Petition against increasing U.S. border guards’ power goes viral
A new viral petition is circulating to try to stop U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents from obtaining sweeping new powers to question, search and detain Canadian citizens…on our own soil! Read on to find out how this affects you as a Canadian citizen with a criminal record, trying to enter into the United States.
First, if you have a criminal record, America doesn’t want you…
Unless, of course, you pay for a US Entry Waiver. While cynics see this as little more than a cash grab on the part of our neighbours to the south – pay a fee, and you can come across; don’t pay, you aren’t welcome – one could also say that the onerous paperwork and protracted waiver procedure is all part of America’s efforts to weed out those who are still active in the criminal lifestyle. After all, someone who is constantly in trouble with the law is far less likely to have the cash, willingness and determination to obtain a US Travel Waiver as compared to someone, say, who has been reformed for years and simply wants to be able to cross the border on legitimate business.
As it stands now, an entry waiver is the only way to ensure your trip to the United States doesn’t end in disaster, no matter how old or how trivial you think your criminal record is. If US Customs and Border Patrol pulls you over and decides to run your name into their powerful computers, which are linked to the CPIC criminal record system, you can be turned back at the border, if not detained, searched and questioned.
Currently, Canadians who are trying to ‘sneak’ across the US border without a waiver have the option to change their minds – that is, if they see that a pre-clearance interview is going south (no pun intended), they are allowed to simply end the interview and drive or walk away. But under a new bill proposed by the Canadian Federal government, Canadians could lose that right.
Caught trying to cross with a criminal record? Forget trying again.
As a leading provider of legal services for ex-convicts and others unlucky enough to even be charged with a crime – no matter what the outcome was – we run into people all the time who are baffled by suddenly being denied entry into the United States. Most say they had crossed multiple times at different borders, by land and air, until one day someone told them they could not enter. Some came straight to us to apply for the necessary US travel waiver, but other unlucky souls thought they were dealing with a lone border guard’s opinion, and tried to cross elsewhere. Imagine their chagrin at being told they were committing a criminal offense by violating the original warning. These people were then subject to interrogation, property seizure and even detention, before once again being sent home.
Under the new Bill C-23, if not amended, US border guards would not allow someone who feared getting caught to simply walk away from an interview before it was too late. They would have to go through the entire process, producing whatever information was required by US Customs and answering all questions, submitting to search and seizure, etc. rather than being allowed to walk away with dignity. While the new law would affect all Canadians, those with a criminal record certainly have more to fear.
The Bill is a reciprocal one, meaning the US must abide by similar rules (for what it’s worth; our border patrol is not as hypervigilant nor as arbitrary as the American one). The Americans already passed the US side of the bill in December 2016.
What can you do? Sign the petition…and know that more than ever, crossing the border with a criminal record without a waiver, is a roll of the dice. Call us today to obtain a travel waiver that provides guaranteed entry into the United States.
Call TOLL FREE 1-888-890-1321
or fill out the online inquiry below and have a qualified agent help you see if you are eligible to clear your criminal record with a Pardon, or gain access to the United States with an Entry Waiver.