Archive for the ‘Beyond the Border’ 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!