After telling border agents their plans to march, group’s cars were searched and phones examined, and each person was fingerprinted and had their photo taken. The group was also warned that if they tried to cross the border again during the weekend, they would be arrested.
By Ashifa Kassam, The Guardian
January 20, 2017
Would-be protesters heading to the Women’s March on Washington have said they were denied entry to the United States after telling border agents at a land crossing in Quebec their plans to attend the march.
Montrealer Sasha Dyck was part of a group of eight who had arranged online to travel together to Washington. Divided into two cars, the group – six Canadians and two French nationals – arrived at the border crossing that connects St Bernard de Lacolle in Quebec with Champlain, New York, on Thursday.
The group was upfront about their plans with border agents, Dyck said. “We said we were going to the women’s march on Saturday and they said, ‘Well, you’re going to have to pull over’.”
What followed was a two-hour ordeal. Their cars were searched and their mobile phones examined. Each member of the group was fingerprinted and had their photo taken.
Border agents first told the two French citizens that they had been denied entry to the US and informed them that any future visit to the US would now require a visa.
“Then for the rest of us, they said, ‘You’re headed home today’,” Dyck said. The group was also warned that if they tried to cross the border again during the weekend, they would be arrested. “And that was it, they didn’t give a lot of justification.” [...]
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