Area of Law: Criminal Records
Answer # 2210
What if someone attempts to enter the USA after having been refused?Region: Ontario Answer # 2210
If someone with a Canadian criminal record, and no USA Entry Waiver, is caught trying to enter the USA after already having been refused entry, American Customs and Border Patrol officers (CBP) are permitted to take severe measures. If the person is travelling by automobile, the CBP officer can confiscate the vehicle – even if the individual with the criminal record is not the driver or the owner. In some cases, the vehicles are returned to the owner after an application is made; in other cases, the vehicles are not returned, rather, they are sold at a USA government auction.
If the person is travelling by bus, he or she will be removed and sent back to Canada. If travelling by airplane, the individual will be refused entry, the ticket will be stamped VOID; and cancellation insurance cannot be collected. If the person is a trucker, the cargo could be seized. It is also common, if someone is stopped a second or third time, for the individual to be detained, fingerprinted, and handcuffed. In some cases, people have also been banned from entering the USA for up to twenty years. As you can imagine, these experiences can be quite devastating.
Worth mentioning is that it is much easier to get caught a second time, because after a person has been stopped and refused entry the first time. The USA will have created its own files. This means the individual’s criminal record is automatically accessed during a routine border screening as soon as the CBP officer enters the person’s name and date of birth into their computer system. Furthermore, repeated unsuccessful attempts to enter the USA greatly reduce an individual’s chance of being granted a USA Entry Waiver.
If you have been charged with a criminal offence, refer to our criminal law section.
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