Are U.S. Customs agents dumb? These stories say “yes”
If you’ve ever traveled outside of your country, you know what it’s like to be sized up by Customs & Border Protection. We sincerely hope that you’ve had generally good experiences during the nerve-wracking process of going through customs. However, it’s more than likely you’ve also experienced some hiccups.
U.S. Customs agents aren’t always the sharpest tool in the shed, and thus they may have given you some unnecessary trouble. We’re here to tell you that your frustrations are totally valid – because you’re not alone. Here are some hilarious stories that prove just how dumb U.S. Customs agents can be.
Customs agents sometimes look for problems that aren’t there. This happened recently when 2,000 OnePlus Buds were shipping from Hong Kong to Nevada at an air cargo facility at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Believing that these OnePlus Buds were actually counterfeit Apple AirPods, customs agents seized all 2,000 earbuds.
While this kind of idiocy is hard to fathom, the story was confirmed in a CBP press release that explains what went down:
“On August 31, CBP officers seized 2,000 counterfeit Apple Airpod Earbuds from Hong Kong destined for Nevada at an air cargo facility located at John F. Kennedy International Airport. If the merchandise were genuine, the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) would have been $398,000.”
THAT'S NOT AN 🍎 —
CBP officers at JFK Airport recently seized 2,000 counterfeit Apple AirPods from Hong Kong, valued at $398K had they been genuine.
Details via @CBPNewYorkCity: https://t.co/XMgjkfT56i pic.twitter.com/Ofn9REJ9ZB
— CBP (@CBP) September 14, 2020
The press release also included two photos that showcase the box of “counterfeit Apple Airpods.” Anyone with a brain can tell in the photos that they are OnePlus Buds – it says so right on the package! OnePlus buds may look like Apple AirPods but they’re very different, making these CBP grade-A dummies.
OnePlus seems to be handling the mistake with a sense of humor, tweeting a little response to the CBP’s triumphant finding. They sent a little note reading, “Hey, give those back! 🙃” Don’t worry OnePlus – you’re not the only person who has been chanced by U.S. Customs before.
It’s not news that many U.S. Customs agents have had racist tendencies. There are countless stories where people are singled out for their ethnicity, forced to endure more intense inspections & questioning.
This kind of incompetence was made obvious by the Seattle Field Office of Customs & Border Protection when officers violated their protocol in order to intensely question Iranian-born individuals trying to cross the U.S.-Canada border. Some people were held for as long as twelve hours for absolutely no valid reason at all.
Director of CBP in Seattle Adele Fasano confirmed that there was no directive to question or hold Iranian (or any other foreign-born people from the Middle East.) CBP officers may make referrals for individuals seen as a risk but they must be based on the individual’s activities, associations, and travel patterns – not their ethnicity.
Over the span of two days, over two hundred people were affected by prolonged stops due to intensive inspection of people based on their ethnic heritage. When immigrant advocates, the media, and politicians found out what was happening they were quick to call the border agents out on their overwhelming foolishness.
Do you have stories of dumb U.S. Customs agents? Tell us about them in the comments.