Canadian citizen Yassine Aber was not allowed into the United States even though he was born in Canada and was carrying a Canadian passport.

Canadian citizen Yassine Aber was not allowed into the United States even though he was born in Canada and was carrying a Canadian passport.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Vert & Or/Université de Sherbrooke

Canadian citizens stopped at U.S. border

Although the U.S. courts have suspended President Donald Trump’s travel ban, some Canadian citizens are being stopped at the border and refused entry into the U.S. The public broadcaster, CBC, reports that Yassine Aber, 19, was denied entry today after being questioned by border guards for five hours and having his cell phone searched.

Aber is a Canadian citizen born of Moroccan parents. He is a student of kinesiology at the University of Sherbrooke in the province of Quebec. He was travelling with other students to an athletic competition in Boston. They were allowed to pass but he was not.

Although Fadwa Alaoui has used her Canadian passport to get into the U.S. before, she was not allowed in last Saturday.
Although Fadwa Alaoui has used her Canadian passport to get into the U.S. before, she was not allowed in last Saturday. © Salimah Shivji/CBC

Other cases cropping up

CBC reports two other Canadian citizens travelling with two children were denied entry at a different border crossing on Saturday Feb 4.  after answering questions about their Moroccan roots and Muslim faith. Morocco is not among the countries listed on Trump’s travel ban.

Fadwa Alaoui, a Moroccan-born Canadian citizen, was fingerprinted and photographed then turned away. She is Muslim and wears a hijab. Alaoui told CBC she has travelled to the U.S. many times in the past on her Canadian passport without a problem.
Canada’s public security minister called the case “troubling” and said his department will look into the case.

Civil liberty concerns

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association has expressed concern about the effects of the travel ban on people in Canada. It is supporting a freedom of information request by its U.S. counterparts to find out exactly how U.S. border guards are being instructed to screen people.

It also expressed concern to the Canadian government particularly about the estimated 16 million people who are annually pre-cleared to fly to the U.S. at Canadian airports. While they are on Canadian soil, they should be protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which forbids discrimination based on religion.

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3 comments on “Canadian citizens stopped at U.S. border
  1. Canadian says:

    There’s a simple solution – don’t travel to the USA.

    Instead, spend your tourist dollars here in Canada or travel to another country where you are made to feel welcome and treated as an honoured guest rather than a criminal.

  2. R. says:

    I was denied entry to the USA on February 20th. I am canadian since 1981. Blond white Christian . Armenian born in Lebanon.
    I was treated like a criminal because I told them I am going to live in the US for 2-3 months . He asked me what proof do you have that you will be coming back to Canada. I said I have 4 children here. I have a condo here. He said your kids are adults and you could rent your condo. I was refused because I had the car filled with my 2 cats in their cages and my birds . I had permits from.the ministry of agriculture that took me months of research and all the vet papers for my pets I was scared that my pets would be tefused I never thought I would be the one who will be refused !!!!!
    He said do you have a job to return to ?? What job would allow me to leave for 2 to three months????
    He said that i was lying. That he thinks i wikl stay in the ysa forever… And ordered me to go back to Canada.
    I said what are my advantages for becoming a us ctizrn ?? I am canadian not a citizen from the third world !! He said I’ve seen people taking advantage of both countries!!! By the way my husband is a doctor with.am excellent salary .
    I can’t believe what s happening.
    Now we hired a lawyer and asked for my green card even though I wasn’t interested in the green card…. but until then…what are my rights as a Canadian???
    I would like my name to stay confidential in order not to aggravate my situation

  3. Benalbanach says:

    There are some guys working at US crossings that consider themselves above the law. Not all of them but definately some.