I confronted the CBP officers about not wearing masks


This weekend I landed in the United States. As I entered the baggage claim area of ​​the Immigration Center, the first two Customs and Border Protection officers I saw were standing near each other chatting and did not wear masks.This article is not about our individual feelings about wearing masks. Rather, Miami Airport requires all passengers, visitors, and employees to wear face protection. Miami-Dade County also has a mask warrant. It’s probably worth mentioning that at least 162 CBP officers in Florida have already tested positive for the coronavirus.

I looked at the officers and shook my head – not only should they follow the rules, but shouldn’t they set an example for others?

At this point one of the agents started talking to me:

Officer: “Do you have a problem?”
Me: “Yeah, why don’t you guys wear masks? “
Officer: “Are you trying to help me or what’s your problem?” “
Me: “Everyone is supposed to wear masks, including you, and you know that. “
Officer: “Well, you’re wearing a mask, so you’re protected. “
Me: “That’s not how masks work. This kind of logic is exactly why we are the epicenter of it all.
Officer: “I’ll put one just for you, happy?” “
Me: “And the other guy? “
Officer: “He has a beard, masks have been proven not to work if you have a beard.” Why not go on your way and mind your own business. ”

I… I… I was… at a loss for words.

Me: “This is completely ridiculous. Is there a supervisor I can talk to? “

At that point a guy came in coming out of the back room at the same time, at which point the policeman said “hey, this guy wants to press charges against me for not wearing a mask”, and the guy smiled. We pretended that there was no one above him in the establishment, so we continued on our way.

American CBP “is committed to treating you with courtesy, dignity and respect”

When we got to our baggage claim belt in the immigration hall, there were two other officers standing (with masks on), so I spoke to them for a second:

Me: “Hey, is there a CBP supervisor in the terminal? “
Officer: “Is there anything I can help? “
Me: “Some of your colleagues don’t wear masks. When I reported it, they claimed that I was protected because I was wearing one, and also that one of the police officers could not wear a mask because he had a beard. You have a beard and seem to wear it very well. I don’t know how you work with these people.
Officer: “We… work with all kinds of people. I’m sorry about this. “

He was nice and explained that a more experienced supervisor was only at the other immigration facility because staff were limited at the moment. He said he could try to get in touch with him for me, or suggested that I file an online complaint with CBP.



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