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dave: San Louis Obispo, USA - 1998-11-14


"US customs and Immigration" yelled the man in the uniform, whom borded our bus at it's Saint Louis Obispo Greyhound station. "Anyone that is not an American citizen is required to show identification!".
For a brief moment, I was, well..., apprehensive. I stood up and said, "I'm Canadian." I offered to show my passport. He didn't really want to see it, but looked at it for about 1/2 a second. He was more interested in just getting around me an my huge pack. They weren't there busting Canadians, just Mexicans.
This was my stop and after I got off, and called a cab, I went back and asked a man if this happened often. He said "Chinko." He apparently didn't speak English so well. Then, immigration guy appeared with 5 men in handcuffs, and put them in a van.
I then went into the greyhound station and asked ticket guy if this happend often. Luckily he didn't also say "chinko", but instead explained that it did happen often, but almost never on the south bound buses. "It's kind of strange, these guys are on their way back to Mexico. They'll probably get there quicker now."
I asked ticket guy if he knew how they could tell between a citizen and a Mexican carrying no ID. I was under the impression US citizens didn't have to carry ID at all times (free county and all that). He explained that immigration could tell if they don't speak English. Instead of persuing that line of disscusion, I decided that welcome citizens speaking non-official languages might just be a Canadian phenomenon.

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