Change is inevitable, but there is no guarantee whether it is for good or bad and such bad changes are unfortunate. One such change is the problems faced by some Canadians to travel to the United States. It is now not a blissful and simple task to gain entry to the United States as it was around one to two decades ago due to a number of reasons.
- ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION:
One of the major reasons is that refugees and immigrants try to cross the border illegally and enter US. These refugees or immigrants may or may not be the citizens of Canada, but are facing serious problems. There are some organizations under the government like CBP (Customs and Border Protection) and ICE (Immigration and Customs Reinforcement) which have made the policies more stringent. If found in the wrong area near the Canada US border, CBP and ICE can detain the person, especially if they do not belong to the American or Canadian nationality.
- SMUGGLING ON THE PRETEXT OF FISHING:
Another major thing that has been seen recently is that CBP is trying to interfere with fishermen on boats fishing in the water that falls on the side of their country but is close to the US border. The suspicion they have is that these boats are just a facade and the motive is to smuggle illegal immigrants to the US. Sometimes CBP has crossed the border themselves to check and confirm that no such smuggling is taking place.
- DENIAL OF ENTRY TO THOSE WITH CRIMINAL BACKGROUND:
In the earlier times the entry of Canadians to US was a simple task which required only a passport to take a flight and only a driving license to cross the border, but with the increased risk of criminals entering US, these relaxed ways have been dropped and strict background checks are done. CBP and ICE have been authorized to conduct these checks to look for any records of past criminal activities. Those found with a past history of crimes are denied entry to US.
- IRRELEVANCE OF AGE:
Earlier even those with criminal history were allowed entry, but now not only are they denied entry, but the age at which the person committed the crime is also not taken into consideration. Some particular criminal activities that are ethically or morally wrong form the list of crimes which will hinder entry to US. This list includes crimes like robbery, murder, fraud, money laundering, smuggling drugs, prostitution etc. CBP has started conducting background checks and if the person has been convicted for any of these crimes, they are not allowed to cross the border.
- RECORD SUSPENSION TO REGAIN ENTRY:
If a Canadian has a past history of crimes and CBP has not conducted any background search yet the person can get a record suspension which was earlier referred to as Pardon. This means that if this Canadian has served time, fines are paid and other necessities are met, then the sentence is “sealed” after which normal background searches cannot detect this criminal history.
- ENTRY WAIVER
By cross-agency collaboration between American Immigration and Canadian law enforcement a document known as entry waiver is prepared which must be with a Canadian who has already been detected with past criminal records and wants to enter US. This document has to be renewed after its term is over.
For more information, refer to nationalpardon.org