back to article Irish Stripe techie denied entry to US – for having wrong stamp in passport

An Irish Stripe worker was denied entry to America because they had a Somalian stamp in their passport, according to the payment-processing biz's CEO. Chief exec Patrick Collison shared the tale of his employee's clash with US immigration officials to highlight a concern, shared among many in Silicon Valley who rely on skilled …

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serves him right

I assume he was involved in giving away food for free as part of this "famine relief", an obviously un-American activity.

Of course if he was involved in some money wasting UN mission that flew first class and sat around in air conditioned mercedes writing reports stressing that something must be done - then I apologise.

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Re: serves him right

I'm all for a bit of yank / Trump bashing where deserved, but sorry to point out a horrible fact. The USofA is one of the most charitable countries in the world, several places higher than the UK.

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Re: serves him right

In terms of individual charitable giving, yes, the US ranks very high (though much of it is distributed via churches and consequently it tends to be a bit of a postcode lottery for those in need). In terms of government spending as a percentage of GDP, much less so (leaving you free to carry on bashing Trump and most of his predecessors as much as you like!).

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Anonymous Coward

Charity by numbers

I'm all for a bit of yank / Trump bashing where deserved, but sorry to point out a horrible fact. The USofA is one of the most charitable countries in the world, several places higher than the UK.

Care to cite any numbers?

As far as the international development assistance is concerned, US is indeed the largest single nation-state donor, giving $31B in 2015 (the last year Wikipedia development aid page gives; I am too lazy to look up the original sources). However, per capita, UK is a far larger donor, with the total of just under $19B. So is Germany, with the a bit under $18B to its credit. In fact, the EU as the whole is a much bigger donor, both in the absolute terms ($88B) and per capita ($172 per inhabitant vs $97 p.i. for the US).

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Re: serves him right

'I assume he was involved in giving away food for free as part of this "famine relief", an obviously un-American activity.'

Actually the US Gov has a fairly significant food aid programme. Unfortunately it's one that spends much of its funds buying US food stocks and shipping them to areas of need. Which means they generally turn up after the need has abated and just in time to cause a price crash for the local farmers.

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Re: serves him right

I am an American, and as far as being the most charitable country in the world... the US doesn't even come close. But like the other myths of exceptionalism, most Americans seem to believe that the US is some foreign aid behemoth. If foreign aid were counted in bombs, we would be number one.

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Facepalm

Re: serves him right

The USofA is one of the most charitable countries in the world, several places higher than the UK.

If you include the depleted uranium, the bombs and hellfire missiles so generously allocated to brown folks then you would be No 1, not merely "one off"!

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Re: serves him right

Of course, all those self-reported surveys about helping an old person cross the street, of volunteering at the local Military Veterans Hospital, or helping make Bill Gates pay for someone's medical bills are forgotten by the rest of the world, each and every time we come across a story like this one:

Indiana teacher fired before undergoing brain surgery

http://wgntv.com/2017/04/25/indiana-teacher-fired-before-undergoing-brain-surgery/

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Anonymous Coward

Re: serves him right

I don't pay taxes for it to be handed over to some organisation I am vehemently against. It's not the governments job to be charitable. It's unacceptable sending so-called Charity to the biggest group of terrorists in the world called the UN. I support Israel.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: serves him right

It's unacceptable sending so-called Charity to the biggest group of terrorists in the world called the UN. I support Israel.

Kindly do not contradict yourself, my fellow AC.

If you so much against the UN, presumably you approve of countries and territories which are not UN members. One of these territories is Palestine, which is not a big friend of Israel.

Israel, on the other hand, is a full member of the UN - which means that you can't approve of it, much less support it.

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Re: serves him right

the hell it is. you might want to look into it a bit more. if your a church, and pretty much any nutcase can be a church, you can gather tax free wads of cash, from givers. what happens to that cash? does it get spent on things that we would called charity? not mucm. it gets spent on squandering and obscene self praising, stuff. e.g.Have a look at Scientology. its a church, and everything they get is considered tax free, charitable fund. If you take away all that wackadoodle religious obscenity, the yanks are generally tight as f*ck, and they don't do anything without it being deductible and serving a purpose. if you want to look up per head charity giving, minus churches, they are pathetic at giving anything. They will be happy to lend you something though, on their terms, or invest in you. There are some super rich individuals that spend fortunes on charity, but they are just that, individuals, and in no way represent the majority, who either don't have much to give, or are tight ass f*uck.

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Re: serves him right

How did the old UK Army parody go?

"Go to interesting places, meet interesting people and kill them."

To this we add:

"But for god's sake don't feed them."

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Re: Charity by numbers

a) Per capita? Since most of the English people I've met are tighter than a crab* I doubt this is a worthwhile statistic. It's the intent that matters, not the forcible removal of tax monies sans polling for opinion of the taxpayers.

2) You can't cite the EU to support a UKcentric point any more. You are in denial of article 50 mate.

* before you scream and leap, ask yourself the last time an Englishman DIDN'T complain loudly about tipping when abroad, even when they aren't themselves abroad. Many examples exist in these very comment pages. **

** I am English. I cringe whenever I'm in a restaurant with an outraged Englishman defending the sanctity of his wallet against the rapacious waitresses of Aulde New Yorke and their unreasonable "demands". I also worked in the restaurant biz in the UK, which is why I don't any more. The true humour in English jokes about the tight-fistedness of the Scots is in the unrecognized irony. If you want to see something frighteningly funny, say "free bar" in the hearing of some Englishmen and watch the fun. Just don't be the poor sods behind the bar.

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Re: serves him right

"In terms of individual charitable giving, yes, the US ranks very high"

Which equates to tax write-offs for the person/organization giving the donation.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Charity by numbers

a) Per capita? Since most of the English people I've met are tighter than a crab* I doubt this is a worthwhile statistic. It's the intent that matters, not the forcible removal of tax monies sans polling for opinion of the taxpayers.

Firstly, challenging hard numbers (viz ratios of the international development aid amounts and the population of a given country) requires a bit more effort than citing personal anecdotes of the tipping habits. Every country I've been to has its own tipping etiquette. Some places, tipping is mandatory. Some places, tipping is a serious insult. Some places you must offer the tip three times before it is accepted. Some places you'd put your tip on the card. Some places you must tip in cash even when paying by card. Some places you tip everybody serving you. Some places you'd tip the waiter, but not a taxi driver. Some places you tip 15% of the bill. Some places you tip by rounding up to the next round number. A visitor will invariably get the etiquette wrong in the beginning; some visitors will never get it right. If you are going to get all worked up over this, you'll never stop being angry - which in turn will greatly decrease the chances of you being on the receiving end of a tip.

Secondly, despite all its warts, the UK is still a democracy. You can make you opinions known during the general elections (there is one under way right now, in case you haven't noticed). You can also write to your MP; you can petion the parliament; you can organize marches and protests; and so on. I won't claim the outcome will always reflect people's will, but saying that your voice can't infuence anything is just plain ridiculous.

2) You can't cite the EU to support a UKcentric point any more. You are in denial of article 50 mate.

Obviously I can and I did and I will do so again if my fancy takes me that way.

As far as the article 50 is concerned, it ain't over until the fat lady sings. Personally, I am sad to see the UK subtracting itself from the greater european project, but in this particular case my opinion is immaterial - that's for you Brits to sort out.

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Re: Charity by numbers

Per nccs.urban.org, US individual charitable giving for 2014 was $258B.

This is up 7% from 2013, and continues a trend of recovery from lows of 2008/9, but is slightly below the peak in 2005.

America, due to philosophy, has always heavily favored individual charity to government "charity". IMO the individualist mechanism for charitable giving is more efficient and produces better results (as with almost everything individualist vs collectivist).

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Re: Charity by numbers (4 AC)

" Every country I've been to has its own tipping etiquette."

And in every one you'll hear an Englishman complaining loudly about the raping of his wallet.

"Secondly, despite all its warts, the UK is still a democracy."

One in which about 50% of the electorate is arsed enough to vote on any given issue.

"saying that your voice can't infuence anything is just plain ridiculous." (sic)

I didn't say that, you did.

"As far as the article 50 is concerned, it ain't over until the fat lady sings. "

Who's in denial now?

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Well, if it is pure discrimination

as you imply, then it can only be the fault of Obama.

Fancy that.

Fact of life: everyone discriminates.

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Unhappy

Re: Well, if it is pure discrimination

What do you think the "HR" in "HR 158" signifies? Maybe the import of the sentence "The changes that so concern Collison hail from rules implemented during the Obama administration." escapes you? Congress writes the laws that the administration then has the duty to 'implement'.

The "pass a law and I won't do it" stunts didn't have much chance before (perhaps) the current administration. Recently, around 85% of appointed executive branch positions still weren't filled. Maybe the tweeter will be able to plead 'inability' to implement laws he doesn't like? Is that a strategy?

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Re: Well, if it is pure discrimination

HR = House of Representatives. It is where the bill originated. It has procedural importance if the Senate amends the bill.

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Re: Well, if it is pure discrimination

Congress writes the laws that the administration then has the duty to 'implement'.

Obama was free to veto it and it finally went through the Senate with 65 yes votes so not enough to override a veto. For those keeping score the 65 were 27 red team, 37 blue team and 1 indy (no, not Bernie).

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Re: HR = House of Representatives.

It does?

I always assumed it stood for "Horribly Rong".

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Anonymous Coward

Merka

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to... ahhh, just FCUK OFF"

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Automatic downvote

for "reached out".

Top journalistic tip: You have to reach out for the phone or keyboard, not just do a zombie impression and hope that someone will contact you to corroborate your story based on your mad skills.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaAC9dBPcOM

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So if I read this right.... the law was enacted in 2015 yet was "retroactive"? WTF? That would be like passing a law in 2017 that bans anyone who lived in say... Ohio in 2000, from traveling to Kentucky,. Something's really fucked up here to declare an action before the law/rule was passed.

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Norway did something similar. After the second world war they passed a law which prohibited anyone who served in Norway as a part of the German occupying forces from living there.

That's retroactive.

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Plenty of examples to that. Unfortunately.

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It was standard. Here people fighting in or for a foreign country lost their nationality. It's not allowed anymore on an international level, so we keep sponsoring fighting now. And as long as our next neighbor has not his huge armies massed at the border waiting for an excuse, it's not really a problem anymore.

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@BongoJoe

There were some 5,000 from Eire that chose to join the British Armed Forces during WWII; either with fellow Irishmen in one of the Ulster units, or on their own in other units, very often under an assumed name. Many of them took part in some of the most bitter fighting and earned considerable numbers of honours for their courage and determination.

On their return, these men were formally dismissed from the Irish Army, stripped of pay and pension rights, and banned from any state funded employment for 7 years, with their names placed on a so-called "starvation list" which was widely disseminated to ensure that they and their families would be stigmatised.

Many of them still fear even now, that if their service is uncovered, they will lose pension, housing etc.

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Anonymous Coward

Just to be clear, you didn't have to be a member of the Irish forces to be discriminated against in Eire after WW2 if you had fought in a British unit - perhaps not that surprising, but it is one of the less emphasised moments in Irish history.

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Anonymous Coward

It's not retroactive: if they'd made people who had been on one of those countries and entered the US on a WV before that limitation became active 'un-enter' the country, _that_ would be retroactive ;)

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Collateral Damage

This nasty little bill got snuck in with a 'must pass' Appropriations (Budget) bill. The Republicans in the house are always pulling fast ones like this, they know that a budget has to be passed so they dump all sorts of crap into the bill. (That's not to say that Democrats wouldn't pull the same stunt given the chance but typically they don't spend their entire legislative lives trying to ban things and people. They also tend to be less ignorant.)

The Obama administration would have shrugged and then issued waivers or some kind of executive action to negate it pending a way of getting rid of it. Its a pointless, vindictive act of no value to America or its people. Unfortunately with the change in Administration we're now experiencing the full force of lunacy. My advice is give this place a miss for a few years until it recovers its sanity.

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Re: Collateral Damage

What's the typical half-life for insanity?

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Re: Collateral Damage

Half life of insanity?

About three full terms of a US President.

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Of the many entry to the US schemes like global entry and ESTA, this man was presumably denied entry without leaving Ireland as Dublin and Shannon I think can pre-clear US Immigration for direct to USA flights. Which is far better than having to turn back and do an 11.5 hour flight back from SF immediately after doing an 11.5 hour flight to get there which has happened to many folk.

But I would have hoped that the whole point of ESTA is to establish any impediment to entry well ahead of the actual flight. Otherwise it's just a data gathering exercise. First time ESTA entry people all have to have all fingerprints of both hands recorded, and have their face photographed at the point of entry.

They seem to have done away with the iris scanners from a few years ago.

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far better than having to turn back

I was once nearly denied entry to the US in SF because when asked how long I planned to stay, I made the mistake of saying "a fortnight" which clearly wasn't in the vocabulary of the immigration droid and rather than lose face by asking for clarification he simply reached for the referral paperwork and started stamping lots of things. The process isn't about trying to establish any impediment to entry, it's just about establishing power relationships,

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Similar experience first time I visited New York - they wouldn't accept England or Great Britain as a place, and when I wrote "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" they thought I was taking the piss.

Its a bit like the visa form that asks if you have ever been a terrorist - what the fuck do they expect you to write? I fear the same pen pushing, hat wearing, goose stepping idiots are gradually taking control of Brexit Britain. Welcome to the "UK", please check your brain in with security and collect it on your way out.

And now it's raining - God I need to get out of here!

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what the fuck do they expect you to write

They expect you to write "no", and then if they find out that you in fact were a terrorist they can just boot you out for lying on the immigration form. That's much quicker and simpler than a long and expensive civil rights court case to prove that you might still be a threat or otherwise undesirable, and should be deported.

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Anonymous Coward

What no iris scanners?

I thought that was because they showed up all the Reptilian infiltrators, not because the liberals all complained bitterly that it was an infringement of civil liberties etc.

We all know that the real reason for all the extra security is to condition people into accepting it as normal, so when these scanners are "required" to get money at an ATM no-one will bat an eyelid.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Meh

Why is anyone surprised?

A few people I know that go to multiple countries have multiple passports. Got a Cuban stamp in you passport, you used to have to forget going to the US, luckily the Cuban's even kindly did separate cards to avoid a stamp in the passport, or how about going between Israel and Jordan or Palestine. Have fun.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why is anyone surprised?

... or how about going between Israel and Jordan or Palestine.

Did that in in all technically possible permutations last month :-)

Luckily, the Israeli no longer stamp your passport upon entry, and for exit by air (you still have to ask for your passport not to be stamped if you exit by land). Which is a good thing - a trip to Israel a few years back, when they were stamping the passports whether you wanted it or not, was the end of my passport as far as most of the Middle East was concerned ...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why is anyone surprised?

In the days after Rhodesia declared UDI it was an officially forbidden place for UK nationals to visit. Apparently the border control would stamp a piece of paper to avoid the problem for a UK passport holder.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why is anyone surprised?

In the 1970s my first passport was issued for a tour for my company in South Africa - which included a necessary residence stamp. Following that I spent a few months working in Israel. It was slightly surprising that my next project in Sweden granted me all the necessary residence permits without a hitch.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why is anyone surprised?

In the days after Rhodesia declared UDI it was an officially forbidden place for UK nationals to visit. Apparently the border control would stamp a piece of paper to avoid the problem for a UK passport holder.

South Africa did the same when it was on the list of bad guys.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why is anyone surprised?

On my many trips to the middle east, at no time did the border agent scan each and every page of my 48page extended passport.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I don't feel bad

You can buy screening wallets and passport holders. Google it!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I don't feel bad

Does anyone know of a foolproof way to prevent anyone reading my ID without actually damaging the chip,

To read the data from the chip requires that you know the passport number, it's used as a key. There are apps that read the password data by NFC (you can run them on your phone) but they require you to manually enter the number first, which is why border security folks place the passport ID page on a reader. It scans the text, gets the number, then uses that to read the chip. The chip is there simply as a tamper-proof copy of the same info that's printed on the page. If they don't match, it's a sign that the passport has been monkeyed-with. If you do prevent the chip from being read you'll not get past immigration.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I don't feel bad

The only reason I renew my UK passport is that places like banks apparently won't accept one as proof of identity if it has recently expired. It was most annoying when my local Barclays branch, with whom I had been a customer for decades, wanted my passport AND a utility bill - just to draw a few hundred pounds in cash.

They had issued me with a new ATM card which also acted as an Electron debit card. When I asked for the debit function to be removed they said they couldn't do that - so the card was cancelled. Then they told me that my previous card was also automatically no longer valid.

Even now I have two bank accounts because their system will only accept a debit card for 2FA online banking. One is a dummy with the debit card - even though the 2FA machine happily produces authentication codes with the other account's non-debit ATM card.

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