Sunday, January 13, 2008

Future of travel: sharing information?

The US and Canada share their complete criminal databases with each other -- Canada pulls up a complete background check on every border crossing. Is this the future of cross-border travel?

"Going to Canada? Check your past. Visitors with minor criminal records turned back at border "
Article link: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/02/23/NEVIUS.TMP


Going to Canada? Check your past
Visitors with minor criminal records turned back at border


There was a time not long ago when a trip across the border from the United States to Canada was accomplished with a wink and a wave of a driver's license. Those days are over.

Take the case of 55-year-old Lake Tahoe resident Greg Felsch. Stopped at the border in Vancouver this month at the start of a planned five-day ski trip, he was sent back to the United States because of a DUI conviction seven years ago. Not that he had any idea what was going on when he was told at customs: "Your next stop is immigration.''

Felsch was ushered into a room. "There must have been 75 people in line," he says. "We were there for three hours. One woman was in tears. A guy was sent back for having a medical marijuana card. I felt like a felon with an ankle bracelet.''

Or ask the well-to-do East Bay couple who flew to British Columbia this month for an eight-day ski vacation at the famed Whistler Chateau, where rooms run to $500 a night. They'd made the trip many times, but were surprised at the border to be told that the husband would have to report to "secondary'' immigration.

There, in a room he estimates was filled with 60 other concerned travelers, he was told he was "a person who was inadmissible to Canada.'' The problem? A conviction for marijuana possession.

Canadian Government link (which confirms the surprising information in this article):
http://geo.international.gc.ca/can-am/seattle/visas/inadmissible-en.asp

1 comment:

Contractor said...

Travis, I am glad you posted that. It wouldnt have come up in my State department travel advisoriy emails since I would not have thought of adding Canada to the watch list.

Good catch.