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Comment Not just for those who want to visit the US.. (Score 3, Interesting) 734

You folks don't know the half of it..

My flight to London from Australia went via LA recently. I had to sign a "visa waiver" that basically said I waived all my rights whilst in transit in LA.

I had no intention of entering the USA at all. I was "in transit" from Australia to London.

However, I was directed through USA imigration into the baggage claim area (my baggage didn't leave the plane of course..) and then herded back around immigration into the transit lounge.

At the immigration desk I was photographed and fingerprinted. When I stated that I didn't want to enter the USA and asked why I was being fingerprinted, the immigration officer was quite rude and basically said "What do you have to hide?".

I found the whole incident truly scary and it made me quite sick to my stomach. I will never take any flight that transits the USA ever again and I will certainly never visit the USA.

Two things get me about this.

The first is that the process effectively mixed me (an in-transit passenger) with visitors to the USA _after_ immigration. This is stupidity of the highest level.

The second is that the USA now have my photo and fingerprints on record against my will and I have absolutely no say in how those records are used or stored.

During this experience I had the awful thought that if my photo happened to match some dickhead criminal, I could have been thrown in a USA prison, something that doesn't really appeal to me.

I advise anyone traveling overseas to avoid the USA if at all possible.

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