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Canada B.C. woman turned back at U.S. border told she needs a visa, lawyers call it unnecessary

15:00  10 october  2019
15:00  10 october  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

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Kooner said she told border agents she was a Canadian citizen, travelling on a Canadian passport and has no criminal record. “I’m being called an immigrant and being told ‘don’t you ever come back to the states again without a visa ,’” she told Global News. While informing her that she would not be

She said she was told she was an immigrant without a valid U . S . visa . Read the latest news on U . S . President Donald Trump. Kooner, 30, is of Indian “We are talking about a Canadian citizen, born in Canada, illegally turned back at the U . S . border , and we want a prime minister who knows how to

A Vancouver woman is afraid to try to enter the United States after she was held for hours without reason and eventually denied entry — a case immigration lawyers say is becoming more common at the U.S. border.

Software developer Jaklyn De Vos had planned to visit her godfather in Seattle, Wash., in April of this year when she and her partner were brought in for questioning at the Sumas border crossing in Abbotsford.

After nearly five hours, a border patrol officer told her she was denied entry and that she would need a visa — something not normally required for Canadians at land border crossings — to enter the United States again. With no criminal record or history of problems entering the U.S., De Vos said she can't understand why she has not been given an explanation.

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Immigration lawyers say they've seen a spike in the number of Canadians turned back at the U . S They told him he shouldn't try to enter the U . S . again without a special waiver that costs hundreds of Kooner says she ' s a law -abiding citizen of Canada, so there' s no apparent reason she needs one to

A Canadian woman travelling on a Canadian passport says she was turned away at the U . S . border and told she needed a valid immigrant visa to enter the country. Manpreet Kooner, 30, is a Canadian citizen who was born to Indian parents in Canada and raised here.

"I have friends and family in the states that I'd like to see, so it's definitely frustrating not to be able to do that or have any information about it," she said.

She also said nearly three hours into the ordeal, the border guards asked to see her and her partner's cellphones and wallets.

"It just seemed easier to comply, it was kind of a scary situation anyway being detained for so long," she said.

a side view mirror of a car: Jaklyn De Vos in her van near her Vancouver, B.C., home. © Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Jaklyn De Vos in her van near her Vancouver, B.C., home.

'Definitely something in the water'

Lawyers say they have seen an uptick in the number of Canadians being denied entry, or even being banned from crossing into the United States.

"There's definitely something in the water right now ... we are seeing unusual denials and unusual requests we haven't seen in years prior," said Mark Belanger with Border Solutions law group.

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Belanger said the easiest thing for people to do in situations similar to De Vos's case is to refuse their own entry.

"That's technically a withdrawal of your request for admission and they will release her back into Canada," he said, even if someone is held for questioning. 

Belanger also said there are a number of options for recourse.

"You can apply for an actual visa at the U.S. consulate here in Vancouver, and at the interview for the visa, you can ask questions about your case and find out some information," he said.

Belanger also recommended filing a complaint on TRIPS, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) traveler redress program. De Vos said this also lead to a dead end.

"I just recently ... noticed that my case said closed on it, but I still haven't received any letter," she said.

A spokesperson for the CBP acknowledged the increase of "expedited removals" from the United States and said it was not due to policy changes or quotas within the department.

De Vos goes to the U.S. regularly to visit friends and family and has never had trouble entering the country before, but April's ordeal has her re-considering those plans. She has not attempted to visit the country since then.

"It's definitely hard especially being so close to the border, we like to go down to go skiing and enjoy the nature there," she said. "I don't really want to get detained again."

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