I travel more than I’d like, so I just invested $80 and a couple of hours of my time in getting a Nexus card. Actually, it’s only maybe a quarter of the time that I roll up to either the US or Canadian immigration and face the dreaded long-lineup scenario; but those times are painful. [Update: Jeepers, it’s getting hot in the comments; check it out.]
I have to say that the process was painless, polite, and reasonably efficient. You talk to the Canadian side, they take pictures of your irises and give you a lecture on how it works, then you go the US side, they take pictures and fingerprints and give you a card.
Or it would have been efficient, except for the couple in front of me in line. It turned out she’d lived in the States and had a Green Card in the Seventies, and that set off all sorts of alarm bells, and they wouldn’t do anything for her till she brought the card in and formally renounced it. Then, it seemed that he had a (minor, low-grade) criminal record, which occasioned further lengthy dialogue and delays.
By the time I got to talk to the official, he was kind of frazzled I think, and never got around to asking whether I’d been arrested or turned away from the US or done anything else nefarious.
As I went through the latter stages I listened to the dialogue with the next couple, who were both realtors from the West Side of Vancouver; they needed the card because they’d just bought a bigger yacht and wanted to dock it down in Washington State somewhere. Maybe I’m in the wrong business.
Now that I have the card, I’m officially “low risk”. I better watch it in the dodgier parts of the world, or someone may knock me over and steal my eyeballs in a foul plot to wreak devastation on the West.