airport (even if I'm just dropping/picking up a friend at the Airport) or going out of town. Because I know there are NO excuses whatsoever for not carrying the docs if you are travelling north or south from US-Mexico border town.
But when in town I never had any trouble, and carrying the imigration docs as needed was never a problem for me. Trust me I sat on tables right next to Border Patrol Officers when I go out to lunch many times.
In fact at border towns (especially Mexican border), there is lot of vigilence at exit points whether you are citizen or not, you can be held for questioning. Its logical, since escaping into Mexico is literally matter of minutes for law-breakers.

Also, I do carry a copy of PP in my car, just in case. Nothing wrong in carrying copy of our PP (note: not US docs). Although whether to accept your explanation or not is completely upto the officer.

Few of my friends from north of Texas visited me did forget their immigration docs and passports(inspite of me cautioning them 100 times), they were held at checkpoints (50 miles north of the border) but were eventually let go after couple hours of verification process. Bottom line you may mostly get away for not carrying the documents at all times. But if they want to hold it against you, you have no case in your favor. Always be nice to them and 99% times you are treated respectfully.

sundarpn
01-19-2008, 12:45 AM
off topic. Since you went to get yout visa stamped, was there any dealy due to the new PIMS verification system?

Which consulate did u goto? Was this renewal of your H1b stamping? How long did it take for you to get the passport back?


thx


Well, this is NOT a cooked up story. This happened to me yesterday at Harlingen (HRL) Texas airport.

On January 16, 2008, I went to Mexico for H1-B visa stamping at Matamoras US consulate. I got my H1-B visa stamped and returned to Brownville, Texas.

On January 17, 2008, I was at Harlingen (HRL), Texas airport for my final destination.

One of the TSA security personnel’s is in process of verifying my ticket before proceeding to security check. As every one knows, we must present one of the government issued PHOTO-ID to them to clear the security check. I have shown my driver license and he has cleared the security check (name check).

I was about to proceed further for security screening; mean while, a Police Officer came to me and asked me following questions.

Sir, are you a US citizen?

I said, No

Then, he asked me, can I see your immigration documents.

I have shown my passport to the police officer.

He looked at H1-B visa and I-94 and asked me; who do you work for?

I said my employer’s name.

Later, he gave me my passport back.

Now,

I have asked the Police Officer few questions

1. Sir, I’m in domestic traveling, is it mandatory to carry my immigration documents at all times?

Police Officer said, as per the US LAW, all non-immigrants must carry immigration documents and passport at all times.

2. What would you have done to me, if I had failed to present my passport?

Police office said, I could have DEPORTED you.

3. Sir, it is not possible for any one to carry passport at all times. Could the LAW allow me to carry photo copies of my passport and immigrations documents?

Police office said, No. Technically, you must carry original documents at all times.

I would advice you to carry Passport at all times.

I did not know this until Police Officer told me about this LAW.

P.S: BTW, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) level is in “ORGANE”.

arvindkappula
01-19-2008, 01:19 AM
Since my statement about making copies of offical US documents is causing confusion, let me rephrase & elaborate -

I, as many of you were, was stopped and requested to provide proof of immigration status. I had a color photocopy of my US Visa Stamp of my passport.

Besides the fact that the Border Patrol agent denied the photocopy as proof of immigration status, he did let me go as soon as I provided my College ID and a DL, warning me that it is against the law to make a photocopy of an official US IMMIGRATION document FOR PERSONAL USE. I did argue about the scenario if I ended up losing my passport and vital documents, which is why I had made copies. He shook his head and repeated the same - NO PHOTOCOPIES OF OFFICIAL US IMMIGRATION DOCUMENTS FOR PERSONAL USE. So, while you are allowed to provide photocopies of official US documents for official government purposes, you cannot make copies of official US IMMIGRATION documents for personal use. I have a pretty busy schedule so I don't have the patience to search, cut and paste the section of the law which refers to this since I did research this at that time and deemed correct the Border Agent's warning.

Are you sure that you were able to make a color photocopy of your passport? How did you manage to do that, at your work copy machine or from Kinko's, Staples, office depot, or some where else?

The reason I am asking is, in FL, recently I tried to take color copies of my passport in Staples, where I was not allowed to take photocopies of passport which was clearly labeled on copy machine and same thing at Kinko's and I wonder how you managed to get color copies.. (sorry folks my questions was way out from the main topic of this post).

Dhundhun
01-19-2008, 04:50 AM
The reason I am asking is, in FL, recently I tried to take color copies of my passport in Staples, where I was not allowed to take photocopies of passport which was clearly labeled on copy machine and same thing at Kinko's and I wonder how you managed to get color copies.. (sorry folks my questions was way out from the main topic of this post).
Color photocopy of passport, immigration documents, currency notes, etc. (a list of 8-10 items) are totally illegal in USA. You may face legal consequences. I have color copiers both photo and laser. User manual clearly states that.

I am not sure why B/W copy could be illegal. Most of univerisities recommend students to keep a photocopy of immigration documents safely. See these sites
http://www.beloit.edu/~oie/int_students/f-1_maintain_status.html.
http://www.isso.cornell.edu/immigration/f1/f1.php
http://www.beloit.edu/~oie/int_students/f-1_maintain_status.html
http://iso.truman.edu/index.php?type=current&id=f1

These photocopies are supposed to be kept safely and seperately from originals and supposed be used for requesting replacement while originals are lost. These photocopies are not supposed to be shown to anybody else otherwise. Trying showing photocopies to govt. officials such as police, dmv, immigration officers, etc. - there will be questions on this. But when requesting replacement of a lost I20 or a lost passport by providing a photocopy of original, question related to photocopy (B/W) will not be asked.

nosightofgc
01-19-2008, 08:29 AM
Very interesting. When we applied for 485/EAD/AP, our lawyer specifically asked for color passport copies of the first few pages. I went ahead and made copies of all pages. Am I in trouble?

Color photocopy of passport, immigration documents, currency notes, etc. (a list of 8-10 items) are totally illegal in USA. You may face legal consequences. I have color copiers both photo and laser. User manual clearly states that.

I am not sure why B/W copy could be illegal. Most of univerisities recommend students to keep a photocopy of immigration documents safely. See these sites
http://www.beloit.edu/~oie/int_students/f-1_maintain_status.html.
http://www.isso.cornell.edu/immigration/f1/f1.php
http://www.beloit.edu/~oie/int_students/f-1_maintain_status.html
http://iso.truman.edu/index.php?type=current&id=f1

These photocopies are supposed to be kept safely and seperately from originals and supposed be used for requesting replacement while originals are lost. These photocopies are not supposed to be shown to anybody else otherwise. Trying showing photocopies to govt. officials such as police, dmv, immigration officers, etc. - there will be questions on this. But when requesting replacement of a lost I20 or a lost passport by providing a photocopy of original, question related to photocopy (B/W) will not be asked.

lazycis
01-19-2008, 08:35 AM
Very interesting. When we applied for 485/EAD/AP, our lawyer specifically asked for color passport copies of the first few pages. I went ahead and made copies of all pages. Am I in trouble?

That was exactly my thought! I think people who say it's illegal to make a copy and provide it for other than personal use should give us a reference to the applicable law, I am not aware of the specific law regarding this. If anybody could point out the source of information, that would be great.

BTW, here is the quote from the Department of State website
http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/emergencies/emergencies_1197.html
"If you can provide the U.S. embassy or consulate with a photocopy of your passport identification page, that will make getting a new passport easier since your citizenship and identity information would be more readily available."

Wendyzhu77
01-19-2008, 11:22 AM
Apparently, the police officer told you the exact story: by law you should carry all your immigration documents, but in practice a passport is good enough. By law he could deport, but in practice he won't though he had enough opportunities.
Well, this is NOT a cooked up story. This happened to me yesterday at Harlingen (HRL) Texas airport.

On January 16, 2008, I went to Mexico for H1-B visa stamping at Matamoras US consulate. I got my H1-B visa stamped and returned to Brownville, Texas.

On January 17, 2008, I was at Harlingen (HRL), Texas airport for my final destination.

One of the TSA security personnel’s is in process of verifying my ticket before proceeding to security check. As every one knows, we must present one of the government issued PHOTO-ID to them to clear the security check. I have shown my driver license and he has cleared the security check (name check).

I was about to proceed further for security screening; mean while, a Police Officer came to me and asked me following questions.

Sir, are you a US citizen?

I said, No

Then, he asked me, can I see your immigration documents.

I have shown my passport to the police officer.

He looked at H1-B visa and I-94 and asked me; who do you work for?

I said my employer’s name.

Later, he gave me my passport back.

Now,

I have asked the Police Officer few questions

1. Sir, I’m in domestic traveling, is it mandatory to carry my immigration documents at all times?

Police Officer said, as per the US LAW, all non-immigrants must carry immigration documents and passport at all times.

2. What would you have done to me, if I had failed to present my passport?

Police office said, I could have DEPORTED you.

3. Sir, it is not possible for any one to carry passport at all times. Could the LAW allow me to carry photo copies of my passport and immigrations documents?

Police office said, No. Technically, you must carry original documents at all times.

I would advice you to carry Passport at all times.

I did not know this until Police Officer told me about this LAW.

P.S: BTW, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) level is in “ORGANE”.

Dhundhun
01-19-2008, 12:22 PM
Very interesting. When we applied for 485/EAD/AP, our lawyer specifically asked for color passport copies of the first few pages. I went ahead and made copies of all pages. Am I in trouble?
Lawyer may be more knowledgable, but here is pointer to User Manual.

http://www.brother-usa.com/ModelDocuments/Consumer/Users%20Manual/UM_MFC_9840CDW_EN_1034.PDF

Read page number 106 (Legal limitations for copying).

After reading manaul and knowing that kinko prohibits such copying, there is some fact in it. It may happen that color copies of documents in some countries are not allowed, but for some other countries, they are allowed. I am an engineer and I don't have more information (pointer to sections of legal books).

Since I make copies at home, I follow user manual information. If my Lawyer asks such thing, I would show him the information and ask for clerification. If he overides, by give me clauses and sections, I would't hesitate for him. Laws keeps on changing.

This talks about passport: http://www.ehow.com/how_2038717_plan-any-type-trip.html
This talks about drivers licence in NC: http://ncsu.edu/student_affairs/legal_services/faqs/alcohol-laws.php

There is some discussion here http://boards.immigration.com/showthread.php?t=129660

bestia
01-19-2008, 02:28 PM
...
I did argue about the scenario if I ended up losing my passport and vital documents, which is why I had made copies. He shook his head and repeated the same - NO PHOTOCOPIES OF OFFICIAL US IMMIGRATION DOCUMENTS FOR PERSONAL USE.
....


Presenting copies of your documents to government officials is not PERSONAL use. You could argue that. Personal use is if you would be playing monopoly with copies of your documents with your friends. But if you make a copy of US document for the intent to present to US official and not to misrepresent the original document, it is not "personal use" and it is not illegal. That's why lawyers are suggesting making and having copies.

sw33t
01-19-2008, 03:39 PM
Presenting copies of your documents to government officials is not PERSONAL use. You could argue that.

Its a matter of interpretation. Cops are not lawyers and neither am I. Arguing simply makes matters worse. None the less, you can argue as much as you want but if the cop has one on his mind and you have another, it certainly doesn't help your situation.

bestia
01-19-2008, 04:54 PM
Its a matter of interpretation. Cops are not lawyers and neither am I. Arguing simply makes matters worse. None the less, you can argue as much as you want but if the cop has one on his mind and you have another, it certainly doesn't help your situation.

Of course. Judges are the ones who interpret the laws. Officers just do what they are instructed to do. My point was just out of curiosity, how I think this law is being interpreted.

But of course. My opinion is not only not to argue with officers, but don't even talk to them. When I feel that officer wants some "conversation" with me, my favorite response is "sorry officer, me no understand, no speak english". period. Smile to his face, keep saying "sorry". Don't show any extra document - just only what is required, nothing extra. Officer can be asking any questions, just hand him business card of your lawyer, say "my lawyer, talk him". as worse English you will use, as better it will be for you. My experience.

When I first entered United States I was kept at secondary check for 4 hours (1999, IAD, Virginia). They kept asking me all kinda questions, it was no end. Finally I got pissed, I said "Sorry, I don't speak English good" and started playing with them. I took my dictionary and starting looking up every word. My next answer took 5 minutes. In next 5 minutes a woman walked to me, handed my documents and said "Welcome to America".

like_watching_paint_dry
01-19-2008, 05:26 PM
Of course. Judges are the ones who interpret the laws. Officers just do what they are instructed to do. My point was just out of curiosity, how I think this law is being interpreted.

But of course. My opinion is not only not to argue with officers, but don't even talk to them. When I feel that officer wants some "conversation" with me, my favorite response is "sorry officer, me no understand, no speak english". period. Smile to his face, keep saying "sorry". Don't show any extra document - just only what is required, nothing extra. Officer can be asking any questions, just hand him business card of your lawyer, say "my lawyer, talk him". as worse English you will use, as better it will be for you. My experience.

When I first entered United States I was kept at secondary check for 4 hours (1999, IAD, Virginia). They kept asking me all kinda questions, it was no end. Finally I got pissed, I said "Sorry, I don't speak English good" and started playing with them. I took my dictionary and starting looking up every word. My next answer took 5 minutes. In next 5 minutes a woman walked to me, handed my documents and said "Welcome to America".

LOL. That's an interesting approach. I've heard of a story where a hispanic dude who had a beer breath actually get out of a breathalyzer test and eventually get off a potential DUI conviction because of lack of evidence. His excuse was he could not understand the instructions the officer was giving...
"no comprende..."
"put your mouth here and phoo phoo ..."
"no comprende..."

lazycis
01-19-2008, 09:50 PM
When my Mother-in-law came here a few years back, she was stopped at the passport control. They wanted to ask a few questions, but as she does not speak English at all and they could not find an interpreter, they let her go after a few minutes. She just showed an invitation letter and did not say a word in English. It does work.

sunny1000
01-19-2008, 11:40 PM
Well, this is NOT a cooked up story. This happened to me yesterday at Harlingen (HRL) Texas airport.

On January 16, 2008, I went to Mexico for H1-B visa stamping at Matamoras US consulate. I got my H1-B visa stamped and returned to Brownville, Texas.

On January 17, 2008, I was at Harlingen (HRL), Texas airport for my final destination.

One of the TSA security personnel’s is in process of verifying my ticket before proceeding to security check. As every one knows, we must present one of the government issued PHOTO-ID to them to clear the security check. I have shown my driver license and he has cleared the security check (name check).

I was about to proceed further for security screening; mean while, a Police Officer came to me and asked me following questions.

Sir, are you a US citizen?

I said, No

Then, he asked me, can I see your immigration documents.

I have shown my passport to the police officer.

He looked at H1-B visa and I-94 and asked me; who do you work for?

I said my employer’s name.

Later, he gave me my passport back.

Now,

I have asked the Police Officer few questions

1. Sir, I’m in domestic traveling, is it mandatory to carry my immigration documents at all times?

Police Officer said, as per the US LAW, all non-immigrants must carry immigration documents and passport at all times.

2. What would you have done to me, if I had failed to present my passport?

Police office said, I could have DEPORTED you.

3. Sir, it is not possible for any one to carry passport at all times. Could the LAW allow me to carry photo copies of my passport and immigrations documents?

Police office said, No. Technically, you must carry original documents at all times.

I would advice you to carry Passport at all times.

I did not know this until Police Officer told me about this LAW.

P.S: BTW, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) level is in “ORGANE”.

Are you sure that it was a police officer and not a CBP inspector? The reason I ask is that the fact that you mentioned that he said that he could have deported you. Also, it was after the security check where CBP inspectors are present usually.

I was stopped by a cop for allegedly speeding in Vermont. The second question after asking "do you know why I stopped you" was that "what nationality I was" and "am I a U.S citizen"? I answered him and he asked what was my profession. After that, he just took my drivers license and issued a ticket. He also gave me a break and reduced the speed reading by 5 miles in order for me to pay lesser fine. He did not ask for my passport or immigration papers.

I flew into JFK last week from India and there was a CBP inspector standing at the yellow line where I usually wait for the next available inspector. He asked for my passport to see the visa and then, he let me go to the immigration counter for processing by another inspector. This is pretty new as I flew back to JFK from India in Nov and I was not screened before getting to the immigration counter.

f1vlad
01-20-2008, 12:23 AM
Same happened to me in some small town in NH, about quarter mile from Canada, I was just driving on a local road and I pulled over to check my map. So I sit reading map and I hear knock on my window. All of a sudden see couple of Border Petrol agents.

I only had drivers license. They didn't believe anything I said and they told me that. At which point I told him "Sir, do what you have to do," because conversation sounded more like interrogation.

Anyway bottom line they got back to my car window and said that they could put me to jail right now and that they cannot find anything on me in their computer. My last attempt was "I can give you cell phone #'s of my supervisor and VP, if you would like". But he handed me my license and said that I should carry passport and H1B with me at all times.

I agree with some of you who say it's dumb, up to now I still don't carry passport and originals of H1B. I am just afraid to loose it.

This thread however makes me rethink it, I might just throw passport in the car and take with me whenever I far from car.

shana04
01-20-2008, 06:35 AM
Friends,

Just to educate you all.

All Mexico border cities (from USA) require that you need to carry Passport all the times and it is mandatory. Even if you travel by Air, car, bus or train.


If any one is planning to go to a border city especially around texas carry your passport and any legal Id (secondary). If not any border security patrol officer can stop and that is legal.

This has been there for long time and if you have any friends especially close to border cities in Texas would know it, pls confirm.

This is real info.

Well, this is NOT a cooked up story. This happened to me yesterday at Harlingen (HRL) Texas airport.

On January 16, 2008, I went to Mexico for H1-B visa stamping at Matamoras US consulate. I got my H1-B visa stamped and returned to Brownville, Texas.

On January 17, 2008, I was at Harlingen (HRL), Texas airport for my final destination.

One of the TSA security personnel’s is in process of verifying my ticket before proceeding to security check. As every one knows, we must present one of the government issued PHOTO-ID to them to clear the security check. I have shown my driver license and he has cleared the security check (name check).

I was about to proceed further for security screening; mean while, a Police Officer came to me and asked me following questions.

Sir, are you a US citizen?

I said, No

Then, he asked me, can I see your immigration documents.

I have shown my passport to the police officer.

He looked at H1-B visa and I-94 and asked me; who do you work for?

I said my employer’s name.

Later, he gave me my passport back.

Now,

I have asked the Police Officer few questions

1. Sir, I’m in domestic traveling, is it mandatory to carry my immigration documents at all times?

Police Officer said, as per the US LAW, all non-immigrants must carry immigration documents and passport at all times.

2. What would you have done to me, if I had failed to present my passport?

Police office said, I could have DEPORTED you.

3. Sir, it is not possible for any one to carry passport at all times. Could the LAW allow me to carry photo copies of my passport and immigrations documents?

Police office said, No. Technically, you must carry original documents at all times.

I would advice you to carry Passport at all times.

I did not know this until Police Officer told me about this LAW.

P.S: BTW, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) level is in “ORGANE”.

suresh.emails
01-21-2008, 03:41 PM
No more crossing into USA just based on saying you are a Citizen (oral declaration).

Starting from January 31, 2008 (two weeks from now), all citizens must carry passport or other kinds of acceptable ID's to enter into US border. This is also applicable US and Canadian citizen.

Following are acceptable documents/ID's for US/Canada citizens ages 19 and older.

1. USA, Canada passports
2. US passport card (available in the spring)
3. Trusted traveler card such as NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST
4. Secure driver's license
5. US military ID
6. US Merchant Mariner document
7. One of several IDs issued to Native Americans

So, proof of citizenship will be required for entry.

As usual, all other citizen must carry all required documents.

Source: USA Today January 18, 2008 news paper 3A page.

tejaswiyvs
10-10-2009, 01:42 PM
Wow. period.

I had no idea the situation was this bad. We were on flippin Grey hound buses, from NY to Buffalo and then two immigration people board the bus and start talking to us.

We were just four students doing our Master's going to Niagara and we had no clue that we needed a passports to travel there, But the thing that pissed me off the most was the attitude of one of the officers.

Here's the actual conversation.

Bus driver before we reach Syracuse: "Immigration officials come up to check documents 90% of the time".

Us: "Dude, you should've told us this in New york city! Why are you telling us this now?"

Officer1: "Sir, your documents"
Me(extremely low tone, pretty scared): "Sorry officer, I didn't realize we needed a passport to travel to Niagara falls. We aren't going over to Canada..."

Officer1 (Voice raising, everyone in the bus was looking at us by this point): "I hope you realize what you're saying. YOU ARE IN DIRECT VIOLATION OF FEDERAL LAW. I have people from 40 countries in my station now and I can take you there RIGHT now."

Me (still scared): "I'm sorry, I thought this was domestic travel, I didn't realize we needed a passport for this. I have my international driver's permit and my Student ID Card as identification"

Officer1:(Passengers looking on, Officer 2 jumps in after this): "You realize you are in MY country? This is not a valid form of ID. Drivers license allows you to drive. This does not constitute a valid immigration document"

(They talk)

Officer 1: "Are these valid?"
Me: "Yes"
Officer 1: "Are you sure? Because I'm going to call up someone to check your immigration record. What Visa are you on?"
Me: "F-1?"
Officer 1: Name?
Me: I tell him.

He calls someone up, finds out, checks my status and returns my ID.

And then Officer 2 goes on this really crappy speech which went like - "Now, I hope you realize that we at the United states have many welcome visitors from all over the world...Blah blah.. you just need to carry your Passport with you wherever you go".

Not sure if this is the fabled "good-cop, bad-cop", but damn I was so pissed at the end of it all. I almost wanted to say I want a lawyer, but we were on a vacation, long weekend, didn't want to ruin everything :(

Damn, I miss India now.

gvenkat
10-10-2009, 01:57 PM
Just to avoid all this , You can say I'm a US citizen and move on. They cannot ask for any verification can they?

wandmaker
10-10-2009, 02:07 PM
Just to avoid all this , You can say I'm a US citizen and move on. They cannot ask for any verification can they?

If verified, you would end up in eating ham burger.

GCNirvana007
10-10-2009, 02:33 PM
Just to avoid all this , You can say I'm a US citizen and move on. They cannot ask for any verification can they?

No how about carry the documents which is required by LAW rather your criminal suggestion?

Its simple, its LAW. They have clearly stated to carry. Just carry the damn documents and get over it. I see it amusing people whining about this. Its not like they are raping you. They are asking questions which they are entitled to. If someone crosses the line, then yes we can take it up on them.

Roger Binny
10-10-2009, 02:35 PM
Just to avoid all this , You can say I'm a US citizen and move on. They cannot ask for any verification can they?

That is the riskiest and BS advice one can give on forums, specially in these.

Yes,exactly same including me my friends were asked for passport, we didn't know that we need to carry each one faced around 20-30 mins of interview.

gimmemygreen
10-10-2009, 04:46 PM
If verified, you would end up in eating ham burger.

Cock meat sandwich from gitmo

smuggymba
10-10-2009, 04:58 PM
There are so many illegal immigrats working as lawn tenders, cleaners at stores....why doens't USCIS go after them? They are easy to spot and can be found anywhere...why harrass students?

return_to_india
10-10-2009, 06:42 PM
It is unreasonable to carry a passport at all times when you are living here. What happens if you leave it behind in the grocery store by mistake or leave it in the cab or something? I think the issue reported by the OP is more relevant close to the border. Nobody asks for your passport in Vegas or Denver.

I would advise US govt. to build a system where officers can verify legality by checking the biometrics ( some handheld devices that connect to a DB ) , which should free up one to carry documents while on domestic travel. If biometrics cannot be found then proceed to grill on docs.

ujjwal_p
10-10-2009, 06:45 PM
If verified, you would end up in eating ham burger.

Allow me :

"We get caught laundering money, we're not going to white color resort prison. No, no, no. We're going to Federal pound me in the a** prison" -- Office Space

GCNirvana007
10-10-2009, 10:55 PM
It is unreasonable to carry a passport at all times when you are living here. What happens if you leave it behind in the grocery store by mistake or leave it in the cab or something? I think the issue reported by the OP is more relevant close to the border. Nobody asks for your passport in Vegas or Denver.

Which part you didnt understand?

Once you enter USA, doesnt matter Vegas or Denver, you need to carry documents with you. Thats LAW. They dont stop everybody but if they do, we are answerable to them.

Its similar to speeding. For a 55 miles speed limit, usually cops dont stop if you drive 70. However they are legally entitled to fine you if you drive 56. Its LAW.

Now if you leave it by mistake, thats not their problem, you got to deal with it.

number30
10-11-2009, 08:13 PM
Damn, I miss India now.

We went to Marriage of my classmate which was in Srinagar J&K. Police caught us in on the road and we did not have any kind of identification. We started to talk in Kannada with ourselves. This guy let us go by seeing us talking some south Indian language. It happens everywhere. If you are going within 100 mile range from the border it is better to carry the documents. If you are flaying you got carry. I stayed in Buffalo NY for a quite long time I never carried a passport for Niagara falls or to any other places.

Roger Binny
10-11-2009, 09:13 PM
There are so many illegal immigrats working as lawn tenders, cleaners at stores....why doens't USCIS go after them? They are easy to spot and can be found anywhere...why harrass students?

USCIS perceives students are smart and sets standards by following rules than uneducated brothers.

It's not harassing it has altogether different meaning, i too doesn't know when they first asked me, but one needs to keep cool and explain the reality it would work.

I agree with other OP saying checking bio-metric is best than carrying these important documents around, all we know it need big budget.

vegasbaby
10-12-2009, 01:18 AM
Wow. period.

I had no idea the situation was this bad. We were on flippin Grey hound buses, from NY to Buffalo and then two immigration people board the bus and start talking to us.

We were just four students doing our Master's going to Niagara and we had no clue that we needed a passports to travel there, But the thing that pissed me off the most was the attitude of one of the officers.

Here's the actual conversation.

Bus driver before we reach Syracuse: "Immigration officials come up to check documents 90% of the time".

Us: "Dude, you should've told us this in New york city! Why are you telling us this now?"

Officer1: "Sir, your documents"
Me(extremely low tone, pretty scared): "Sorry officer, I didn't realize we needed a passport to travel to Niagara falls. We aren't going over to Canada..."

Officer1 (Voice raising, everyone in the bus was looking at us by this point): "I hope you realize what you're saying. YOU ARE IN DIRECT VIOLATION OF FEDERAL LAW. I have people from 40 countries in my station now and I can take you there RIGHT now."

Me (still scared): "I'm sorry, I thought this was domestic travel, I didn't realize we needed a passport for this. I have my international driver's permit and my Student ID Card as identification"

Officer1:(Passengers looking on, Officer 2 jumps in after this): "You realize you are in MY country? This is not a valid form of ID. Drivers license allows you to drive. This does not constitute a valid immigration document"

(They talk)

Officer 1: "Are these valid?"
Me: "Yes"
Officer 1: "Are you sure? Because I'm going to call up someone to check your immigration record. What Visa are you on?"
Me: "F-1?"
Officer 1: Name?
Me: I tell him.

He calls someone up, finds out, checks my status and returns my ID.

And then Officer 2 goes on this really crappy speech which went like - "Now, I hope you realize that we at the United states have many welcome visitors from all over the world...Blah blah.. you just need to carry your Passport with you wherever you go".

Not sure if this is the fabled "good-cop, bad-cop", but damn I was so pissed at the end of it all. I almost wanted to say I want a lawyer, but we were on a vacation, long weekend, didn't want to ruin everything :(

Damn, I miss India now.



I work at El centro, CA. Its right on the border with Mexico abt 30-40 miles I guess. Each time the immigration officer stops me w/o fail & checks for my papers. Law is I guess, if you are traveling from 40 miles of US border with Canada/Mexico, you need to carry immigration papers.

GCNirvana007
10-12-2009, 12:15 PM
The part I didnt understand is how come you are so stupid? I hope you carry your passport when you go to the bathroom also because a dumb ass sheep like you probably needs it.

Mr.Bhootia - It wont take a second to type back the same.

I mentioned about LAW and you are calling me stupid, that explains how you roll isnt it.