We were recently denied boarding on a Cruise ship by Royal Caribbean cruise lines. The problem was that my wife, a legal permanent resident of the U.S. was missing a piece of information required by U.S. customs for re-entry to the U.S. This was not necessarily due to negligence on our part.
Four months before the cruise date, my wife traveled to Washington D.C. from our residence in South Carolina to secure a passport and make sure her documentation was in order. A few days before the cruise she was unable to find her legal permanent resident (green) card. Since she had made photocopies earlier, she brought those thinking that would be sufficient along with her passport.
It wasn't. U.S. customs requires both a passport and the original plastic card to be in possession at time of re-entry.
Interestingly, the Broward county sheriff was able to confirm my wife's legal status from the photocopy and a single phone call to Immigration in Wash. D.C.
The problem, I believe, is not with the cruise lines who are simply trying to avoid paying a stiff fine for "non-complience", but with the arbitrary nature of our governments enforcement of immigration "policy." The fact is, millions of people live and work in this country "illegally." In addition, the federal government recently filed suit against Arizona for enforcing immigration law. Requiring individuals to present ID at polling places is now considered discriminatory. Yet the government is on the case at the cruise docks. Who really are they protecting us against?