Earlier this week, CBC reported on a problematic border crossing that is bound to cause trepidation for many Canadians intending to hit the United States later this month for Miami’s music festival season. A Canadian citizen born in Canada to Indian parents with plans to attend Miami Music Week at the end of the month was blocked from crossing the US border this week. Driving from Montreal to Vermont, Manpreet Kooner says she was fingerprinted and photographed, and signed a form to withdraw her application for entry to the United States. Though she was told there are no flags on her file, a border agent advised her not to travel to the United States without a visa, Kooner said. This was immediately before she was told, “I know you may feel like you’ve been Trumped.”
This was one of two trips Kooner planned to make stateside this month, the 2nd of which is to attend a music festival in Miami (presumably Ultra Music Festival) in a couple of weeks. Kooner has spent more than $1,000 on tickets to attend the show, and planned to return to that city in May for her bachelorette party as well. The recent trip specifically was said to be a simple trek for a spa retreat with friends, a small preliminary road trip before this month’s party. She is now thinking about selling those tickets as she had not intended to have an immigrant visa for the border crossing. She says the thought of having to cross the border now makes her feel sick.
Travelling with a group of friends, Kooner feels like the border agents singled her out and didn’t ask to speak to anyone else. “I feel targeted. I’m set aside from everyone else, and I feel helpless because I keep asking, ‘What do I need to do?'”
Canadians who are intending to immigrate or those planning to marry a US citizen are among those who do need visas. Kooner does not fall under either category. A US immigration lawyer told CBC that it doesn’t appear that there is a reason Kooner would need a visa to get into the country. “Even if someone has a visa, the ultimate decision as to whether they can enter the United States rests when you seek admissibility, at the time of entry,” she said. Read more HERE.