Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

The US seems to have gone crazy

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Kamili Hinkson reports for CBC News:

A Canadian woman travelling on a Canadian passport says she was turned away at the U.S. border and told she needed a valid immigrant visa to enter the country.

Manpreet Kooner, 30, is a Canadian citizen who was born to Indian parents in Canada and raised here. She now lives in Montreal’s LaSalle borough with her fiancé and works in a science lab at a local college.

She told CBC she was on her way from Montreal to a spa in Vermont for a day trip with two friends, who are both white, Sunday afternoon. They never made it.

Kooner said she was held at the border for six hours before being turned away.

At one point, she said, a border agent told her: “‘I know you may feel like you’ve been Trumped,'” an apparent reference to U.S. President Donald Trump.

Trump’s January executive order barring citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the country was later blocked in U.S. courts, but has touched off legal battles and confusion around the world.

Kooner was told to apply for the visa at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa. She went to the embassy Monday morning but was told they couldn’t help her, and that she would need to talk to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

“I’m speechless,” she said. “There are no answers.”

In a statement, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) said it does not discuss individual cases, but that those who present themselves at ports of entry must prove they fulfill admission requirements, and that admission to the U.S. is at the discretion of the border officers.

The statement also says CBP adopted a policy in 2014 that “prohibits the consideration of race or ethnicity in law enforcement, investigation, and screening activities, in all but the most exceptional circumstances.”

Kooner’s story is the latest in a string of recent tales involving Canadian travellers scrutinized or turned away by U.S. border agents.

Last month, for instance, a woman from the Montreal suburb of Brossard said she was denied entry after being fingerprinted, photographed and questioned in detail about her religion and her views on Trump.

Kooner was reluctant to attribute her situation to racism, but said friends who have reached out to her say that could be the case.

“People have said we need to take that into account here, because unfortunately, yeah, my skin colour is brown,” she said.

Told she needed an immigrant visa

Kooner said this summer, her mother was turned away at the border as well, but wasn’t told why. Kooner said she was told her mother’s issues wouldn’t impact her.

She first had trouble getting into the U.S. last December, before Trump took office. She was with friends and her fiancé when her car was pulled over for what she was told was a random check, she said.

She was made to fill out a number of forms, but was eventually told there was a problem with the computer system and they should return the next morning.

When they went back, she was let through without any problems.

She said that when she tried to cross Sunday, at Highgate Springs, Vt., an agent checked her passport and said they needed to ask her additional questions.

The agent mentioned that she had been stopped in December and asked why she was trying to go through again, Kooner said.

She said she told them she’s a Canadian citizen, has no criminal record and, before December, never had any issues crossing the border.

She also said she was fingerprinted and photographed, and signed a form to withdraw her application for entry to the United States.

Though she was told there are no flags on her file, a border agent advised her not to fly to the U.S. without a visa, Kooner said.

The reference to Trump came as the agent was explaining the reasons why she was refused entry, she said. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

6 March 2017 at 7:57 pm

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