A television network reportedly obtained information that shows an increase of 300% in the number of bans handed out at border posts in 2019, compared to 2018. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Seattle field office issued 65 expedited removal orders during Aug. 2019, while only nine Canadians were issued bans during Aug. 2018. U.S. immigration offers no explanation for the increase.
A Canadian man who had a summer job at a resort in British Columbia shared his experience with U.S. border patrol. Due to the seasonal high rentals in Osoyoos where he worked, he chose to stay rent-free with his girlfriend’s parents just south of the border in Washington state. His daily commute took no longer than 30 minutes in each direction, including the border crossing. He says he had pleasant conversations with border guards during the twice-daily crossings.
However, after eight weeks of hassle-free border crossings, he was heading home one night at the end of a 10-hour shift. This time he was ordered to go inside, where the border officials questioned him for approximately five hours. The questioning concluded at about 4 a.m. when he was handed an expedited removal, banning him from entering the United States for five years. Although no proper explanation was provided, the man believes the fact that he lived rent-free with his girlfriend’s parents indicated that he did not intend to return to live in Canada.
With all the uncertainty around border crossings, it might be a good idea for anyone in British Columbia to consult with a lawyer in Vancouver who has significant experience in dealing with all matters relating to U.S. immigration laws. Legal counsel can explain the potential problems that might occur at the border, and assist the client in gathering all the necessary documents. With the support and guidance of legal counsel, chances of crossing the border smoothly might be increased.