Archive for the ‘border security’ Category

Greg Boos authors Amicus Brief for business organizations in major court challenge to expedited removal of Canadians

gboos | September 3, 2013 in Beyond the Border,border security,deportation,expedited removal,Greg Boos,Uncategorized,US Canada border,US Canada Trade Relationship | Comments (0)

The Pacific Corridor Enterprise Council (PACE), the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce, the British Columbia Chamber of Commerce, and the Northwest Economic Council, organizations that advocate for the removal of barriers that impede the legitimate flow of people, goods and services across the U.S./Canadian Border, have jointly filed an Amicus Brief in a case pending before the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Greg Boos, Bellingham immigration attorney,  authored the brief, and represents the organizations in the appeal.

The case at bar raises the issue of whether a Canadian citizen seeking entry to the United States can be subject to “expedited removal” by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Currently, Canadians heading to the U.S. for business or tourism purposes face a border regime that empowers border guards, at their own discretion and without avenue for appeal, to bar Canadians entry to the U.S. for periods of five years or more under an “expedited removal” process. The appeal demands more accountability from CBP by highlighting the lack of proper and impartial review in expedited removal cases.

“This draconian regime flies in the face of open borders and Canada’s long-standing friendship and trading relationship with our neighbours to the south,” said John Winter, president and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce. “As our countries strive towards new levels of co-operation through the Beyond the Border Action Plan, these harsh border rules need to be fixed.”

Winter added that the border rules pose a particular threat to B.C. businesses.“If an overzealous U.S. border guard targets a B.C. CEO or other key company personnel for expedited removal, that company’s business with the U.S. risks grinding to a halt,” Winter said.

“Allowing CBP to make unreviewable determinations of admissibility into the U.S. invites abuse of discretion,” said Boos. “Immigration courts have been in existence for well over one-half century – they provide the due process of law in inadmissibility matters that is missed when expedited removal is used.”

The 9th Circuit case in which the Amicus Brief has been filed is John Smith v. United States Customs and Border Protection, et al, Case number 11-35556. It was argued on on August 26, 2013. The court is expected to issue a written decision within the next six to nine months.


Beyond the Border Action Plan: Suggestions for NEXUS Enhancements

gboos | January 25, 2012 in Beyond the Border,border security,Nexus,Uncategorized,US Canada border,US Canada Trade Relationship,US Immigration | Comments (0)

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U.S. President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Harper have sanctioned an ongoing discussion to remove barriers that impede the legitimate flow of people, goods and services across the Canada/USA border. To this end, in December of 2011, the two countries issued a document called the BEYOND THE BORDER Action Plan (the “Plan”). Among many ambitious proposals, the Plan calls for NEXUS enhancement.

By separating NEXUS enrollees from the rest of the traveling public, NEXUS enables Canadian and U.S. border authorities to concentrate their efforts on potentially high-risk travelers and goods, thereby enhancing border security. It also allows frequent border crossers to enjoy predictable and timely border-crossings. This blog urges that the Plan’s NEXUS enhancements include the following:

  • Retreat from NEXUS’ Zero Tolerance enrollment policy that denies NEXUS benefits to persons with criminal convictions for minor violations of the law, no matter how old. A waiver of ineligibity for FAST enrollment is available to qualifying truck drivers with minor convictions. There is no sound reason why such benefit should be denied NEXUS applicants.
  • Establishment of an appeals process by the U.S. (Canada already has such a process) for NEXUS denials and revocations. NEXUS has matured since its establishment in 2001 as part of the Smart Border accord, and due process protections need to be built into its application and revocation procedures. A Smart Border is incomplete without such safeguards.

NEXUS attempts to strike a balance between national security and economic security, but the application of zero-tolerance program eligibility rules combined with the lack of an appeals mechanism for those denied NEXUS program benefits shows little regard for personal security. To date, NEXUS procedures have left individual rights subject to the whim of institutional expediency.

The Plan also indicates that the U.S. and Canada will implement a joint marketing plan for NEXUS. To this end, this blog suggests that NEXUS enrollees be able to opt-in for NEXUS e-mail updates through which participants receive updated information regarding additions and deletions of prohibited food items, changes in NEXUS hours, addition of NEXUS lanes at various Ports of Entry, and periodic reminders of NEXUS rules.

NEXUS has proven itself at land- border crossings and airports. This blog suggests NEXUS documented passengers receive priority boarding benefits when boarding US destined cruise ships or AMTRAC at Vancouver BC.

Greg Boos blogs from his office in Bellingham WA and his home in Vancouver BC. Please contact Greg the following address should you desire assistance on a US immigration matter:

Greg Boos, Attorney at Law
Cascadia Cross-Border Law
1305 11th Street, Suite 301
Bellingham WA 98225
CascadiaImmigrationLaw.com
360/671-5945
gdboos@americanlaw.com

At Cascadia Cross-Border Law, we create transparent borders!


Flight of the Dumble Bee: CBP’s Love Affair with the Military-Industrial Complex Continues

gboos | June 21, 2011 in border security,military contractor | Comments (0)

 U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently announced its intention to display the world’s only full operational maritime variant MQ-9 Predator B Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), the Guardian, at an upcoming aviation trade show in Paris, France.

 Sound like a sophisticated piece of military technology? It is. So what’s wrong with that? Well, CBP’s upcoming display is indicative of a larger phenomenon, namely that the Military-Industrial Complex (MIC) has discovered the United States border.  And, in order for that relationship to flourish, the MIC depends on positing a border that is out of control.

 Unfortunately, it may be the operators of these Unmanned Aircraft Systems, and not the border itself that are out of control. FAA documents in 2010 reported an abnormally high CBP predator drone accident rate, an assertion vehemently disputed by CBP.  Regardless of this dispute, CBP did suffer three landing incidents involving loss of control of predator drones between 2007 and 2008 (CBP only has 7 drones and it appears almost half the fleet has problems). And although they claim the aircraft involved in those incidents were repaired and returned to flight, conflicting reports suggest that at least one of the $10 million+ dollar drones was destroyed beyond repair.  

 CBP  would have us believe that the MQ-9 Predator B Unmanned Aircraft System is part of a life-saving border force deployed to assist in emergency response and protect against grave threats such as terrorism, illegal immigration, and drug trafficking. The truth is that the MIC and the growing bureaucratic empire that is the Department of Homeland Security and its subcomponents depend on a border that must be perceived to be out of control for agency budgets to remain plush for such expenditures as drone development and acquisition.

 CBP indicated that this week’s Paris Air Show “presents a special opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities of the UAS to support homeland security missions and reinforce industry and government awareness of the significant role CBP aviation plays in securing our nation.”

 Picking Paris for the venue to unveil the drone to US Congressional delegations and to otherwise reinforce government awareness of its new UAS is more than suspect, it is absurd. Washington DC has at least two major airports at which the Guardian could be displayed for members of the Congress and US government officials. And equally strange is the fact that neither the House of Representatives nor the Senate has a recess scheduled for the period for which the Paris Air Show is scheduled.

 Perhaps a senior CBP official saw the Paris Air Show as a chance to take a taxpayer-paid trip to Paris. Or perhaps Chicken Little was right, and CBP has concerns about its ability to keep its new UAS in the air and is therefore hesitant to fly it into Washington DC airspace.

 See CBP’s Press Release the Guardian and the Paris Air Show here: http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/newsroom/news_releases/national/06152011_2.xml