Border Déjà vu
Trip Start Jan 04, 2010
23Trip End Jun 30, 2010
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Before entering Mexico we read numerous news articles about the drug cartel wars going on at present and they warned visitors to be vigilant. This has been going on for years however but recently gotten worse with a few kidnappings and police officers being shot. It has effectively chased away the American tourist which has proved terrible for the Mexican businesses in Tijuana. We did our research and were very cautious about where we stayed and where we visited whilst being there but we never felt threatened or uncomfortable but it was a very dull four days.
So we packed up and walked towards the border. Morgan and I were quite anxious about the visa situation. We weren’t looking forward to being questioned by the American custom officers about the now expired American visa. I approached the counter first and handed over my passport to the visa page. He saw the stamp and the date that told him the visa expires in July and thanked me and sent me on my way. Morgan approached the counter with his passport and turned it to the page where it was stamped and the visa date had expired. The custom officer glimpsed at it and thanked Morgan and sent him on his way also. Morgan approached me with a confused look on his face and told me that the custom officer just let him through without extending his visa. Whilst we were standing there pondering what exactly this meant, another officer approached us and told us we could not stand here, we had to make our way outside onto American soil. So ushered outside we then stood there looking at each other in wonderment. Morgan first words were “Shit, I am now standing in America illegally, without a valid visa to be here”. “What the hell do I do?” We couldn’t stay in America or we would be in all types of strife so there was only one thing left to do, we walked back to Mexico. We simply walked a couple of blocks down the road and crossed the border back in Mexico.
Once in Tijuana AGAIN we headed straight for the American border entry to try our luck, hopefully with a more vigilant officer. As we walked through the immigrations gates one of the American officers guarding the gates recognized me and was just about to approach me when Morgan instead approached him. The guy asked Morgan “Weren’t you guys just here a minute ago?” with a confused expression on his face. Morgan explained to him the situation and said he needs to get an extension on his visa. The officer pointed us in the direction of an office building and said to chat to them inside. We were even more worried now however there was no need, Morgan walked up to the counter and told the custom official that he needed a visa extension and the man smiled and said “not a problem”, gave him a new visa form and told him to pay the other guy at the counter $6. We paid, went through customs to a different officer this time and enter the United States, this time legally! What an ordeal!