The number of Americans refused entry into Canada has skyrocketed
As Canadians avoid the U.S. over fears of being rejected at the border, new figures suggest it’s Americans who might be more likely to get denied entry by Canada.
Numbers obtained by La Presse show that the rate of Americans being turned back by Canadian border guards at land crossings has skyrocketed by 31 percent over the last year. This flies in the face of the narrative that Canadians are having a harder time crossing into the U.S. because of new immigration policies being pursued by President Donald Trump.
The figures show that 30,233 Americans were rejected while trying to enter Canada in 2016, compared to 23,052 who were turned away by the Canada Border Services Agency the year before. In 2014, the number was less than half at only 7,509.
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. The CBSA wouldn’t explain why more Americans are being turned away, but told La Presse the total number of people crossing into the border fluctuates every years.
Although many Canadians have spoken out about intense interrogations by American border guards, including personal questions about their religious and political views, other data obtained this week by the Canadian Press show that fewer Canadians are being rejected by American guards in recent months.
Refusals of Canadians by American border guards at land crossings has dropped 8.5 percent from last October to the end of February 2017, compared to the same time period the year before, according to statistics provided to the news outlet by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
And between October 2015 to February 2016, 7,619 out of more than 13 million Canadians — which equals a refusal rate of 0.06 percent.
However, Canadian civil liberties and immigration experts say these numbers don’t capture the specific reasons for refusals — which could include discriminatory grounds — and might reflect that more people are choosing not to travel across the border into the U.S.
Last week, Canada’s largest school board representing around 246,000 students, joined the growing the number of groups that have officially stopped making new plans to travel to the U.S., citing uncertainty over Trump’s travel bans. The Girl Guides of Canada took a similar step earlier this month saying in a statement: “We really wanted to make sure that no girl gets left behind.”
Cover: Chris Helgren/Reuters