Okay, so I've been debating even posting about this for a while now, but I'm generally quite interested to hear if other people have similar experiences or can shed any light on how things operate.
Recently (before the New Year) I went on a trip to New York, this was not my first visit to the states. I had previously been to Florida when I was much younger, and Maryland during my teenage years. I've never had any issues with customs anywhere in the world, and as a family we used to go on a fair few holidays. On this trip, however, I was completely singled out from the passengers of our entire flight (I know this due to being one of the first off the plane, and still being sat in the waiting area once everyone else had claimed their luggage and left) and flagged up on the system and requested to wait to speak to someone.
Fair enough, I thought, maybe it's just some random check and I was the unlucky one. The problem started when my mother politely asked if there was a problem and if they could tell us what it was, to which she received an extremely shitty response and told not to interfere. I chimed in just to explain that it was my mother and there was no need to snap at her for asking the logical question, and if there was indeed something wrong I'd like to know what it was. Ignoring my question, all I got in return were a select few personal questions, then told to go and sit in a waiting area for someone to come and speak to me. To add to this, when my mother and her partner asked if they were permitted to come with me while waiting, instead of answering the question the officer just repeated their earlier comment to go and wait.
Twenty to thirty minutes later, after the two people sitting behind a desk were done with their catch-up conversation, I was called over and asked the same questions and a few more invasive ones. Then after a few blips on their computer, they said I was free to carry on. When I then asked if they could let me know what it was that caused the issue, the guy behind the desk gave me a very shitty attitude, ignored the question completely, and told me I was free to carry on.
So all in all, I guess what I'm asking comes to this; is this the common practice in the US nowadays? Do people have any rights when it comes to requesting information on why they were raised as a security risk or whatever by the system upon arrival? Are the staff always so ignorant when you're being as polite as can be and just asking a simple question?