US border entry-card set to music

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24 Responses to “US border entry-card set to music”

  1. JBL says:

    *Ticks ‘YES’ for scat solo*

  2. dman says:

    Yeah, it was loopy.

    I agonized for a while whether a single DUI in my past counted as a “criminal conviction” that would be worth admitting to, then read further and found that fully half of the form I was entirely unintelligible to me.
    The declaration at the end required me to sign that “I have read and understood all of the above
    … and directly above it were paragraphs of Spanish text.

    At that point I decided that I couldn’t in good faith sign “yes” to that statement. It was simply false.

    But I also didn’t look forward to making any grand statement about their lack of logic, so I decided that they were outright requiring me to lie to get through the process, and did so. One false declaration or two false declarations? I was either hung for a sheep or for a lamb.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, it’s arrested. I know a guy who got a 10 year ban because he thought his spent caution didn’t count and it got flagged on their system.

    Also, my favourite is that it asks if you were involved in any way with the persecutions of nazi germany. Being a victim is being involved, you’d have to tick yes.

  4. Anonymous says:

    #9; in other nicer places to visit do they just ignore outstanding arrest warrants?

    i don’t theeeeenk so…

    sure pot’s not a big deal in general but grandma there had 12 pounds of it. that’s kind of a big deal, especially back in 1980.

  5. weeklyrob says:

    I don’t think it’s paranoid, really. I mean, which of those questions shouldn’t they be asking?

    Here in the US, I don’t think that prospective employers are allowed to ask about arrests either. Only convictions matter.

    Presumably, if you tick yes on this entry form, the officials will ask you about it, then decide whether or not to let you in. Maybe they wouldn’t sweat the sharia law breaker. Then again, maybe they’d wonder about someone who breaks laws they don’t agree with. “Does that mean you’ll be smoking dope here?”

    Anyway, if you don’t tell them about it, then they find out later, I assume that you’re screwed.

  6. HerkyDerky says:

    How could anyone sign that they have understood everything on that form? I live in the US and don’t have a clue what turpitude means.

    I’m not so sure that this goes well to music, I think it’s just a good musician… Guys like that make me jealous. Reminds me of Tom Lehrer.

  7. oscar says:

    Having lived in Bolivia during the 80s and applied for a tourist visa back then, instead of vague terms like “moral turpitude” we were asked point-blank whether we were drug dealers, commies, terrorists, or worse, prostitutes.

  8. ill lich says:

    On a side note, as a guitarist, I am jealous of his frequensator tailpiece.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Cute. Regarding the source of the questions, they track sections of the Immigration and Nationality Act that establish grounds for inadmissiblity. It’s not that someone sat down one day and decided to create a questionnaire. And no, they’re not a result of the war on terror – they predate that by many years.

  10. jennybean42 says:

    Nice.
    But who in their right mind would answer yes to any of those questions, even if they were true?

    • peterbruells says:

      No one, of course.

      I always assumed that it was just of increased legal leverage, so an offender could be more easily deported.

    • netsharc says:

      Indeed, a terrorist or a drug-peddler who’s suddenly had an epiphany and a change of conscience perhaps? Maybe after a violent mid-flight turbulence?

      I think it’s more as a legal thing, if they can’t arrest you for anything, they can arrest/deport/Guantanamo-Bay/torture/rendition/enhance interrogate you for lying in your entry forms.

      Also, interesting how the war on drugs have created the first 2 questions, and after that, the war on terror.

      • cymk says:

        “they can arrest/deport/Guantanamo-Bay/torture/rendition/enhance interrogate you for lying in your entry forms.”

        Last time I checked they could do any of that just because they felt like it. All they have to do is “claim” you are a terrorist.

        @jennybean42,

        Presumably the cards are used to screen honest, well meaning immigrants who may have a sketchy past (and are gullible enough to actually answer the questionnaire); because any criminal wouldn’t bother with it.

  11. Anonymous says:

    that’s great, Andy. I like the way you go into the scat portion. it illustrates how much pure gobbledygook that language on the form is.

  12. capl says:

    The infamous Moral Turpitude Clause!

    Below are the questions with detailed explanations in case you you done things that “.. generally involve conduct which is inherently base, vile, or depraved and contrary to the accepted rules of morality and the duties owed to persons or society in general.”

    Base? How low can you go?

    https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/WebHelp/ESTA_Screen-Level_Online_Help_1.htm

    And for our bilingual friends who wish to sing it in Spanish.. “depravación moral”
    http://madrid.usembassy.gov/ESTAmessagesspanish1.doc

  13. Anonymous says:

    @oscar How is it worse to be a prostitute than a drug dealer or a terrorist?
    Maybe US authorities haven’t been paranoid since the terrorist war started, but since forever! Many, many american people are paranoid, racist and short-minded, so this only shows the majority way of thinking.

  14. andremount says:

    For further study, be sure to check out Frank Zappa’s performance of the same score with the Ensemble Modern:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvUU5x1u3gs

  15. CollisionWorks says:

    Frank Zappa set the same text to music in his “Welcome to the United States” from 1992, recorded live with the Ensemble Moderne (read beautifully by brass player Hermann Kretschmarr):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvUU5x1u3gs

  16. paulatz says:

    To add insult to injury, now you have to fill the same form on the web at least three days before leaving, on this web page https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/, where it states quite clearly that they won’t even read it. In fact, you’ll have to give the same informations again on the plane, so that the border guards can not-read it one more time.

    • weeklyrob says:

      Nice place to visit? Hey, I hope it all gets worked out, because maybe there’s a mistake here.

      But on the face of it, it appears that a woman in her 40s was found to have 12 pounds of weed in her apartment, then left the country with an outstanding warrant out for her arrest.

      Are you saying that the US should just drop the charges because the woman is now a grandma? I don’t get it.

  17. dragonfrog says:

    Interesting that they ask if you have ever been “arrested or convicted,” not just if you’ve been convicted. Not the same thing obviously, but in Canada, at job interviews, the only thing employers are allowed to ask is if you’ve ever been convicted for a crime for which a pardon has not been issued.

    If you are arrested for a crime, then an hour later you’re released because they obviously got the wrong person, the arresting officer apologizes to you and buys you lunch, the chief of police picks up the tip, and the mayor sends flowers round to your house the next day just to show there are no hard feelings, you’d presumably still have to answer “yes” to the question.

    Also – is alcohol a “controlled substance”? I mean, it’s a substance around which legal controls exist, such as minimum drinking ages, mandatory closing times, etc. So, if you’re ever ticketed and sentenced to an $80 fine or 6 hours’ community service for the offence of having a bottle of wine at a picnic (in a country like my own, with ridiculous puritanical liquor laws), would that qualify as an “arrest or conviction for a violation related to a controlled substance”?

    • paulatz says:

      You would have to answer “yes” to “arrest or conviction for a violation related to a controlled substance” even if you are coming from a country where sharia is enforced and you got caught having a beer

  18. Anonymous says:

    Turpitude… isn’t that the stuff you use to strip paint?

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