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U.S. immigration policies ruined school band’s trip to Victoria

One school district in Washington State recently banned all international trips across the border, including those to British Columbia. This decision was taken because of the likelihood of students being refused re-entry into the United States upon return. This is following up on our May 2 blog post about the concerns of Canadian schools sending students on field trips to the United States (“U.S. immigration policies pose school trip challenges”). It seems schools districts across the border in Seattle have similar concerns.

The president of the school board says they do not keep a record of students that are undocumented for fear of having them stigmatised as illegal aliens. However, in the Seattle district, there are children from more than 100 countries who speak in excess of 135 different languages. This is an indication that a significant number of them might be undocumented.

However, members of a particular high school band are unhappy about this decision. They have been practising and looking forward to an annual trip to perform in Victoria, British Columbia. Band members feel they have no interest in who are illegal aliens but feel they should not have to miss the opportunity because others are undocumented.

Regardless of how the students feel about the decisions made by the school district, authorities cannot risk having children punished by U.S. immigration policies. When students go on school trips, the school district is responsible for their safe return. Any problems experienced at the border post may be resolved with the help of an experienced cross-border immigration lawyer who has offices in British Columbia and Washington.

Source:, “School District Punishes Citizens, Bans International Travel to Protect Illegal Alien Students from Deportation“, Katie McHugh, May 11, 2017