Immigration Knows My Name

It seems like being an American is not always a good thing, even in America.

Let’s start a bit farther away, in Holland.

Amsterdam International Airport is a large place. Enormous to be exact. Travelers from every corner of Europe as well as the rest of the world, seem to end up here sooner or later. It was my pleasure/misfortune to do the same.

I’ve already written about my difficulties thinking that I was a European, but had the wrong Passport to qualify, but finally accepting that I really was an American, after all.

When I needed to journey back to Denmark, my problems continued. On-line check in, should have been easy and without effort, but I was to learn differently in no time whatsoever.

The on-line forms stopped me, when I stated that I had an American Passport, and was traveling to Denmark without an date for my exit from that little Kingdom. I wanted to find the link that would allow me to explain, that even though I possessed an American Passport, that I did indeed live in Denmark, and was just visiting the USA on vacation. “Speak with our employees upon arrival at Los Angeles International Airport”.

At LAX I did just that. The young woman hadn’t experienced someone like me before. She needed the necessary documents, a sort of “Green Card” issued by Denmark, telling the world that I had the permission to stay in Denmark without having to state a date of exiting the country. I only had my “Green Card” issued to me all those years ago, when I first moved there. It showed a younger me with brownish hair, but lacked a magnetic strip, or any kind of expiration date of any kind. She finally let me leave LA, but warned me of a possible stop in Denmark, and the likelihood of being deported back to the States once again!

Minneapolis was kinder to me this time around, allowing me to avoid both Immigration and Security, but my trouble awaited me once again in Holland. The same questions and demand for a current “Green Card” were made to me, yet another time. I managed to convince the authorities that I was indeed living in Denmark, citing the fact that I possessed a Danish Driving License, a Health Card and the stamp in my Passport, showing that I was in that very same airport, traveling from Denmark to the USA, and was now returning from there. All that is put aside, when you consider that plastic ID cards with Magnet Strips are the final proof needed. I went through the Gate thoroughly convinced that I would be able to argue my case, in Danish, upon arrival in Aalborg that being my final destination.


Backside of my  Danish “Green Card” from 1993. A bit worse for wear.

Back in Denmark, at Aalborg Airport things were entirely different. Upon entry and the subsequent pick up of baggage, there wasn’t anyone else visible in regards to my Immigration Case. No officials existed in either the Immigration booth, nor in the Declared/nothing to declare area. Just an open door to freedom, and the fresh, clean air of Denmark. No questions asked. No complications. Only Danish spoken here.

I’ll be applying for this “Green Card” in order to explain to everyone outside of my “Native” country that I do indeed live in Denmark, even though my Passport is Blue in Color with text in English, with the Bald Eagle adorning the inside pages, with the words of the US Constitution and Declaration of Independence emblazoned on its pages. An American is something, I’ll remain despite my European/Danish thoughts, but that goes with the territory and my blue Passport……


The 1993 me, Danish Certified….


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