For tourists and would-be immigrants alike, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers are what stands between wherever you were and where you want to be. The role of a CBSA agent is multi-faceted and worth understanding if you intend to cross the border.
The CBSA Officer’s Duties
First and foremost, the duty of a CBSA officer is to protect Canadian borders and prevent dangerous people and goods from entering the country. In order to fulfill these duties, officers have the authority to execute certain commands and orders, provided that they have reasonable grounds to do so.
If a CBSA officer has reason to believe that an individual may pose a threat to the general public and could be inadmissible under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, they have the power to issue a warrant for the person’s arrest. They can also have the individual detained and ultimately make them leave Canada through a removal order.
In addition to protecting Canadians and the country from dangerous persons, CBSA officers are responsible for helping to ensure that the country is protected from weapons, drugs, and other prohibited substances and goods. As of 2006, frontline CBSA officers have been trained to use and carry firearms as part of their role.
Ensuring Widespread Protection
Another way that CBSA officers help keep the borders safe is by identifying potential biological threats. Given the ease with which people can travel from continent to continent, the risk of introducing a new human, plant, or animal-based disease is heightened and has the potential to yield catastrophic consequences. Often, the spread of disease is not intentional, making it all the more important for officers to be vigilant.
Finally, CBSA officers help contribute to the national and global efforts to fight human trafficking and international terrorism. Officers receive specialized training related to identifying potential human trafficking victims, providing outreach resources, and taking part in intelligence measures to promote enforcement.
Crossing the Canadian border has the potential to be a smooth, stress-free experience provided that you’re well prepared. If you have questions or concerns regarding your admissibility or require additional information about the Canadian Border Services Agency, a cross-border lawyer can provide invaluable advice along with peace of mind.