Thursday, May 31, 2007

N.B. volunteer banned from US for five years

This seems to be an over-reaction. Why did they not just turn them away as one person suggested and have the one person who was volunteering get the proper documentation? I am to the point now where I do not even want to go to the US. I went to the Philippines through Chicago and coming back was a problem. Unlike Japan where to transfer planes one just goes from one part of the airport to another in Chicago you must go through customs and reclaim your baggage. There was a huge lineup and the computer broke down so by the time I got and rechecked my bags my flight to Winnipeg was gone. I ended up staying overnight because of thunderstorms! I understand why it is cheaper to fly via a US connection!

N.B. volunteer receives 5-year ban from U.S. at border
Last Updated: Thursday, May 31, 2007 | 11:38 AM AT
CBC News
A Fredericton volunteer worker and two of his friends feel they've been unfairly banned from entering the United States for five years after trying to cross the Houlton-Woodstock border last weekend.

Rhyne Wood said he was trying to make a Bangor, Maine, flight to Georgia, where he was to spend the summer volunteering at a home for abused children. Border officials told Wood he didn't have proper documentation.

Mike Dunforth, one of two friends driving Wood to the airport, said he would have understood if guards had simply turned them away, but the three said they were interrogated for six hours, fingerprinted and photographed. They were not able to continue on their trip, and all three received five-year bans against entering the U.S.

"They accused us of making plans to sneak myself into the U.S. to work without them knowing," Wood said. "They asked me, 'How long have you been planning this?' And I said, 'Well, I hadn't really planned on sneaking into the U.S. to work. I'm not doing that.' "

"Five years is a long time you know," said Dunforth. "We work with kids and youth, and taking them different places is going to warrant that we get into the States at some point."

U.S. border officials are refusing to comment on this specific incident.

Lawyers said Canadians going to the U.S. to do volunteer work need a special work permit, and people crossing the border need to be completely honest with guards about the reason for their visit.

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