I'm on my way to Douglas for my Homeland Security interview in Douglas, AZ on the Mexican border. I'm going for an interview for my application for Global Entry Status.
Global Entry Status is a Homeland Security program for US Citizens returning to the USA from foreign travel. It is a prescreening program to eliminate me from standing in line with everyone else to get through Passport Control.
The above picture is a stopped train that has been sitting there before I arrived, and was there another 20 minutes before it would move and continue on my trip to Douglas.
Good thing I planned extravtine in my trip for bumps in the road like this. This is the town of Bowie, AZ and there is no other crossing to go around this stopped train.
Last year when I came back from a trip to Russia at Logan Airport in Boston, I stood in line with all the passengers from all the planes from foreign countries that came in at that time.
People were walking by me and I later found out they had a Global Entry Status to get through Passport Control.
This program prescreens travelers and when they land at an airport they stick their passport in a kiosk and it does facial recognition then fingerprints recognition.
Provided the data matches what's on file, you get to proceed to customs declaration and skip the folks in line waiting passport control and quickly get through the system.
So in summary you use a kiosk for passport control. It costs $100.00 for the application. Getting approved also gives you a KTN (Known Travler Number) for Pre TSA approval at US airports. I already have that and it cost $75.00 so for $25.00 more you get both.
Pre TSA approval allows you to limited TSA screening where you leave your shoes on and liquids left in bag with your laptop. Your carry on still is scanned and you are subject to additional screening if TSA feels it's required.
Have a car and travel to Mexico or Canada you can add a car for $40 and drivevthe special lane and not have to wait for a long time to get through the border.
My appointment is at this government building downtown Douglas. There is a court in the building too and a number of convicts I orange jumpsuits work in maintenance. They were all polite and respectful as we had passing conversations.
My appointment was at 9:30 and I was asked questions that they already knew the answers to and they took a digital image of my face and then a digital image of 4 right and then left fingers. Then both thumbs.
Finally I watched a videos about the rules of the program. The biggest one is that they stress if you are supposed to declare something do it as if you get caught you will loose your Global Entry Status.
I'm done with the interview and I'm ready for my 2.25 hour ride back to HWD-BLM. That's right about a 5 hour round trip for the interview after a 7 hour ride this past weekend to travel from Page to HWD. Good thing I like to drive.
Heading north from Douglas to Wilcox there are many farms.
Google image above
Ever fly over the US and see the circles created from center watering fields, well here this is how they do it.