UPS Won't Deliver Woman's Envelope Until She Shows Her Green Card

Caught somewhere between post 9/11 security concerns and personal rights is Cristina Bustos. According to the Palm Beach Post, her relatives from Mexico shipped her an envelope that contains the birth certificates for 2 of her relatives that live in Florida. But instead of receiving the envelope, Cristina, a legal resident, received a phone call saying that her envelope was being detained in Louisville and that “she needs to identify herself further before receiving them.” Later, a UPS employee told Christina that she had to email a copy of her green card if she wanted to get her envelope. Details, inside…

The article says,

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the U.S. government has been concerned about counterfeit documents being used for fraudulent purposes.

“She said the only way I could get it was to send her proof that I am a legal resident here,” said Bustos, who works at a McDonald’s in Fort Myers. “She wanted me to e-mail her a copy of my green card.”

Bustos said she has lived in the United States for 15 years, became a legal resident and received her green card in 2002.

“I told her I thought that was ridiculous,” Bustos said. “She represents a private company. She’s not an agent for the immigration service, and I have no obligation to show her my immigration status.

“We paid to have those documents sent, and they should deliver them to us. There is nothing illegal in that envelope.”

UPS claims that they are only following procedures outlined by the government which is trying to prevent counterfeit documents from entering the country that could potentially be used by illegals to gain citizenship or some other right. The article says,

“Many people are involved in sending fraudulent documents to the U.S. for the purpose of stealing identities,” said Zachary Mann, spokesman for Customs and Border Protection in Miami.

Some attorneys have insisted that the procedure violates the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment guarantee against “unreasonable search and seizure.”

Customs officials disagree. They say there always has been an exception to that law: People at U.S. borders can be searched and belongings can be seized without the usual warrants and legal prohibitions.

Because the courier hubs are where international packages enter the country, they qualify for the border exception, the officials say. Airports also qualify, they contend.

It seems that UPS isn’t doing anything illegal in asking her to “identify herself further,” but do they have a right to know her citizenship status? Should the government be flagging 2 simple birth certificates over security concerns? Or should Cristina just roll over and get with the system? Let’s hear your opinions, Consumerists.

Florida woman’s fight with UPS touches nerve over security level [Palm Beach Post] (Thanks to Steven!)
(Photo: Maulleigh)


Edit Your Comment

  1. timmus says:

    Quite frankly, if this is just a private company asking for a document so some office worker can push a button, I would probably forge it. That’s pretty darn easy to do if they’re asking for an email copy. But this is now in the public spotlight so it’s too late to do anything that sneaky.

  2. Wormfather says:

    1. What if she was born here and didnt have a green card?

    2. More funny: What if the package had actually contained her green card? My fiancee is from the UK and she said she received her green card via UPS.

    3. What if this was total bullshit? Oh wait, it is.

  3. Wormfather says:

    Oh and:

    “identify herself further,” but do they have a right to know her citizenship status?…Or should Cristina just roll over and get with the system?”

    My experience around these parts lead me to belive the community is going to tell her to shut up and show as much ID as they ask for.

  4. SkokieGuy says:

    If UPS thinks the contents of the package is suspect, they need to turn it over to law enforcement authorities, no different than if they suspected the package contained illegal drugs.

    UPS has no law enforcement authority and is not qualified to evaluate what is or is not “valid” identification. Furthermore, and emailed copy does not prove authenticity.

    If the woman really wants to be tough, she could demand that UPS contact law enforcement authorities to investigate the contents of the package and her.

    Of course, realistically, fax or email the ‘proof’ to satisfy an arbitrary UPS clerk, then perhaps contact Gloria Allred. Practice crying on cue first.

  5. Cycledoc says:

    What an interesting country we are becoming.

  6. SuffolkHouse says:

    This anti-immigrant vigilanteeism will cost UPS money. My wife runs an store on the internet, and we’ve decided to use USPS until we hear this ends. What a bunch of Nazi crap.

  7. B says:

    What does the green card have to do with the veracity of the documents?

  8. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    Why the heck are they assuming that she’s not a citizen in the first place? Because she has relatives in Mexico?

    This is completely stupid.

  9. myasir says:

    Because citizens and legal aliens don’t ever perform fraudulent activities. It’s only the illegals.

  10. Gokuhouse says:

    “Your papers, please! You don’t have them?! To jail with you!!!”

    I’m telling you, we are not that far from this. This nation is falling apart.

  11. bdgbill says:

    Wow, it is sometimes inconvenient to live illegaly in America. What a crime against humanity!

  12. consumersaur says:

    Wait. Can she do a chargeback?!

  13. stacye says:

    I guess I don’t really understand this… But it states that people send illegal documents from outside the US, to inside the US. Is that not backwards?

    If I wanted to commit some sort of identity theft, wouldn’t it make more sense to send it from inside to out, so that people could come over here illegally?

    Also, aren’t most cases of identity fraud from INSIDE the US?

  14. Me - now with more humidity says:

    Did Consumerist go into reruns this morning? You ran this story weeks ago.

  15. mike says:

    @SkokieGuy: The argument is slightly flawed. Only slightly. :-)

    I see this no different than the government requiring pharmacies to put decongestants behind the counter.

    UPS, complying with federal laws, is required by Border patrol to detain “suspicious” packages. While the package may have contained papers, they weren’t sure if they were forged; furthermore, how are they to know that the green card was not forged?

    I agree that if she refused to confirm her citizenship, UPS must turn over the package to Customs to be inspected.

    Asking for proof of citizenship is not a violation of the 4th amendment. A police officer can ask for your license at anytime without cause. Why should a Passport/green card be any different?

  16. bsalamon says:

    Forgetting all the arguments about illegal aliens and such. Holding packages is not wrong in any way, if there is a concern about security. If UPS were to release the package and something would happen, they could be liable…
    So basically UPS is covering their behinds – even if it seems to be xenophobic

  17. Bye says:

    @bdgbill: But the woman is legal so your argument goes poof.

    If you hate illegals so much, our great country would like you learn to spell ‘illegally’ correctly.

  18. Edge23 says:

    As stated, the courts have stated the borders and international hubs are exempt from the 4th Amendment.

    UPS is acting as an agent of the government in requiring people to show their green card.

    UPS is doing nothing wrong. Since ids can be forged easily, and there has been a history of fraudulent documents coming from/sent to Mexico, requiring the person to show their green card is reasonable.

  19. MountainRooster says:

    This is NOT an immigration issue. I have had to show UPS my id many times when picking up packages. UPS even demanded a signed letter with a copy of my license to have someone else pick up a package after I called.

  20. BII says:


    you’re an idiot. she’s a LEGAL resident of this country. take your jingoism elsewhere, kthxbai

  21. Edge23 says:

    >> So basically UPS is covering their behinds – even if it seems to be xenophobic

    UPS is xenophobic for following the law? What utter crap.

  22. BII says:


    actually you are only required to carry a driver’s license to operate a motor vehicle. Otherwise you are only required to identify yourself to LEOs.

  23. SkokieGuy says:

    @linus: The government can put in place laws that have to be followed and rules and procedures, but ENFORCEMENT of laws is not normally the domain of private companies.

    First, if the documents are illegal, whether the receiver is here legally or not is irrelevant. Secondly, UPS is not qualified to determine the validity of the documents.

    Yes,laws give UPS the right (and perhaps duty) to inspect incoming packages, but any suspect shipments should be referred to the appropriate law enforcement authorities to determine if the shipment is in violation (FDA if its a shipment of suspect food, Immigration if its suspect citizen documents, DEA if its suspect drugs, etc.).

    UPS is not a law enforcement organization.

  24. metaled says:

    It sounds like the woman is ordering multiple copies of other peoplrs birth certificates, for relatives. The senders address has been flagged by the FEDS and UPS is following the FEDS rule to determine who and why she is ordering these documents from out of the country.
    I could probably order someone else’s birth certificate from out of the country and have a pretty good chance of taking their identity. (Legal resident, born in another country, with that official copy, I could take his identity pretty easily! With Mexico’s Bribery rates among officials, it wouldn’t be hard to make a few dozen illegal aliens all of a sudden become legal residents under another name.)
    Makes total sense to me, she should be glad it is in place, as a legal resident herself, her Birth Certificate is worth a few dollars to an illegal! She would be the first one to call foul if someone ordered her BC and took her identity!

  25. CharlieInSeattle says:

    @bdgbill: Umm can you read, she’s a legal alien. What if she was born here, now what document is she supposed to provide. In this case, I’d simply make a phone call to the local police and file theft charges.

  26. Edge23 says:

    By the law requiring carriers to obtain additional documents “if customs agents ask for it” (as stated in the article), UPS has become an agent of the government and law enforcement.

  27. Edge23 says:

    1. She was not born in the US. As stated in the article “Bustos said she has lived in the United States for 15 years, became a legal resident and received her green card in 2002.”

    2. She says she is a legal resident. Did you personally verify that? Have you looked at her green card? Because that is all the UPS wants to do. The custom agents have asked for it from UPS.

  28. Milkham says:

    how do they even know what’s inside the envelope?

  29. CharlieInSeattle says:

    @linus: You are wrong an officer can not ask for your license unless you are driving a motor vehicle.

  30. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    I agree that if she refused to confirm her citizenship, UPS must turn over the package to Customs to be inspected.

    @linus: So what do you do if you’re just visiting and someone sends you something? Why does being a US citizen matter one way or the other?

    @MountainRooster: Proof of your identity isn’t the same thing as proof of legal residency.

  31. CharlieInSeattle says:

    @Edge23: You obviously can’t read either, I said what if, as in what if she was born here, how is she going to provide a green card? Can you personally verify it? Can UPS verify it? You think UPS has a tap into Federal law enforcement databases. Maybe you should try thinking before you make comments.

  32. CharlieInSeattle says:

    @Edge23: Wow you can’t read either.

  33. mike says:

    @BII: I’ve actually wondered about this. If you have no form of identification on you (drivers license, identification card, or otherwise), how would they charge you?

    @SkokieGuy: Enforcement does happen in the private domain. When you apply for a job, the company is responsible to make sure you are allowed to work in the country.

    Alcohol merchants must check and verify age before selling. By your standard, a police officer should be assigned to every grocery store, every restaurant, every mom-and-pop store to make sure that this inforced by a law enforcement organization. And even if this were to happen, we’d be screaming of an invasion of privacy.

    UPS is not a law enforcement organization. Yes, that’s true. But they do carry a responsibility, like all companies, to respond to the law. If UPS’ hands are tied to verify citizenship in order to deliver a package sent from overseas, then they have to. There is no way to tell that the delivery is not a sting operation, much like the police using under-21 cadets to perform alcohol sale checks.

  34. mike says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: You respond to their request. If I was visiting France and they wanted to verify my citizenship, I would say that I’m not a citizen of France and that I’m visiting from the US. I’d produce my passport and then go from there.

    I’m having trouble understanding why this is so complicated.

  35. Edge23 says:

    @CharlieInSeattle: You are a retard if you think UPS requires US citizens to shown their green cards – since that is not possible. Clearly the custom agents knew she was not a citizen since the feds so have a database (and they appear to be clueless about this), so they required UPS to get the green card from her.

    So short, you learn how to read. The US government required UPS to get the green card from the woman.

  36. CharlieInSeattle says:

    Postal Convention:


  37. CharlieInSeattle says:

    @Edge23: Look in the mirror, no where in the article does it say it was based on a federal DB. You’re the one that needs to learn to read. How about reading the treaty dumbass.

  38. metaled says:

    @linus: I’ve actually wondered about this. If you have no form of identification on you (drivers license, identification card, or otherwise), how would they charge you?

    Watch COPS. If suspects don’t have ID or they think they are giving false information (Name), the police will take them in and have them sit in jail till a fingerprint or government database check comes back showing who they are. A lot of people that DON’T have ID, give a false name will sit in jail a couple days and come back as a wanted felon or killer. A reason “they never got around to getting an ID”.
    They book them as JOHN DOE and they remain till a positive ID comes back. Even if no other crime is commited. CARRY ID!

  39. chiieddy says:

    @Wormfather: Your “green card” is essentially the same as your Social Security card. I don’t think they’re even green anymore.

  40. Edge23 says:

    You are clearly a retard. From the article

    “Kristen Petrella, a UPS spokeswoman, said the company is simply following the law. U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents open and detain certain items, she said, and UPS’ role is just to notify the customer how to get it.

    “We follow exactly what they tell us to do,” she said. “We are not an enforcement agency. We are not making the rules. We are in the business of making deliveries, but we have to follow the law.””

    The feds asked for the green card.

    Take your treaty and shove it. When Mexico stops sending illegals here, we will consider abiding by any crappy treaty signed in the past.

  41. thetango says:


    “After the Sept. 11 attacks, Customs and Border Protection “was given the legal right to inspect everything coming into the country and going out,” said Joanne Ferreira, the agency’s spokeswoman in Washington. “Identity documents are of concern to CBP because of their potential use by terrorists.”

    She said couriers are required to obtain additional information about a shipment, including proof of residency, if customs agents ask for it.

    Bustos would have the birth certificates if she had complied with the request, Ferreira said. If Bustos does not end up with them, they will be sent to the Mexican Embassy in Washington.”

    It seems like CBP has requested additional identification be provided by Bustos in order to verify her immigration status.

  42. mike says:

    @metaled: I think it was once I didn’t have an ID on me. Purely by accident. I was shopping and apparently there had been some sort of robbery or something. The police wanted to log everyone that was there.

    They asked me for identification. I had completely forgot my wallet at home (thankfully, I didn’t drive). I told him that I had just gotten there and had no idea what happened. He let my friend and I go.

  43. mike says:

    @Edge23, @CharlieInSeattle: : Man, lots of name calling. Is this really necessary?

  44. wring says:

    they probably don’t even know what a fucking green card looks like. unless she’s concealing the fact that they asked for her driver’s license and she doesn’t have one, i don’t see why they need to see her green card.

  45. Edge23 says:

    @linus:Yeah, I’ve calmed down now. No point of arguing with someone who can’t grasp that UPS is doing what the US government asked them do.

  46. Edge23 says:

    This woman, if she thinks the government is wrong in requiring a green card to get her package, should sue in federal court instead of crying to the media.

    But she will lose in court.

  47. DjDynasty says:

    Legal or not, they should send Cristina back. I’m tired of McDonalds being staffed with immigrants who barely speak english!

  48. cametall says:

    If the government requires she prove her citizenship then what is UPS to do? Send it to her anyways and get in trouble?

    They point out the exceptions to the amendment in the article and the receiving facility is clearly one of those exceptions.

  49. WayneK2 says:

    If someone sent a package to ME from Mexico, will UPS demand proof of my legal residence? Do they demand it from everyone receiving a package sent from a different country? How do they know the recipient is not a citizen?

    Wait a minute … I don’t have to worry … my last name isn’t Hispanic.

  50. mediatus says:


    Unless you’d like to argue they ought to speak Ojibwe at McDonalds, we’re all immigrants, sugarplum. Some are just more recent and better behaved than others.

  51. diddy0071 says:

    @linus: Um, actually a police officer CAN’T ask for your license without cause. Legally, you are only obliged to provide YOUR NAME, unless there is a reasonable suspicion that you violated the law.

  52. diddy0071 says:

    @DjDynasty: STFU. I’m sorry your obese ass can’t order your triple 1/4 pounders correctly. Dumbass.

  53. thelushie says:

    “Learn to read!” “No, you learn to read!” “You are a retard!” “No, you are a retard!” Are you guys going to start calling each other a poopy-face next???

    Knock it off and grow up!

  54. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    I’m having trouble understanding why this is so complicated.

    @linus: I’m having trouble understanding why her citizenship matters at all. If the documents are forgeries then they should be turned over to law enforcement who should be contacting this woman themselves. If the documents are legit they should hand them over.

    I just don’t see how asking for her green card helps or proves anything one way or the other.

  55. diddy0071 says:

    @metaled: How would they KNOW what’s in the envelope, unless they opened it? Frankly, This is bullshit. I am a CITIZEN and would feel completely appalled to have to show PROOF that I’m a legal resident of the U.S. If we can order prescription pills from canada no problem, how come we can’t ship a fucking birth certifcate from mexico?

  56. CharlieInSeattle says:

    @Edge23: Clearly your a historically challenged neocon that doesn’t care about the rule of law.

    Even if the 4th amendment doesn’t apply Article VI of the constitution does. Treaties are the “and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land;” We have a treaty with Mexico, which part of that don’t you understand?

  57. CharlieInSeattle says:

    @Edge23: Yeah, I’ve calmed down now. No point of arguing with someone who can’t grasp that UPS is doing what the US government asked them do.

    You can’t grasp the law.

  58. CharlieInSeattle says:

    @Edge23: Take my treaty, no you take your treaty, read the constitution you historically challenged neo-con. Article VI to be exact. What’s the matter you, don’t like following the law?

  59. BigElectricCat says:

    @linus: “Asking for proof of citizenship is not a violation of the 4th amendment. A police officer can ask for your license at anytime without cause.”

    Not to be combative or anything, but a drivers’ license, on its own, does not constitute proof of citizenship.

  60. audreyhorne says:

    I don’t know… it sounds pretty legit to me.

  61. Wormfather says:

    @chiieddy: Nope, they’re pink/grey if I remember correctly. I was just trying to underline the sillyness of the request.

  62. CMU_Bueller says:

    AHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Fourth amendment issue my ass. No where does the constitution say it applies to private companies.

  63. mike says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: There are three different issues here.

    1. UPS must comply to laws. If the government is requiring UPS, FedEx, USPS, et al to check identification, then they have to. I’m not prevy to the wording of the law but I assume that it also includes citizenship.

    2. The law itself. I’m not saying that it’s not stupid to ask for proof of citizenship. I’m just saying that no matter what, the law is the law. “Understanding is not a prerequisite to compliance.”

    3. The suspicion of the package. When a police officer pulls you over, he may not be suspicious to what you have in your trunk. However, if you act weird or uncomfortable, he has probable cause to search the car. The package may have not become suspicious until the woman refused to confirm her citizenship.

    I don’t know the order of events. All I’m saying is that regardless of the law, regardless of what happened, UPS was complying with laws. If the woman wanted the package, she should have showed the proof of citizenship.

  64. mike says:

    Just as an FYI, I’m not blaming the victim here. Well, maybe I am.

    Showing a greencard doesn’t seem as bad as showing a drivers license or passport. They pretty much have the same information.

  65. mike says:

    @BigElectricCat: Oh, I agree! But a green card/passport does. Which is probably why UPS asked for one.

  66. CMU_Bueller says:

    And if it is UPS complying with a law, it’s not going to be hard to say, “Magistrate we would like to confirm this woman’s citizenship because she is receiving birth certificates which may have been forged. Give us a warrant.” No judge is going to deny that. They have reasonable cause that is pretty clear here.

  67. coren says:

    How did UPS know that the envelope contained Birth Certificates

  68. @bdgbill:
    @CMU_Bueller: @linus:

    Look, perfect candidates for dying in a barn fire! 100% grade-A sheep meat, does what you tell it no matter your credentials, just flash a little authoritai and moooo, it moves along. Please, you guys, get the hell out of America while there’s still something left of our civil rights. Kthxbai.

    To answer a few of the more striking idiocies (which I’m totally not surprised are) in this thread:

    – UPS has to obey laws; the constitution does, in fact, apply to corporations — it EVEN applies to the government itself! ::gasp::

    – The government telling someone to do something is not the same as “a law”. Contrary to what Herr Bushy would have us believe, it’s quite possible for the government, or parts of it, to break the law and violate the Constitution. This does not, again contrary to some moronic views, change the law or make it okay.

    – Nothing in what UPS (or “the government”) is trying to do here in any way protects US citizens (authorized or unauthorized) from terrorism or anything else. It’s pure “security theater”, to quote the emminent Bruce Schneier.

    – The HARM being done here, on the other hand, is just as dangerous to citizens as non-citizens, and to the innocent as the guilty. Your Pure As Driven Snow Conscience does *not*, in fact, mean that you don’t have to care about this. (Neither do your gleaming perfect Papers.)

    – In case anybody was curious, being “undocumented” in this country is a civil, NOT a criminal offense. So all the B.S. that’s getting spouted about being able to trample people’s rights because they’re criminals (assuming they’re guilty, which I realize everyone is totally keen to do), is quite thoroughly bullshit.

    In closing, UPS should, and is totally within its rights to, give the “government” the finger; and the lady receiving this package should demand that they turn it over to the cops (which is the only reasonable actually-security-oriented action they’re allowed to take), and then call every media phone number she’s got.

    Not Native-American

  69. VMR says:

    Do only full blown USA citizens folks read Consumerist? And do they not happen to know any immigrants? Because this level of cluelessness I’m seeing in this thread is really amazing to me. The immigration administration in this country is specifically made to discourage ‘wrong’ kind of people to coming to the USA. Think college enrollment with about 10x more paperwork, and where you have to convince everybody ALL THE TIME you are not lying. While waiting for the green card I had to be fingerprinted once a year, and to renew the whole set of documents (drivers’ license, work permit) every single year for almost eight years. And that was not free, either.
    So, when you finally get a green card, you think you can relax. Wrong, it seems. Because, if you happen to be a ‘wrong’ kind of people, UPS (which has a really shitty customer service anyways), will kindly remind you that you are not ‘like anyone else.’ Pleasant thought, indeed. And don’t hide behind ‘but government ask them to do it’, it is just a ‘Good German’ defense, and is shameless.

  70. Norskman says:

    I hate UPS.

  71. @coren and many others:

    Any package coming into the US from another country can be inspected for customs duties and contraband. In practice, most aren’t, because it’s too expensive. They just trust the little duty label you put on there. But they have the right to check it, as do other countries when packages come in from the US. When I lived in Japan, my mom would sent me some beef jerky from home sometimes. Japan has strict beef import laws. Sometimes my package would show up just fine. Other times it would be seal in Japanese Customs tape with the beef jerky missing and a kind note informing me it had been incinerated. That’s just the way it is.

    Her letter either said “Birth Certificates” or “Documents”, and since they are on the lookout for fraudulent documents coming from Mexico, either would have been a flag for inspection.

    Also, for the folks asking “what documents would I show to prove I’m a citizen if I was born here”: are you serious? What do you use to get a passport? Your birth certificate, obviously. And if you don’t have one, try to get an SS number, driver’s license, passport, etc. Nearly impossible (though in NC you can still use a family bible, hilarious).

    Also, please note: legal aliens here with green cards DO NOT HAVE THE SAME RIGHTS AS CITIZENS. They mostly do, especially human rights stuff, but they are, for example, obligated to inform USCIS every time they move, etc. Also, doesn’t the constitution say everyone can vote? But resident aliens can’t….oh, so, the constitution doesn’t wholly apply to them….head…exploding…..

    Fact is, if ICE wants to see her green card, she must show it or she can be deported. End of story. If USCIS flagged her, she has no choice. Non compliance can have bad consequences. If she’s been a legal alien since 2002, she should be eligible for citizenship, and then all these problems will go away. Until then, she plays by different rules.

    And for the record, my wife is Japanese and a resident alien (green card), and I’ve been dealing with USCIS for a long time. Citizen and non-citizen: there is a big difference.

  72. Edge23 says:

    @Mary Marsala with Fries:

    >> The constitution does, in fact, apply to corporations

    Can your provide evidence of this? The US Constitution states corporations have to provide free speech, the right to assemble, can’t search company owned lockers etc…?

    Yes, UPS could give the federal government the finger and challenge this policy in court. But they probably share in the goral of cutting down fraud. As you know, many of the 911 hijackers have fake IDs and documents.

    And why would UPS want to challenge this anyways? It’s not like they will lose business since all other carries (FedEx, DHL) have to abide by the same laws.

    The “harm” is solely limited to a non-citizen who claims to be a legal resident but won’t provide that to the UPS.

    Yes being undocumented is a civil offense, but committing fraud and money laundering is not. The government is trying to stop that.

  73. CMU_Bueller says:

    @Mary Marsala with Fries: Why aren’t cooking dinner or kids bitch?

  74. CMU_Bueller says:

    @Mary Marsala with Fries: And I’m sorry but the Constitution specifically outlines the structure and rights of the US government, NOT private companies as idiots like you so naively believe.

  75. SkokieGuy says:

    People, some of you are confusing complying with enforcement.

    A liquor stores complies with laws that require they check ID. If a minor attempt to purchase liquor,the liquor store is limited in their actions to simply denying the sale.

    To enforce the law, the liquor store can contact a law enforcement officers can be called to arrest. (Get it? Law ENFORCEMENT officer, pretty clever!)

    Similarly, UPS has to comply with all applicable laws, such as customs, DEA, FDA import regulations and such. UPS has no enforcement authority. They follow many many rules that regulate their business, but cannot arrest, fine or imprison, (yet – how soon is Bush out of office?).

    If you try to have Cuban Cigars sent to the USA, UPS may intercept the package and turn it over to customs who may choose to prosecute you.

    All clear now?

  76. Edge23 says:

    Good posts.

  77. SkokieGuy says:

    But no star

  78. mike says:

    @SkokieGuy: Thanks for the clarity! I think this clears the mud a little bit.

  79. SkokieGuy says:

    Wow – two compliments, thank you both! I must celebrate. I think I’m going to use my Bank of American debit card to go online and order myself to a Quizmo’s sub……

  80. digitalgimpus says:

    If you want to have some fun: get as much info from the CSR as possible.

    Then call one of those anonymous tip lines and say UPS believes it’s holding illicit goods related to forged US documents, but isn’t turning it over to appropriate authorities.

    Then, let the federal government (hoping for a bust they will jump at the opportunity) raid the UPS depot, get the package, and check it out.

    Since they are legitimate, your in the clear, you did your civic duty and reported it and UPS get what they wanted.

    Does anyone loose?

  81. LUV2CattleCall says:


    Bad news: The USPS uses UPS for aerial shipments!

  82. LUV2CattleCall says:

    How is it that UPS can’t verify that a physical document in their hands is real, yet they trust a scanned/emailed greencard to be authentic? You probably don’t even need Photoshop…MS Paint would do the trick!

  83. Knight-Zero says:


  84. ChuckECheese says:

    @stacye: Wouldn’t it be possible to create fraudulent documents inside the country, rather than have them shipped from Mexico? Maybe doc fraud will become a new industry that will save us from the mortgages.

    Somebody in Mexico must have been very honest about identifying the contents of that envelope. Otherwise, how else would UPS have known? They coulda said “paperwork.” Do you have to identify specifically what kind of paper is in your envelope now? What’s the relationship between having birth certificates mailed to you, and having to show proof of legal residency? What, realistically, will the INS/HS do with the information?

    @bdgbill: As unpopular as his snarky comment is, there’s a grain of truth to it. Here in my border city, where it appears half of everything is illegal, you can be taken downtown for not having a driver license or other proof of legal residency if you are stopped by the police. There are new immigration jails recently opened in the area to process illegal immigrants. Good times!

  85. S-the-K says:

    I wonder what the OP is trying to hide? How do we know they aren’t forgeries with intent to get welfare benefits from hard working tax paying Americans?

    Maybe I’ll go sneaking around the neighborhood in the middle of the night dressed all in black. If the cops confront me, I’ll tell them that to ask me to identify myself just because I’m doing suspicious with no definitive evidence of doing anything illegal is a violation of my rights. I wonder if a Taser hurts as much as they say it does?

  86. D-Bo says:

    @bdgbill: RTFA she is here legally. I suppose you would be fine if instead of receiving your delivery that you instead are questioned by a UPS employee.

  87. donkeyjote says:

    @S-the-K: SHe’s already a legal resident, so she doesn’t need fake birth certificates to get her legally earned welfare benefits.

  88. @D-Bo:

    Legal resident, yes. Citizen, no.

  89. LionelEHutz says:

    I blame Clinton.

  90. CharlieInSeattle says:

    Does everyone miss how easy it would be to fake a greencard if it’s being sent via e-mail?

  91. CharlieInSeattle says:

    @SkokieGuy: And that has to do with the price of tea in china how? Article IV outlines that treaties are the supreme law of the land.

  92. Uh oh. More UPS talk.

    Hi Corporate!

  93. Lucky225 says:


    Thank you for christ sake, all you need is photoshop and the right template lol.. a whole lot of good email is going to do.

  94. sean77 says:

    @CharlieInSeattle: I doubt UPS used the term “green card”. They asked for ID. You have to do that when you sign for a package. She’s the one who substitude the word “ID” for “green card”.

    UPS is not asking for her green card, they’re asking for ID.

  95. DrGirlfriend says:

    It seems to me that this is a US government issue, not a UPS issue. If UPS is being asked to facilitate getting that document from the customer to Customs, then they are basically a middle man. And Customs gets to let UPS take the brunt of the heat.

  96. Buran says:

    Strange. My dad is a resident alien and has never caught any grief from customs or immigration beyond the usual headaches that apply to anyone dealing with huge bureaucracies.

    He isn’t from Mexico or India or Africa or any of the high-fraud areas, though. He has also been here 40+ years.

    (Rants about how long it’s taking his citizenship application to move through the morass are an entirely different matter).

  97. KarmaChameleon says:

    @Buran: The government only cares to inconvenience brown people, because we’re the only ones who ever commit fraud.

    Legions of Eastern European illegal immigrants who bleed NYC dry with their welfare cheating in Brighton Beach? They’re just an aberration.

  98. RagingTowers says:

    Yea god forbid more people come into this country and steal land..

  99. FYI, American-born citizens have a need to order birth certificates for relatives. When the gov’t started requiring passports for non-continental travel, many in my CA family had to order BC from their hometowns in Texas to get passports to attend a family reunion in Ireland. But we had them sent Fed Ex, so we avoided this problem.

  100. metaled says:

    @diddy0071: How would they KNOW what’s in the envelope, unless they opened it? Frankly, This is bullshit. I am a CITIZEN and would feel completely appalled to have to show PROOF that I’m a legal resident of the U.S. If we can order prescription pills from canada no problem, how come we can’t ship a fucking birth certifcate from mexico?

    Maybe they just looked at the address on it? Maybe it is coming from their “Registar Recorder’s” Office (Birth Certificate). Maybe she is in the habit of getting a lot of mail from this same official? I’ve noticed domestic packages I have ordered have obviously been retaped, accidentally ripped open?
    But none of that matters, they have the right to search anything coming into and out of the country. That includes your prescription pills from Canada! It never crossed your mind how the Feds do these big smuggling busts, stuff a dog can’t smell. You send mail into or out of the country, they can check it!
    If the feds are checking on people who are ordering multiple Birth Certificates or Social Security info, I’m all for it! It’s about time they put a stop to these Illegals (Illegals are doing more than just being illegally here! Just ask my nephews!)

  101. god_forbids says:

    I’m with metaled. Receiving two birth certs from Mexico, neither of which is in your name, is damn suspicious. But it’s not UPS that’s holding the package, anyway. Its ICE. Or Customs. So STFU already, whingers.

  102. metaled says:

    Of course it could be all be connected to the illegal immigrants arrested for identity theft in Mcdonalds employment (1 state, 11 stores, 56 arrests) last year. Blame it on her employer?


  103. ageshin says:

    This is all part and parcel of the Bush lead hysteria over illegal imagration. Forien devils just waiting to do evil. UPS is not part of the INS or any government agency I know of. They should just do their job and deliver the package!

  104. chartrule says:

    something seems strange about this

    my mother is a landed immigrant and she has never been ask for her citizenship papers for picking up a parcel – the only thing she’s ever been asked for is for her drivers licence when picking up parcels

  105. Buran says:

    @KarmaChameleon: I agree. it definitely is ridiculous. Immigration control is one thing but bias is another. If you’re going to enforce the policies, you need to apply them to everyone equally.

  106. FijianTribe says:

    Just show them your ID and move on.

  107. jimv2000 says:

    “Many people are involved in sending fraudulent documents to the U.S. for the purpose of stealing identities,” said Zachary Mann, spokesman for Customs and Border Protection in Miami.”

    Uh, why wouldn’t they just print the fraudulent docs here?