|Review Topic: Port of Entry Review|
I flew directly to Las Vegas on Norwegian from London Gatwick. We arrived on time but an Aero Mexico and a Korean Air flight had arrived at almost the same time so immigration was quite busy. I had the huge pack from the embassy with me.
I joined the line for "US citizens and permanent residents" along with a Filipino woman on a spouse visa (maybe she's also a VJ member?). Eventually I reached the front of the line and was directed to desk number 3. A middle-aged man was on that desk and he was very cheerful and friendly. I put the pack on the counter and said "this is from the London embassy. I'm here in an immigrant visa". He said "and we are glad to have you here. Congratulations and welcome to the United States". He asked if I had my passport and customs form with me and I handed these over. He said "you are a good person". He made small talk about the size and weight of the envelope from London and asked if there were any trees left in the UK because it seems they were all used in this pack.
He then said he would have to send me to secondary. He said "but don't worry. It doesn't mean anything bad. It's just so that I can keep this line moving because we are very busy today." He told me to stand by the door under the orange sign. As I walked over a female officer arrived and opened the door for me. The man at desk 3 gave her my pack and said "immigrant from London". She told me to find a seat. The room was very busy and there were very few seats left. I found one and sat down. The officer put my pack on the counter and put my passport in a box with a lot of other passports. Every so often an officer behind the counter would call a name and take the passport from the box. The holder would go forward to the counter to be dealt with.
Soon after a K-1 applicant from London walked in and took a seat (possibly a VJ member also?) . The K-1 man and I were called forward at the same time to the desk by two different officers.
My officer flicked through the paperwork and asked me for the phone number of my petitioner. I said I would need to get it from my phone. I was very tired and I'm not good with phone numbers at the best of times and I just have numbers stored in my phone and tap on the name to call someone. He sighed and said "you don't know your husband's phone number?" and rolled his eyes. There were huge signs in the room saying "no phones!" and every time someone as much as touched their phone an officer would yell from the counter "switch that phone off!!!" so I had switched my phone off. I asked if I could switch it on to get the number and he said I could. I switched it on and waited for it to connect to the US network. The officer was tapping his pen on the desk, sighing and rolling his eyes. He said "you know what? I can't process you without a phone number". This made me nervous and I was all fingers and thumbs and couldn't get the contacts to open. I apologised several times. He was very impatient with me. Eventually I got the number and he wrote it on the customs form and told me to take a seat again.
My previous seat had been taken so I took a different one. It was very hot in the room. No windows and I don't think there was any air conditioning on. Some people were quite argumentative with the officers. The officer came back with my passport and called me to the desk again. He threw my passport on the counter and said "the stamp's good for a year". No pleasantries. I thanked him and gathered up my passport and customs form from the counter and rushed out to get my luggage. I had been in secondary for 2.5 hours.
I am giving this POE a score of 1 (mild harassment) because the secondary officer was very impatient and short with me. When I left the room and looked at my visa stamp it was so feint it was illegible but a trip to CBP deferred inspection sorted that out. The general atmosphere in secondary was very unfriendly. The first officer (at desk 3 in the main hall) was superb!
(updated on December 24, 2016)
(updated on December 24, 2016)