This story was originally published by the WND News Center.
Being shackled to a metal bench, left for hours, and then fined thousands of dollars.
Or in the alternative having their car confiscated.
That’s the experience being related by multiple American travelers who have run into a simple problem as they return to the United States through the Mexican border.
It’s all because they pick the wrong lane in which to approach the border. Mostly by accident, they get into the Sentri lane, which is designated only for those travelers who are pre-approved for crossings.
But once in that lane, there is no correction, as concrete barricades keep the travelers there.
Fox News relates that travelers from Los Angeles “are being detained and fined several thousand dollars for using the wrong lane.”
Residents told KTTV-TV “they were detained and forced to pay fines so their cars would not be impounded after accidentally using the Sentri Lane, which only permits pre-approved travelers to use,” the report explained.
A victim identified only as Rose, of Burbank, said, “They shackled me to this metal bench as I waited for three hours. When we put in the address to go back home, it basically told us to go through a certain way, I guess Sentri is the fastest way to get out of the border.”
Another victim, Ana Salazar, of Pasadena, told the broadcast outlet, “I had never been humiliated in my life the way I was humiliated that afternoon.”
It’s so common that lawyer John Manley told the station he’s been representing drivers who have become targets.
The lawyer explained, “They basically shackle you to a bench for two, three hours. They say, ‘Yep, we’re gonna take your car,’ or, ‘we’re gonna fine you $5,000,’ for what amounts to being in the wrong lane of traffic.”
“When I was in the office waiting, one of the agents came in and he shouted at everyone else in the office, ‘Oh, we got another $5K,’” Salazar said. “Obviously, it was someone else that went through the same thing I did. So, I just thought to myself, Oh, this is just a business.”
U.S. Customs and Border Patrol did not respond right away to a Fox request for comment.