A B.C. man from Tsawwassen who says he deliberate to go to the seashore and purchase some groceries within the U.S. exclave of Level Roberts, Wash. says border officers as an alternative handed him a five-year ban and instructed him to return to Canada.
Nick Austin, who’s between jobs, and within the means of transferring from Vancouver Island again to the Decrease Mainland, tried to drive throughout the border on Sept. 5, when U.S. Customs & Border Safety (CBP) brokers despatched him inside for additional questioning.
“The best thing they could have done is turn me around at the very beginning, say, ‘we’re not letting you in today.’ That’s it,” Austin mentioned.
As a substitute, CBP information present Austin was interrogated about his job, his house, his intentions within the U.S., and the gadgets in his automobile, which was packed up with the contents of his earlier condo. He was then instructed he was inadmissible and handed a five-year ban, what’s referred to as “expedited removal.”
“You appear to be an intending immigrant…” Austin’s paperwork learn, “After it was determined that you have relinquished ties to your home country of Canada.”
However Austin insists he had no intention to work or reside within the U.S.
“I used to return to Level Roberts with my household as a younger little one,” he said. “I simply had a thought: Oh effectively, why don’t I go over and take a go to and go to the seashore?”
Austin believes border brokers made a mistake. So does his Lawyer, Len Saunders, who’s taken on the case professional bono, after observing a spike in these kind of bans being issued by U.S. border brokers since June.
“I suppose it’s an overreach,” Saunders mentioned. “Yes, I understand he didn’t have a job at this point. A lot of Canadians are between jobs. Yes, he didn’t have a residence. A lot of people move at the end of the month. Yes, he had some stuff in his vehicle, but it’s not like he had a U-Haul truck.”
Saunders mentioned he’s seen at the very least a dozen expedited elimination circumstances in the previous couple of months and says whereas bans up to now included those that lied to frame brokers or have been caught working illegally, now they seem like given out “for no apparent reason.”
“My concern is that this is a trend which is going to be continuing for Canadians,” Saunders mentioned.
Whereas these getting into Level Roberts are topic to the very same scrutiny at different U.S. Ports of Entry, the peninsula, which was as soon as dubbed the most secure gated group within the U.S., can solely be accessed via the worldwide border crossing from Canada, and is surrounded on three sides by water.
A spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Safety wouldn’t focus on Nick Austin’s case citing “privacy regulations,” and instructed CTV Information that each one selections “about admissibility are made on a case-by-case basis…based on the facts and circumstances known to the officer at the time.”
When requested about whether or not five-year bans at B.C. border crossings have been certainly on the rise, CBP spokesperson Jason Givens wrote, “While I can acknowledge that there has been a recent increase in the issuance of expedited removals, there has not been a policy change within the CBP nor is there a quota.”
CBP has additionally instructed CTV Information that each one expedited removals have to be accepted by a supervisor earlier than being issued, and they’re later reviewed by higher administration.
Saunders mentioned Austin can wait out the five-year ban however could possibly be topic to a different when attempting to enter the U.S. after it expires. His different choices is making use of for an Immigration Waiver, a course of that may price Austin roughly US$930, the equal of about $1,200.
He’s additionally cautioning Canadians to be additional cautious at U.S. Ports of Entry, a warning that comes too late for Nick Austin.
Requested what he would wish to inform CBP if given the possibility, Austin mentioned: “I’ve performed nothing flawed.”