PHOTO: Americans are striking out up north at an astonishing rate. (photo via Flickr/Boris Kasimov)
Americans aren’t nearly as welcome into Canada as they were just a couple years ago.
La Presse, via The Toronto Star, reports some remarkable figures coming from the border that separates the United States from those (formerly?) friendly neighbors we have up north.
The report cites federal documents that show a whopping 30,233 Americans were sent back south once they had reached the Canadian border last year. Only 23,052 people had been denied entry into the Great White North in 2015, which means 2016’s denial rate was greater by 31 percent.
And the trend is more dramatic when you consider 2014’s paltry 7,509 denials.
Unfortunately, we only have a trend in the form of the above numbers and nothing more. La Presse attempted to get some word from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) as to why Americans have had to make a sudden U-Turn when they reached the border.
We are left to come up with wild assumptions as Nicholas Dorion, a spokesperson for the agency, simply told the publication: “The CBSA is not in a position to speculate. The number of people turned away at the border fluctuates from year to year.”
Calling the above a fluctuation is strange, considering that the amount of Americans denied entry has increased about four times what it was in 2014.
This points to some unannounced policy change or shift in how the border is policed. But, there you have it, wild speculation.
La Presse does aid the investigation by reminding that 2013 was a year wherein the two countries decided to share intelligence on its citizens. This has led, presumably, to border agents having a more thorough background on people trying to come into the country.
Those convicted of an offense or under suspicion, one would assume, are under increased scrutiny and are gently coerced to stay in the United States.
However, this uptick in those sent packing may be for reasons some view as illegitimate.
Immigration lawyer Tamara Mosher Kuczer explains, “We receive many more demands from people who traveled for years to Canada without a problem and who are now refused entry for a drinking and driving infractions that dates back 40 years.”
To reiterate, the above is but one explanation for such an increase in entry refusals. Vice News Canada reminds: “Like their American counterparts, Canadian border guards have discretion over who they let in and out, and are not required to publicly disclose their reasons.”
We are left to merely ponder why Canada now has it in for our nation and its PBR-drinking ways.
Another interesting note from La Presse’s report is that the amount of Canadians denied entry into the United States is actually down 8.5 percent. Of course, this runs counter to anecdotal evidence from the few stories we have heard of recent travelers, including Canadians, who were refused entry after some dubious questioning.
READ MORE: Canadian Reportedly Denied US Entry After Religious Questioning
What these stories and the party line from border patrol agencies have told us is that it can be a little Wild West at the border, with officials making gut calls as to who can get past them and into their respective country.
A lot of subjectivity can muddy the process and send some excited tourists the other way. Then again, there we are speculating again.