Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What is DHS TRIP?

My Honey was feeling under the weather this weekend so we didn't make our trek over the border to go to church.

No chest pains, always good.

No fever, always good.

No stomach upset, so it's not the flu.

But he is very tired. Even walking around the block was difficult for him. He has a regular doctor's checkup tomorrow and that's another good thing.

But back to the DHS TRIP.

Last week, when we finally got to speak with a CBP (Customs and Border Protection) supervisor, he recommended that I submit a DHS TRIP Inquiry and he provided a handout about the size of a dry cleaning claim ticket with the information I would need. So I went to the website: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Travel Redress Inquiry Program or DHS TRIP.

Seemed simple enough: I was prompted to describe my particular concerns and experience, provide contact information and assigned a case number. I also had to scan my passport, print the final page of the form, sign it, scan it and email both back to the DHS TRIP. Which I did. I also included a scan of my husband's passport since this was our shared experience at each encounter with the CBP.

I received a confirmation of the inquiry and then was asked, "What was your intent in sending a passport for ALW?"

Apparently that was a no-no. Apparently "we" did not have the experience. "We" could not file. I had the experience, duly filed. And my husband had "his" experience which had to be filed separately under his name.

I emailed back to explain that my husband is a stroke survivor and would not be able to complete the requisite form. A veritable can of worms that turned out to be. Powers of attorney, append this, attach that. My computer skills were stretched to the max copying and scanning and attaching everything to an email. Could they not consider my inquiry as our inquiry? No, that would be illegal. Couldn't I just please do the computer work and my husband sign his name acknowledging that these were the circumstances he experienced? I waited for 48 hours and in the absence of a reply, did just that.

So now we each have our own Redress Control Numbers, which we will carry with us over the border. We are advised that it will take a minimum of 30 days to address our inquiries so that means a few more secondary inspections can be expected. Looks like a long wait at the border this Spring.

to be continued......


Anonymous said...

Oh I'm so sorry this just goes on and on! I mean I'm VERY glad that there is a process in place from which they won't deviate - rule of law, after all is what keeps this all together, etc. But I can't help but imagining the typo in the VIN number that started it all!

grammy said...

What a crazy ordeal. Hope it gets better soon and hubby gets better too. Hang in there.

klm29 said...

I'm sorry for your ordeal and I COMPLETELY understand. I was stopped re entering the US once (I am a resident alien with a dependent visa). Because I am in my twenties, female, and traveling alone - CBP detained me, searched my things, yelled at me until I was in tears and accused me of forging my travel documents because they believed I was trying to "run away" to America to get married.

After hours of tears and humiliation, I was "escorted" to my plane and allowed back into the US. I am now flagged (I never did ANYTHING!) and have been waiting patiently for over thirty days to hear back from DHS TRIP as well. Everything I have read online leads me to believe that nothing is going to change my "flagged" status. It's an absolute nightmare as now every time I re enter the US I am detained, have my passport and luggage confiscated and I wait three to four hours in a holding corral while they do whatever it is they have to do before they let me in. It's horrible. Good luck.