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Rescinding of U.S. travel ban doesn’t prevent some Canadian citizens from being denied at the border

Posted Monday, February 27th, 2017 at 9:27 am

Entry into the U.S. is not a right and remains at the discretion of the border agent you encounter. Border agents are not obliged to disclose the reasons for denying entry to a visitor.

Although President Trump’s travel ban has been overturned, some Canadian citizens are being stopped at the border and refused entry into the U.S. CBC reported one instance of a student being turned away at the border in Quebec. Yassine Aber, a 19-year-old kinesiology student at the University of Sherbrooke, was denied entry to the United States on Thursday while trying to cross the border. The 19-year-old was travelling in a vehicle with five other athletes and their coach. The others were made to wait five hours while he was questioned by border guards. Aber was born in Canada to Moroccan parents and was travelling on a valid Canadian passport.

In another instance reported by the CBC, A Montreal woman says she was denied entry into the U.S. after being fingerprinted, photographed and questioned in detail about her religion and her views on U.S. President Donald Trump. Fadwa Alaoui, a Moroccan-born Canadian citizen who is Muslim and wears a hijab, says she has used her Canadian passport to enter the United States many times without incident to visit her parents and brother, who live there. They were stopped and questioned at the border for 4 hours before being turned away and forced to return to Montreal. They intended to go to Burlington, Vermont for a shopping excursion. Most of the questions they were asked were related to religion and they were even obligated to turn over their cellphones and passwords. She said she was also asked about the mosque shooting in Quebec City, if she knew any of the victims, and what she thought of Donald Trump’s policies.

I felt humiliated, treated as if I was less than nothing. It’s as if I wasn’t Canadian

It should be noted that Morocco is not among the seven countries targeted by a U.S. travel ban introduced by Trump.

Vice News also reported instances of what seems to be like increased scrutiny at the border. While not confirmed, it seems that border agents have demonstrated increased questioning at the border, and are asking about political associations, opinions, and even what travellers might think of Donald Trump and the existing Presidential administration.

The reality is that non-Americans (including Canadians) have very few rights at the border, and that even suspicion of criminal behaviour can be used to deny entry. While the travel ban has been rescinded from a legal perspective, and even though the White House had given assurances on border travel last month after the enactment of the travel ban, border agents can still deny Canadians entry into the United States. It’s really as simple as that.

2 Responses to “Rescinding of U.S. travel ban doesn’t prevent some Canadian citizens from being denied at the border”

  1. Cathy Anderson ( Veillette) says:

    I want to apply for dual citizenship in Quebec but do not know the language even though my father was born Saint-Tite, Quebec in 1923 and came to states at age 17 with his father, he met my PEI her parents immigrated from but she born in USA, My father always intended to declare all our births to the consulant of Quebec as he wanted our Quebec heritage was important to him. I was born 11-17-1956 in Maine I am 1 of 8 children. When my mother died my father bought a home in Quebec around early 1900’s to be close to his sister and other family but he also kept his home in USA and came down occasionally to see his children and grandchild, the last 3 years of his life he lived with me and i have always been the only child interested in my Quebec roots although i wanted to learn french and do remember the letters alphabet he taught me years ago but he was older and had no patience. but anyway he had dual citenship when he bought his Quebec home. I now have a camp In Quebec in Gagnon Lac Barbil and many 1st cousins that I can not communicate with , we try but it has always been hard. I have my father dual citenship papers, his Saint-Tite Baptism records . Would i be allowed dual citenship and be able to learn french online interactive. what documents do I have to submit,
    My Address:
    Cathy Anderson
    516 Levenseller rd
    Holden, ME 04429

    Also my Daughter works in Jackman on Quebec / jackman border she took french for years in school but it was Parisan french which my dad could barely understand, would she have access for dual citizenship also as the camp we bought is under her name.
    Sincerely,
    Cathy Anderson

  2. chris says:

    Hi Cathy,

    Because of your father, you are a dual citizen of Canada and the USA. However, you have to apply for a proof of Canadian Citizenship. There are no language or residency requirements for obtaining your proof of citizenship.
    When you move to Canada there are FSL (French as Second Language) classes you could use to learn French.

    The easiest way to apply for proof of Canadian citizenship is using online services. You could start the process of obtaining proof of Canadian Citizenship by signing up on online at http://canadacitizenshiphelp.ca/. You should choose “Adult Citizenship Certificate” option. Canada Citizenship Help will send you all required forms, assess and review your application with 24/7 support, check your documentation, look for a photographer in your area that specializes in taking Canadian Citizenship photos and an industry unique comprehensive review of your application photos to be absolutely sure they were taken to the Biometric standard.

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