currently representing a citizen of
The main purpose of this blog post is to shed
light on what is going on at our northern border and illuminate the treatment
In this particular instance, when my client arrived at the United States she was driving from Canada with her husband and two young children to go shopping. After being sent to secondary inspection, the Customs and Border Protection Enforcement Officer “enforced” his will on my client and my client’s family.
My client was held with her children for six hours, and during this time her young children were not permitted to eat. She and her husband were fingerprinted, had their pictures taken to simulate criminal prosecution, and she was told that if she did not cooperate and satisfactorily answer the officer’s questions that both she and her husband would be taken into custody, and that child protection services would be immediately contacted who would then take her children from her. They may as well have told her that they were going to chop off her arm, because it had the exact same desired effect.
client heard that the
were an isolated incident I would chalk it up to a single rogue officer acting
inappropriately. Unfortunately, this
incident is symptomatic of the systematic psychological abuse that regularly
occurs at the hand of our Government. I say this because
I regularly hear stories from clients of the psychological abuse that they are
subjected to when merely trying to come to the
I have heard reports of individuals being handcuffed to
radiators overnight, being denied access to the bathroom, and being screamed at
that they were going to be held indefinitely, and that if they don’t cooperate
they are going to jail.
Inspecting officers are regularly abrasive, rude, unprofessional, and intimidating. The government’s modus operandi is to scare an individual to the point that they are willing to sign their life away. It works.
What makes this type of abuse so effective is that at the border the investigating officers have the power to make summary determinations as to the eligibility of individuals to enter the United States, and if they believe that someone is not eligible to be admitted to the United States, or has misstated their intention in any material or in most cases non-material way, they have the power to bar that individual from the United States for a period of five years. This process is called expedited removal.
When someone is expeditiously removed, they have no right to an attorney, no right to appear before a judge, and no right to appeal the determination of the inspecting officer. The inspecting officer is in essence the judge, jury, and executioner.
Moreover, the individual is required to sign
the expedited removal order, and their signature in many cases is obtained
under threat of criminal prosecution.
When given the option, most people will sign anything just to be able to
get back in their car and drive back to
Needless to say, not all officers on our northern border act unprofessionally, but I have heard enough examples of ill treatment of Citizens of Canada from various ports of entry that I am convinced that this is not an isolated problem, and felt compelled to write about it. I’m also making a formal inquiry with Customs and Border Protection.
I agree that our Officers on the northern border have both a difficult and important job to do. Terrorism is a very real and active threat to our country. That being said, the severity of the threat to our country does not excuse this type of behavior and allowing it to continue is in essence our condoning it. Our good neighbors to the north simply deserve better.