Illegal Aliens making a splash at the border..

Trip Start Jul 03, 2012
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Trip End Dec 16, 2012


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Where I stayed
Sleeping Lady Organic Farm

Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Today I had the dubious honour of being one of the few people who have crossed the USA border... without actually wanting to do it.

One of my fellow workers decided on the spur of the moment he wanted to ask some immigration question US and we perhaps naively thought we could go to the border and ask...Our driver went in to the Canadian customs and despite saying he did not want to cross today was told to continue down the road to the American Customs.  Unfortunately driving down to border is like a one way street.  Once you start it's a no return trip, the only way back is to cross over into the US and then go back through customs in Canada.

This would be forgivable unless everyone in your vehicle (myself included) is not carrying their passport. It was a honest mistake, and we had been misguided but the Canadian officer. We tried to explain to the officer that we were actually quite happy staying in Canada and did not want to enter America, however we abruptly told that we had already entered American soil by crossing a small yellow line on the pavement. Shit!.. Three hours later after we had all signed declaration forms, been fingerprinted, retina scanned, had bags searched, pockets emptied, our vehicle searched, we were finally declared aliens and refused entry to the country. 
 
Filling the 'reason for visiting' question and 'where do you plan' to stay questions allowed me to carefully express some of my frustration. However although I can look back at the experience with amusement it was intimidating and scary at the time. My biggest fear was that without a passport we may not be allowed back into Canada... Additionally our car had been borrowed, we had no idea what could be found in there. I had images of being deported on a slow boat to Australia. Similar to one that was used for the early convicts, and being attached to fellow illegal immigrants with heavy chain. 

After we had finally been released back into Canada. Happy to be freed but still rattled from the experience, McDonalds fatty, salty goodness was the key to restoring some balance. 

It was definitely a learning curve that I will not soon forget. If I ever need immigration advice in the future I'm going to find a nice comfy couch, pour a glass of wine and call from the safety of my house.
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