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at7mbe


Feb 1, 2017, 7:21 PM

Post #1 of 21 (11129 views)

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Immigration check on a LaLinea bus today

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The following happened this afternoon on a first-class double-decker LaLinea bus from Mexico City to Morelia. About 2.5 hours into the trip, the bus was approaching a large toll plaza on Mex 15D. The Mexican army was deployed ahead of the toll booths, and red traffic cones created several inspection lanes. I had my head down watching a downloaded Netflix movie with the curtains closed, so didn't really see who else besides buses were being stopped.

About a minute or two after the bus stopped, a female immigration officer in a crisp white INM blouse came up the rear stairs and walked directly to the front where four of us, all US citizens, were sitting and asked to see our passports and residency documents.

Three of us presented US passport cards, and one presented his passport book. Three of us presented our Residente Permanente cards, and one could only show front and back images of his card on his phone. That immediately got two male INM officials up there who were not happy about him not having his physical card with him, although the conversation was always measured and polite. He was told to always carry his RP card.

I'm not sure they had seen passport cards before, because one official used his cell phone to photograph both our passport and RP cards. After they were done with us, they left without checking any other passengers, and the bus proceeded on.

Has anyone had a similar immigration check on a bus this far from the border?

They seem to know that foreigners were on the bus and exactly where we were sitting, because they came directly to us. Made me wonder if the bus driver carries a printed manifest with passenger names and seat assignments that he showed at the checkpoint, and they simply scanned the list for non-Mexican names. I don't recall having to provide any nationality ID when I originally purchased the bus tickets online.

If they had asked for papers from the other passengers, I might think they were checking for illegal Central American migrants, but that wasn't the case at all. They just wanted to talk to us.

It wasn't intimidating or threatening, but it's the first time I've ever been asked for my residency card outside of an INM office in the course of doing routine INM business.

Has anyone else ever encountered such a checkpoint, in which case maybe it was just random chance that we were inspected today. Or is this the beginning of regular inspections and a small tit-for-tat to counter the nasty anti-Mexico rhetoric coming from the US?

Thanks,
Mark



AlanMexicali


Feb 2, 2017, 2:44 AM

Post #2 of 21 (11112 views)

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Re: [at7mbe] Immigration check on a LaLinea bus today

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The following happened this afternoon on a first-class double-decker LaLinea bus from Mexico City to Morelia. About 2.5 hours into the trip, the bus was approaching a large toll plaza on Mex 15D. The Mexican army was deployed ahead of the toll booths, and red traffic cones created several inspection lanes. I had my head down watching a downloaded Netflix movie with the curtains closed, so didn't really see who else besides buses were being stopped.

About a minute or two after the bus stopped, a female immigration officer in a crisp white INM blouse came up the rear stairs and walked directly to the front where four of us, all US citizens, were sitting and asked to see our passports and residency documents.

Three of us presented US passport cards, and one presented his passport book. Three of us presented our Residente Permanente cards, and one could only show front and back images of his card on his phone. That immediately got two male INM officials up there who were not happy about him not having his physical card with him, although the conversation was always measured and polite. He was told to always carry his RP card.

I'm not sure they had seen passport cards before, because one official used his cell phone to photograph both our passport and RP cards. After they were done with us, they left without checking any other passengers, and the bus proceeded on.

Has anyone had a similar immigration check on a bus this far from the border?

They seem to know that foreigners were on the bus and exactly where we were sitting, because they came directly to us. Made me wonder if the bus driver carries a printed manifest with passenger names and seat assignments that he showed at the checkpoint, and they simply scanned the list for non-Mexican names. I don't recall having to provide any nationality ID when I originally purchased the bus tickets online.

If they had asked for papers from the other passengers, I might think they were checking for illegal Central American migrants, but that wasn't the case at all. They just wanted to talk to us.

It wasn't intimidating or threatening, but it's the first time I've ever been asked for my residency card outside of an INM office in the course of doing routine INM business.

Has anyone else ever encountered such a checkpoint, in which case maybe it was just random chance that we were inspected today. Or is this the beginning of regular inspections and a small tit-for-tat to counter the nasty anti-Mexico rhetoric coming from the US?

Thanks,
Mark



A similar thing happened to my US friend coming back from CDMX to San Luis Potosi on the highway 57D from CDMX to Querétaro a week before Christmas. The INM checkpoint stopped the Primera Plus bus and inspected all the passengers. He didn´t have his US passport or his valid FMM 180 day tourist card. He only showed them photos on his Smart phone. They told him OK this time but carry them on you at all times. They did take a woman off the bus who looked Latina.


Anonimo

Feb 2, 2017, 4:01 AM

Post #3 of 21 (11110 views)

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Re: [at7mbe] Immigration check on a LaLinea bus today

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It happened to us, a few years ago, on the way back from CDMX on an AutoVias bus. (Same company as La Linea). We stopped at the Zinapecuaro toll plaza on 15D. Two INM officers came on board and asked to see our documents. We may have been the only foreigners on board, but I'm not sure. We always carry our essential documents with us, so all was cool. The officers were calm and polite. The check only took very few minutes.


playaboy

Feb 2, 2017, 7:13 AM

Post #4 of 21 (11086 views)

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Re: [at7mbe] Immigration check on a LaLinea bus today

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I travel around MX frequently. This happens all the time. INM has checkpoints all over Mexico.

INM law say you must have your docs with you at all times, no copies.


at7mbe


Feb 2, 2017, 8:55 AM

Post #5 of 21 (11074 views)

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Re: [playaboy] Immigration check on a LaLinea bus today

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Thanks for the replies. Probably just a bit of paranoia on my part from reading too much news each day.

In another INM matter, friends who own a home nearby and spend about 8 months here in total each year (over several trips), had a small incident at the GDL airport ten days ago. He's Residente Permanente and she travels back and forth on a tourist FMM.

From my friend: "The immigration officer spoke sharply to her, saying she should not be using a tourist visa if she lives in Mexico. She has never overstayed a tourist visa, but the immigration guy did not speak to that, only to the "fact" that she was using the wrong kind of visa."

Disregarding the slight misuse of the word "visa" (the FMM is not a visa), this is the first I've heard of this prohibition of using 180-day FMMs when "living" in Mexico for interrupted periods. She's now applying for a Residente Permanente residency card.


(This post was edited by at7mbe on Feb 2, 2017, 9:05 AM)


RickS


Feb 2, 2017, 9:08 AM

Post #6 of 21 (11069 views)

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Re: [at7mbe] Immigration check on a LaLinea bus today

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Yes, for paranoia is/can be rampant these days.... almost bad enough to not call it paranoia.

Maybe we will soon be seeing more attention given to the use of the tourist card as a substitute for a real visa. Maybe. After all it is, as the name suggests, a TOURIST card.

Times, they are a-changing.


Gringal

Feb 2, 2017, 12:10 PM

Post #7 of 21 (11046 views)

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Re: [RickS] Immigration check on a LaLinea bus today

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I believe the saying goes that it's not necessarily paranoia. Somebody may really be after you.

The way things are going these days I hope for the best and expect the worst. We shall see; but meanwhile, I carry my Permanente card with me.


Ric Hoffman


Feb 7, 2017, 6:08 AM

Post #8 of 21 (10944 views)

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Re: [at7mbe] Immigration check on a LaLinea bus today

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Quote

In another INM matter, friends who own a home nearby and spend about 8 months here in total each year (over several trips), had a small incident at the GDL airport ten days ago. He's Residente Permanente and she travels back and forth on a tourist FMM.

From my friend: "The immigration officer spoke sharply to her, saying she should not be using a tourist visa if she lives in Mexico. She has never overstayed a tourist visa, but the immigration guy did not speak to that, only to the "fact" that she was using the wrong kind of visa."

Disregarding the slight misuse of the word "visa" (the FMM is not a visa), this is the first I've heard of this prohibition of using 180-day FMMs when "living" in Mexico for interrupted periods. She's now applying for a Residente Permanente residency card.

Using a tourist or a FM-3 visa while maintaining residence in Mexico was not in the spirit of the original law. Think about those who boasted about living here with multiple FM-3's. It was abused by almost everyone except for the few who applied for and were granted FM-2 visas for many years. In 2011 the GOB closed the loop-hole (almost) with a major reform of the law. It also eased the procedures to obtain obtain residency cards. The wife should have a temporary resident card instead of the FMM tourist card.


gatomex

Feb 11, 2017, 3:10 PM

Post #9 of 21 (10831 views)

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Re: [Ric Hoffman] Immigration check on a LaLinea bus today

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perdon, if someone lives or has a residence in Mexico, why would they keep on continuing FM-3s and have to go thru procedures and fees every time. Instead get a FM-2 which is absolutely permanent and never have to renew again. Yes, I agree that doing border runs (FMMs) is really contrary to the spirit of the law and has the risk of they may not let you back in.


Ric Hoffman


Feb 11, 2017, 6:23 PM

Post #10 of 21 (10820 views)

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Re: [gatomex] Immigration check on a LaLinea bus today

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Quote
perdon, if someone lives or has a residence in Mexico, why would they keep on continuing FM-3s and have to go thru procedures and fees every time. Instead get a FM-2 which is absolutely permanent and never have to renew again. Yes, I agree that doing border runs (FMMs) is really contrary to the spirit of the law and has the risk of they may not let you back in.

The terms have changed since the major INM reform on 25 May 2011 and implemented by the REGLAMENTO DE LA LEY DE MIGRACIÓN Publicado en el DOF el 28 de septiembre de 2012 Última reforma publicada en el DOF el 23 de mayo de 2014.
But you are correct.


(This post was edited by Ric Hoffman on Feb 11, 2017, 6:34 PM)


YucaLandia


Feb 12, 2017, 5:08 AM

Post #11 of 21 (10802 views)

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Re: [at7mbe] Immigration check on a LaLinea bus today

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Thanks for the replies. Probably just a bit of paranoia on my part from reading too much news each day.

...
From my friend: "The immigration officer spoke sharply to her, saying she should not be using a tourist visa if she lives in Mexico. She has never overstayed a tourist visa, but the immigration guy did not speak to that, only to the "fact" that she was using the wrong kind of visa."

Disregarding the slight misuse of the word "visa" (the FMM is not a visa), this is the first I've heard of this prohibition of using 180-day FMMs when "living" in Mexico for interrupted periods. ...



Just to keep the confusion to a low roar:
When a foreigner uses the FMM as a 180 day Visitante Visa permit, it is a visa.

The FMM by itself is just a Forma Migratoria Multiple used by Residente Temporal Visa & Residente Permanente Visa holders to submit to INM as they enter & leave Mexico. When the FMM is used this way, it is not a visa and does not need to be carried by the foreigner.

Alternately, it is worth publicly noting that the FFM definitely is the necessary visa 'card' that Visitantes MUST carry as their formal visa, while in Mexico.

Doubters can read both the Ley de SRE and the Ley de Migración, to see that the 180 day Visitante status, the Residente Temporal & the Residente Permanente status are definitely officially called Visas ... where we have plastic cards as official evidence that the Mex Gob has issued the foreigner a Residency Visas and the paper FMM is the evidence that the Mex Gob has issued the foreigner a Visitante Visa.

Finally: Since the big changes in the INM law & regulations in Nov. 2012, Immigration officials across Mexico have been pushing an official policy that foreigners in Mexico for more than 6 months should change to Residente Temporal Visas, and STOP mis-using serial 180 day Visitante Visas.

There have been regular reports from the Mexico-US border, Mexico-Belize border, & US-Guatamala border of some INM agents DENYING foreigners Visitante Visas when they see that the foreigner's computer record shows multiple serial past Visitante Visa usage. Some have been turned away, and sent to a Mexican Consulate to get a proper visa for living in Mexico more than 6 months.

Happy Trails,
steve
-
Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com

(This post was edited by YucaLandia on Feb 12, 2017, 5:09 AM)


RickS


Feb 12, 2017, 5:50 AM

Post #12 of 21 (10797 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] Immigration check on a LaLinea bus today

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Yuca, just for clarification....

You use the words "regular reports" of INM agents denying and otherwise questioning the use of multiple Visatante visa. To me this conjurs up a major change from years past. BUT, as one who monitors several forums in and about Mexico, I don't seem to hear about these events in the 'numbers' that your Post would indicate.

Yes, one fairly old report from the border with Belize and an occasional report of someone trying to do an immediate turnaround (with the same agent!) at the US border which is resolved with a 'shift change'. Both of these incidents point more to 'one' agent having a bad day or some other personal agenda rather than a wholesale Mexican computer-driven tightening of the policy vis a vie the Visantante visa.

This issue is probably of great 'concern' to many people who are and have been using (maybe mis-using?) this visa type to live full-time in Mexico, so reporting the status of it will be important to them. Can you relate to us, and maybe share your definition of 'regular reports', por favor?


(This post was edited by RickS on Feb 12, 2017, 8:19 AM)


at7mbe


Feb 12, 2017, 10:54 AM

Post #13 of 21 (10769 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] Immigration check on a LaLinea bus today

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Quote
The FMM by itself is just a Forma Migratoria Multiple used by Residente Temporal Visa & Residente Permanente Visa holders to submit to INM as they enter & leave Mexico. When the FMM is used this way, it is not a visa and does not need to be carried by the foreigner.

Steve, since the FMM used by Residente Temporal & Residente Permanente Visa holders is filled out when they leave and the remaining top half handed in when they re-enter (not enter and leave) Mexico, they never have it at all when they're within Mexico, so carrying it is moot.

If a Residente Temporal or Permanente were to fill out a new FMM when entering Mexico, she/he could jeopardize their visa. Artículo 61 of the Immigration law states: Ningún extranjero podrá tener dos condiciones de estancia simultáneamente, something you've cautioned about repeatedly on the Yucalandia website.

Mark


YucaLandia


Feb 12, 2017, 1:30 PM

Post #14 of 21 (10759 views)

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Re: [RickS] Immigration check on a LaLinea bus today

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I know you mean well with your moderator~personal critiques, but I suspect that you and I fish in very different information pools.

I believe that tracking a few expat forums is not the same as receiving the contacts that we get from our 375,000 visitors each year to our site.

We also daily track 7 different expat web forums & expat secret Facebook groups - representing both coasts & the borders..

Are your information gathering nets that broad & that deep ?

Do you daily track activities at the major border crossings & both coasts?

Are you personally responsible for answering each & all the daily questions posed by a pool of 350,000 annual visitors ... or are most of your activities related to doing some occasional posting here on Mexconnect & Chapala.com ?

How many expat secret Facebook groups do you belong to?

This is not a contest, but a simple observation that it is possible you may not have access to as much information as some people do,.

As Mexconnect readers may not know whom to trust:
This is similar to the very small group of people who first read & summarized the May 2010 Ley de Migración and again with the November 2012 Regulacións. Yucalandia.com posted the first translations & summaries on both INM laws and the 2012 Regulations, ... and again first on the subsequent Aduana & SAT manual changes. Rollybrook.com was second on these things, as Rolly was having serious vision problems - so Rolly block copied & pasted big parts of our Yucalandia articles - dragging & dropping our Yucalandia.com content, word-for-word into Rollybrook.com . (Something Rolly & I had big laughs over.)
;)

Tracking the changes & important details on Mexico's immigration, customs, auto imports, and tax laws is certainly a big big field, with a need for many eyes & ears ... and even bigger needs for people writing their latest-~most~current updates personal reports on what they're experiencing with INM, SAT, Hacienda, Banjercito & Aduana.

Sonia is an excellent example of someone who accurately tracks the immigration & vehicle import experiences of two pools of foreigners (San Miguel Allende & Chapala), but there really does not seem to be anyone other than Mexico Mike & Yucalandia.com who are doing it nationally (except that Mexico Mike charges for his information).

So... there's plenty of room ... & plenty of needs....

Maybe it's time for RickS to start a website to monitor, track & document Mexican tax law changes, INM changes, SAT changes, Aduana changes, Motor Vehicle Insurance & Operation changes, Banjercito changes, et al to supplement what Yucalandia, Sonia, & Mexico Mike do ??

Happy Trails,
steve
-
Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com

(This post was edited by YucaLandia on Feb 12, 2017, 2:01 PM)


YucaLandia


Feb 12, 2017, 1:36 PM

Post #15 of 21 (10757 views)

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Re: [at7mbe] Immigration check on a LaLinea bus today

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Amen ...

All very good added insights.

I only mentioned the multiple different uses for FMMs as many people mistakenly instruct others that the FMM is a visa, while it's actually a handy multi-use tool that serves 7 or 8 different functions.

Readers who want to read more details on these things can check out:

https://yucalandia.com/...d-staying-in-mexico/

with specific topics described in the Table of Contents:
https://yucalandia.com/...o/#TABLE OF CONTENTS

Happy Trails,
steve
-
Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com

(This post was edited by YucaLandia on Feb 12, 2017, 1:36 PM)


YucaLandia


Feb 12, 2017, 1:46 PM

Post #16 of 21 (10754 views)

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Re: [RickS] Immigration check on a LaLinea bus today

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In Reply To
Yuca, just for clarification....

You use the words "regular reports" of INM agents denying and otherwise questioning the use of multiple Visatante visa. To me this conjurs up a major change from years past. BUT, as one who monitors several forums in and about Mexico, I don't seem to hear about these events in the 'numbers' that your Post would indicate.

Yes, one fairly old report from the border with Belize and an occasional report of someone trying to do an immediate turnaround (with the same agent!) at the US border which is resolved with a 'shift change'. Both of these incidents point more to 'one' agent having a bad day or some other personal agenda rather than a wholesale Mexican computer-driven tightening of the policy vis a vie the Visantante visa.

This issue is probably of great 'concern' to many people who are and have been using (maybe mis-using?) this visa type to live full-time in Mexico, so reporting the status of it will be important to them.

Can you relate to us, and maybe share your definition of 'regular reports', por favor?




We've read between 30-45 reports of incidences at US-Mexico & Mexio-Belize & Mexico-Guatemala, where the serial Visitante ('Tourist') visa holders were either turned away and told to go get a Residente Temporal visa ... or instructed that "This is your last time." ... since 2013.

40 reports over 4 years => roughly 10 a year that we have seen publicly & privately reported in writing.

For context on the real size of the problem - as it is NOT just one or two rogue INM agents acting like cowboys::
Typically, at most 1 in 20 ... to 1 in 50 people ... take the time go online to publicly describe their INM problems, so there are reasonably another 500 - 1,000 additional foreigners who have faced this problem in the past 4 years..

Happy Trails,
steve
-
Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com

(This post was edited by YucaLandia on Feb 12, 2017, 1:47 PM)


RickS


Feb 12, 2017, 2:04 PM

Post #17 of 21 (10747 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] Immigration check on a LaLinea bus today

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"This is not a contest, but a simple observation that it is possible you may not have access to as much information as some people do,. "

Well, if it 'looks like a duck and walks like a duck and quacks like a duck and flies like a duck, then it is probably a duck!'

Steve, am hoping that after writing all of that you are feeling pretty good about your capabilities. But I notice that you did not actually answer anything whilst you were pontificating. NOTE: Did respond while this Post was being written.....

MY POINT ONLY was to determine, for our Mexconnect readers, if there is truly a significant up-tick in the occurrences of INM Agents turning away 'permanently and maybe by the use of computer records' those trying to live in Mexico full time using recurring Visitante visas. You indicated that there is and, if this is the case, it is very important information for a ton of people living in Mexico.

Just asking for some verification of your statement. Not trying to compete, as you have pointed out "I'm not in your league". Just looking for some facts to cover possible 'alternative facts'.

BTW, I'm not interested in starting a website to monitor anything but thanks for the recommendation that I do so. But I surely do miss having ole Rolly to bounce things off of occasionally... in a non-threatening way.


(This post was edited by RickS on Feb 12, 2017, 3:04 PM)


yucatandreamer


Feb 12, 2017, 4:16 PM

Post #18 of 21 (10732 views)

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Re: [RickS] Immigration check on a LaLinea bus today

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I for one have appreciated your evenhanded moderation and ability to stick to facts. I prefer my facts from reputable news sources and first hand reports. There is way too much fear mongering in the world today. It is always helpful for all posters to cite chapter and verse and not hearsay, second hand information or family superstitions.


YucaLandia


Feb 13, 2017, 4:37 AM

Post #19 of 21 (10700 views)

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Re: [yucatandreamer] Immigration check on a LaLinea bus today

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5 of the 40 or so reports of people using serial 180-day visitors visas were personal friends, who only talked in private personal first-hand conversations about INM instructing them that they would not be allowed to continue using Visitante Visas. They never wrote anything publicly, due to fear of personal ridicule.**

The other 35 - 40 reports were all publicly written first-hand reports, except for 2.

Re moderation problems that Yucandreamer raises: I have personally had 12 newbies to Mexconnect write PMs & emails to me saying that they are not posting publicly, due to fear of ridicule - and only feel comfortable asking questions in private.

**The 12 newbies wrote that they have not appreciated the moderation on Mexconnect since Rolly left, as the newbies wrote that the Mexconnect moderators allowed & even encouraged a group of old-timers on Mexconnect to ridicule & personally criticize them.

So, 12 first hand reports from people who would normally like to have become active members on Mexconnect have written that moderator RickS & a peanut gallery of some old timers have driven them away to other resources & other boards.

For me, I pushed back in comments~replies above to the Mexconnect moderator (RickS), because of too frequent ongoing uneven treatment that this Mexconnect moderator uses for his friends & acquaintances versus others.

Mexconnect was once the 'go-to' resource on the internet, especially when Rolly was active, but sadly, Mexconnect has gone downhill over the past 3 years in too many people's experiences.

Happy Trails,
steve
-
Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com

(This post was edited by YucaLandia on Feb 13, 2017, 5:27 AM)


yucatandreamer


Feb 13, 2017, 7:25 AM

Post #20 of 21 (10678 views)

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Re: [yucatandreamer] Immigration check on a LaLinea bus today

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I think it is very important for people who move to or are planning to move to Mexico to understand that there is never just one way to do things. Most people brought up in the melting pot philosophy of the USA and Canada understand there is, at least philosophically, a right way to do something and a wrong way. Mexico seems to me to be less of a melting pot and more of a set of cogs based on class and power that work together-or not This makes the laws more subject to interpretation by each and every individual. For the 40 or so people that Yucalandia uses as examples of an immigration crackdown, there are probably 4000 who have had a different experience. Sometimes we see this fluidity
as corruption and sometimes it is, but most often it is just the way it is done in Mexico. In order to function in this country successfully and happily I have had to learn to exist in that great sea of grey that makes each experience new, exciting and often frustrating

It can be very helpful for a gringo to interpret the laws and to consolidate the hearsay he or she reads on various forums and blogs but it is dangerous to believe that any one person has a "right" answer or way of doing things. That is why you see the YMMV posted so often by the people who have experienced Mexico for a long time.


(This post was edited by yucatandreamer on Feb 13, 2017, 7:29 AM)


tonyburton / Moderator


Feb 13, 2017, 8:29 AM

Post #21 of 21 (10671 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] Immigration check on a LaLinea bus today

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As you have pointed out there are now numerous alternative forums and groups where people can now go looking for information about Mexico, including your own site, so it is inevitable that Mexconnect forums receive less traffic and attract fewer posters.

David McLaughlin and I have the utmost confidence in all our moderators, without exception, and do not appreciate anyone making derogatory remarks about the standard of moderation by any of the moderators. Of course, each individual is fully entitled to form his/her own OPINION about any moderator, myself included, but openly expressing such opinions are out of place on this public forum whose purpose is primarily to provide INFORMATION relevant to its readers.

David and I thank all the moderators, especially Rick, who is going above and beyond in ensuring that these forums continue to run smoothly. We also thank all those who contribute useful information via the forums. We hope that these forums will provide valuable and accurate information to our readers for years to come.

This thread has more than run its course and is now being locked.
 
 
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