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US immigration appears to be playing the guessing game

Although there have been no policy changes, Canadians trying to cross the border are reportedly turned away much more frequently than before. Residents of British Columbia and other provinces who have travelled to the United States on frequent previous occasions are now refused entry for unknown reasons. Some Canadians have even reported receiving five-year bans with no explanations as to the reasons.

These actions are called expedited removals, one of which involved a British Columbia tree planter who presented credit card information, salary stubs and cellphone bills among her documentation. Upon her first attempt to cross the border, she was refused entry. When she tried again at a different border post, she received a five-year ban.

In another case, a man who was in the process of relocating from one B.C. home to another decided to take a brief trip south of the border. He was banned because he had personal items in the car, giving border agents the impression that he was illegally immigrating and banned him from re-entry. Knowing what they can bring along, what they must bring along, and what they may not have with them when they want to cross the border has become a guessing game for many Canadians who previously went back and forth across the border without problems.

It might be sensible for British Columbia residents who plan to cross the border to utilize the skills of a lawyer with experience in dealing with U.S. immigration laws. Legal counsel who is registered on both sides of the border can be an invaluable asset. With skilled support and guidance, crossing the border might no longer be a guessing game.