by Jack Campitelli | July 12th, 2010
Having let a few terrorists cross the border near the time of the 9/11 terrorist attack and having received a rasher for it in the U.S. press, the Canadians went into hyper mode, grilling U.S. citizens wanting to visit Canada. Now they have upped the ante again. Hey, just because they’re Canada doesn’t mean they can’t be as stupid as the U.S.
Long and short, they have started refusing admission to anyone with a felony conviction or drunk driving conviction — no matter how long ago it was. In truth, this right has always been on their books. But they usually only used it as an “ace in the hole” for when they needed to deport someone fast. Other than that they used the common sense approach.
They are now turning back even people who got caught smoking a joint in 1970. The number of people being refused admission is reaching epidemic proportion. Sometimes it is on a random crossing after visitors have bought vacation homes in Canada and have crossed the border hundreds of times.
There is a border war going on between Canada and the U.S. The U.S. routinely gives trouble to everyday Canadians coming to the U.S. to go shopping for the day or who carry a work visa. One of these encounters was caught on tape recently. I’m not vouching for the tape’s authenticity but it happened at the Niagara Falls crossing. I’m sure you can find it on google. The whole family got themselves busted. You can hear the kids screaming in the background as it gets out of hand. On the other side of the border wars, the Canadians are running complete background checks on all visiting Americans – and turning a lot of them back.
I know customs agents, TSA personnel, border guards are not allowed to notice people who look like trouble as opposed to those who don’t. They must treat everyone equally, no matter how stupid that is. Or maybe they are allowed to notice terrorists but shake down the occasional nun, too, to make things fair. I have no idea what the policy is. There is a public policy and a not public policy, I’m sure of that.
Have you ever noticed that for the most part, drug dealers can’t help looking like drug dealers? The flash of gold, the shirt unbuttoned. In many years of practice, they have not yet adopted the disguise of tired overweight, middle-aged men in business attire just trying to clear passport control and catch the next flight home. But the business group gets singled out, too, for “drill downs”. The same is true of “terrorists”. Amazingly, they mostly look like terrorists. What’s that about? Not tired, overweight, middle-aged men in business attire. And yet to take such notice would be considered “profiling” and not allowed. What idiot came up with this idea? You WANT profiling at check points!
Even if I’m the victim of it. And I often am. As you can see from my posts, I don’t really do well with authority. For the most part, “authority” to me is a catch phrase for automatons with guns and badges. So I have a bad attitude to begin with and it doesn’t get better at border crossings. I think it shows. When coming back to the States, I don’t like to be asked “What was the purpose of your visit [abroad]?” What the f**k business is it of theirs why I went someplace? I want to say, “Now I’m back. Either I’ve got a bag full of contraband which customs will catch at the next stop, or I do not. But WHY I went somewhere? What has this got to do with anything? If I were doing something bad, I wouldn’t tell you. Either that’s my face on the passport or its not. Either the passport is genuine or its not. If it looks like me and the passport is genuine, then what are we talking about?” “Welcome home, Sir,” is the proper greeting I want to get upon presentation of my passport.
Border guards have turned thuggish everywhere. They are becoming way to similar to the terrorists they’re trying to prevent migrating. Movement of capital or person is not getting easier, I gotta tell you. Little by little we are being asked to choose which gulag we want to stay in for the rest of our lives. Which bankrupt economy. Which over-taxed country. Which busted banking system. This is exactly what Osama Bin Laden predicted – that we would take ourselves down. He said we would abandon our Constitution to fight terrorism. We would become the terrorists we wanted to ferret out.
So, FYI, forget Canada unless your record is pure as the driven snow. But if it’s not, you’re not necessarily “out of luck” – there is a procedure to regain access to Canada. You can visit a Canadian immigration government website to find out how. It’s a root canal but it will work if you’ve had 10 years between you and “the trouble.” The procedure will take at least a year. It’s not a last minute thing. However, if you live near the border, you can ask that it be waived at the border. This procedure has mixed reviews. With more thumbs down than up. There is also a provision for humanitarian visitation – to get to sick relatives or something. An emergency ski vacation to Whistler doesn’t count.