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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going to Juarez today and taking Omnibus to Durango. I have my recently obtained permanent residency visa card, and it's my understanding if asked to show any papers that's the only ID I need. Am I missing anything, or is it just that simple?
 

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I'm going to Juarez today and taking Omnibus to Durango. I have my recently obtained permanent residency visa card, and it's my understanding if asked to show any papers that's the only ID I need. Am I missing anything, or is it just that simple?
The 3 times I have been to the frontera of Baja and California with my new INM card that is the way it is.

The INM officer at the Mexicali airport simply nods and I nod back when I pass his desk at the airport now. He is the same INM officer that is there everyday that has issued me about 10 FMTs and FMMs over the last 6 years. I presume he suspects I have an INM visa card now.

To be sure I have my US passport card in my wallet and my US book passport in my jacket pocket.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Alan. I just wanted to be 100% sure. Too bad I didn't have time to get that INAPAM card you told me about, but the cost is still reasonable at $72 each way from Juarez.
 

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As we drive several times a year the somewhat arduous 1,500 kilometers between San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas and Ajijic, Jalisco over mostly really good thoroughfares, we run into many retens run by immigation, the army and the federal police - especially in Southern Mexico in the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca and Veracruz. We hold "Inmigrado" status which is the same thing as the new "Residente Permanente" status. When we are stopped by any federal authority, we never show them anything but our "Inmigrado" card and, actually, usually only our Jalisco or Chiapas driver´s licenses as a rule. We have never been asked for a passport. While we have occasionally been subject to vehicle searches, especially by the army as the southern zone is quite unsettled with illegal goings-on from Central America concerning human trafficking and drug smuggling, we have never been harrassed in any way at any reten, even those set up by the Zapatistas or indigenous communities requiring donations for civic or political tithes as unofficial road tolls. The personnel in all cases have always been exceedingly poilte and deferential and wished us a successful journey upon presentation of modest contributions in the case of the unofficial retens.

Things become a bit more strained when our indigenous friends from Chiapas or Oaxaca, who typically have darker skin than we, are accompanying us north and then the inquisitiveness becomes a bit more intense as the authorities running the governmentally sanctioned retens are often looking for Central American illegal transients but upon presentation of appropriate documentation, neither we nor our indigenous friends have been treated in the least bit rudely.

Hound Dog would rather be stopped at a federally-managed or Zapatista or indigenous community reten in the deepest Lacandon Forest for inspection and, in the latter two cases, a "small bite" than be pulled over by the straight-laced and way too serious Alabama or California Highway Patrol at any time for any reason at all.
 

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We were on a private bus tour in July 2012 of Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Yucatan, Tabasco and Veracruz and the bus stopped at all the multiple check points. Only once between Chetumal and Tumul did they come on board and pull 7 of us out of 30 off and asked the driver to get out our luggage from below. I was one of them. The army took our bags and went through them on a table outside. When I was outside with my bag he asked me where I was from. I said San Diego, California. He asked for my tourist card. I pulled it out and before he could read it he said OK. This is the only time I have been asked for anything at roadside check stops or airports on national flights.
 

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I take the bus between Guadalajara and the border pretty often, both to Tijuana and to Ciudad Juarez.

Going north, security stops are quite common, maybe 4 or 5 times on each trip. Sometimes they unload all the passengers and all the luggage and require the passengers to claim their luggage and run it through a scanner. Sometimes it is just selected items. Very rarely they will ask for identification, I can't remember if it is just me that they asked for identification or everyone. I have always been the only obvious non-Mexican on the buses.

Going south, there are rarely security checks.
 

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........Hound Dog would rather be stopped at a federally-managed or Zapatista or indigenous community reten in the deepest Lacandon Forest for inspection and, in the latter two cases, a "small bite" than be pulled over by the straight-laced and way too serious Alabama or California Highway Patrol at any time for any reason at all.
Ditto. We've been stopped many times in Mexico, most often in Chiapas, Oaxaca and Guerrero,(always at "official" police or military checkpoints), and have never once been asked to produce any identification documents.

One year, returning from our 6 month stay in Mexico, we were driving the Interstate north, between Nogales and Tucson. We're in our mid-60's and clearly not Latino, (although we had pretty good tans). The back seat of our car was filled with the usual 6 months of junk. We were driving fairly fast......probably 10 mph above the speed limit.....but keeping pace with all the other traffic, including two US Border Patrol vehicles. In fact, we played tag with those two vehicles for perhaps 25 or 30 miles. At one point, we passed an Arizona State Police vehicle parked along the shoulder, obviously looking for speeders. He didn't budge as we all flew past.
Another 5 miles down the road, the lights go on, on one of the Border Patrol vehicles, and both of their vehicles pull us over. After providing our Canadian ID, and answering a half dozen questions about our destination, where we've been, for how long, etc., etc, the Border Patrol officer, who happened to be black, looks at all the junk on our back seat and asks: "What's all that?" We explained....again...that we'd been away for 6 months, and the junk was a couple of lawn chairs, some pillows, cardboard boxes of stuff, etc. He replied: "You know this road is a major smuggling route for illegals into the United States?"" I replied "Well, we're not smuggling any illegals."
He then said: "You know you were speeding?" I replied: "We've been driving at the same speed as everyone else, including you, for the last 30 miles. We've been in front of you, behind you and beside you for 30 miles. We even passed a State Trooper 5 miles back and he didn't budge."
I was very tempted to reply that I didn't know the Border Patrol's mandate included monitoring speeding on Interstate highways. He must have sensed this, because he replied: "Maybe you'd like me to get an Arizona State Trooper here?"
(Again, I was very tempted to ask: "You mean a State Trooper would issue me a speeding ticket just because you tell him I was speeding?"....but I didn't. I was also tempted to say: "Look, I realize you've probably taken crap from ****** all your life and now your uniform gives you the power to deal a little crap in return, but we didn't do anything wrong, so why are you trying to intimidate us?".....but I didn't.)
Anyway, after having me act like a white Stepin Fetchit, with lots of "Yessirs" and "NoSirs", he finally let us go.
Shakespeare called that behavior "the insolence of authority". As we drove away, I said to my wife: "How'd you like to be latino or black around here and get pulled over by a white officer?"
 

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I think the border patrol officer was simply checking you out because you have BC or Mexican license plates and wanted to talk a bit longer than a cop would usually to you to see if you were acting nervous. Also on that stretch of highway it is a smuggling route for drugs and your car was full to the brim. If he wanted to he could have called for back up to help take all your stuff out and search it. Usually just chatting you up is what they do. I feel you don´t understand what their job is and I travel on border highways all the time and have seen thousands of border patrol stops. I got stopped once for having my tags expired, I was in Central Mexico for 6 months and was driving from my house in Mexicali to San Diego where my mail was.

They followed me, 2 trucks, for some time, 10 minutes, and then one passed me and slowed down and they pulled me over. Their reason was my tags were expired and my car was riding low to the ground. They asked me to pop my trunk and then said carry on.

Living in Calif. on the border for 35 years I doubt it had anything to do with reverse racism. It might be you were overreacting because you are not familiar with the border region, which is quite a unique place to live.
 

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Last month when I went from Chiapas to DF we got stopped many times and no one ever asked me a question my traveling companion was an indigenous woman wearing her traditional clothes and she was awaken in a pretty rough manner and search on the other seat there was a young wman also indigenous who barely spoke Spanish and he was searched and questionned..
I have done that night trip many times and they rarely pick on foreigners that obviously come from up north but if you are dark skin you will be sometimes photographed, searched and asked a lot of questions.
I have done this trip many times in the last 7 years and there is a pattern...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, I arrived this morning at 6 am after 12 hours on the Omnibus Plus. Sure enough, I was asked for ID when I boarded in Juarez, and that is it so far. Mostly today was getting rested up from the bus ride. The Omnibus could not have been more comfortable but a bus is still a bus, and it was not possible to get any real sleep.

An English speaking cab driver named Gary took me to the Hotel Reforma on 5 de Febrero and Madero which is a couple of blocks from the plaza. It is less than $40 a night and perfectly comfortable. Nice room, hot water works.

Will post more later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I take the bus between Guadalajara and the border pretty often, both to Tijuana and to Ciudad Juarez.

Going north, security stops are quite common, maybe 4 or 5 times on each trip. Sometimes they unload all the passengers and all the luggage and require the passengers to claim their luggage and run it through a scanner. Sometimes it is just selected items. Very rarely they will ask for identification, I can't remember if it is just me that they asked for identification or everyone. I have always been the only obvious non-Mexican on the buses.

Going south, there are rarely security checks.
In my case, the bus was boarded twice on the way back. Each time, one guy boarded the bus and just walked the aisle and opened the bathroom door then left without saying anything to anyone. I was asked for ID each time at the bus station before entering the boarding area. After just a glance at my visa I was given a nod and got on the bus.

Oh, this was a bit strange, a taxi driver took me to one of those places that sells televisions, appliances on the payment plan (part of the Americanization of Mexico, I guess) so I could exchange dollars for pesos, and the cashier asked for ID and then would not accept it or perform the transaction. She directed me to a casa de cambio (where they never want to see anything except the money). I have no idea what she was trying to tell me. They do exchange currencies, however, because when I told the driver what happened he went to the front of the line and did the exchange using his own ID. I forgot to ask him what the problem had been accepting my visa as ID.
 
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