Loading articles...

Know your rights when crossing the border: US Immigration Attorney

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Crossing into the States to shop or take a quick vacation can sometimes turn into a nightmare if you’re met by an over-aggressive border guard. But what are your rights?

Entering the United States is a privilege not a right. But that doesn’t mean you’re powerless if you run into problems.

Len Saunders is a US Immigration Attorney in Blaine and says he deals with dozens of Canadian cases each year.

“I’ve heard of people being interrogated for many hours, five hours, ten hours,” he says. “Most people don’t realize that it is their right to withdraw their application for entry at any time. Even though you are on US soil, you haven’t technically entered into the United States until you’ve been admitted.”

Saunders says you can complain to a border supervisor at the crossing if you feel you’ve been treated unfairly, but adds keeping your cool is often the best way to diffuse a stressful situation. He says the majority of border problems can be resolved by staying polite – but suggests travellers who feel they’ve been wronged can contact the head office of US border protection in Seattle.