Ricardo Lezama, La Cartita (06/24/2018) --- Unfortunately, the United States is not the only 'representative' democracy to not reflect its public's perception of fair and orderly migration. Canada too has a shady side.
While many would sooner do away with borders altogether, most have a perception that some controls are necessary, but even more have a rationale measure of risk that they would condone. Most people understand that there is little to no security risk women, refugees or men moving freely can pose to any modern European/Anglo state. Security measures and violent force is inextricably on the side of the state.
State security services can manage most difficulties that these individuals will likely never present. However, today's excursion to Canada's border shows that the affirmation of colonial borders in the most capricious of ways remains a top priority for even the liberal neighbour up-north.
Pretty Boy Justin Trudeau Is From The Left? Not So Fast.
While the popular perception of the Canadian government is one of a European, liberal democracy, we would be remiss to deny their colonial history, their current push to loosen environmental restrictions on oil production and their trampling of native rights. In this sense, they have more in common with a country like Australia, not originators of social democracy, but extrapolations with a bloody, storied colonial avarice colouring past and recent events.
Liberal Justin Trudeau follows his predecessor, Ben Harper, in aggresively restricting native land rigths for oil interests. The Canadian state currently helps finance oil infrastructure, which yields little to no public benefit, in lieu of subsidies and recognition for native land rights. Their border patrol officers, then, are just like their US counter-parts: white and pro-colonial. They speak of native lands as their 'home', a house to which their government and policies contain a key for and a copy is theirs, as border patrol officers, to administer.
In other words, overzealous policing at the Canadian border is high. This is so just as Trudeau engages in a tit-for-tat media response to Trump's nazi like policies regarding detentions, deportations and purposefully politicized family separation. This begs the question of 'democratic' and 'egalitarian' is colonial Canada?
Fort Erie Peace Bridge: Enter Canada Border Services Agency
Did you once have a traffic violations?
Then you may be subject to non-admission if
the mood ring is (or person) the wrong color.
A recent, attempted visit to Toronto, Canada, led to a curious interaction with an Officer Schultz and Officer Bezzo from the Canada Border Services Agency. At 09:21 am, one official, Officer Schultz, aggresively questioned me over tobacco and alcohol. The whole process seemed hostile outright. I wanted to turn back at that point because everything would become a bigger waste of time. After all, Buffalo, New York, is a nice, college campus town where no one questions anyone. In the end, Officer Bezzo denied me entry into the country due to a traffic violation. Unaware that ommission of such a trivial matter could constitute a deception, the next series of interactions would be too sour to wholeheartedly pursue admission into Toronto.
Answers about where one would stay became twisted admissions of a nefarious plan to extend the visit for too long. Either I would stay one or two nights. I really was not sure, but as most would think elsewhere, who cares? Once you question someone, there really is no need to proceed further. If there is no economic need, no one wants to go through the ardous task of begging for admission. To anywhere.
Despite having a single night Air B N B, money, gainful employment and no violent criminal record or even a real non-violent conviction, the female officers yelled, spoke in that typical condescending tone that so colours interaction with authorities, and at one point, another male officer uttered a 'did you not hear her to sit down' as I requested my passport being denited it. Eventually, I wound up taking a seat.
Either way, the process offered an interesting anecdote about Canadian border patrol perceptions (or misperceptions) of danger. Another white individual, at approximately 10:47 am, was also subject to non-admission but this was due to a real criminal offense; their past criminal conviction would have warranted life in prison were it committed in Canada. Even so, the tone of the officers was nice, warm and understanding. Professional.
The other 'person concerned' looked like Whitey Bulger, not Rafael Caro Quintero, so the distinction in tone reflected that unspoken (barely) preference.
As I jotted notes, his experience was a decent counter-example as to what kind of interaction one would have with them if only there was a geneological intersection between me, that guy and the customs people. I'm not one of 'us', though! The other 'person concerned' looked like Whitey Bulger, not Rafael Caro Quintero, so the distinction in tone reflected that unspoken (barely) preference. Whatever.
The Process Of Being Removed From Canada: They Have A Shuttle For It.
VIDEO: Shuttle moves undesirables. via Ft. Erie Peace Bridge
US and Canadian authorities share plenty of data about their respective constituents. I was asked for the last four of my social security number. A traffic violation appeared on a screen. In other words, somewhere, a US-Canada database stores enough data on people's US past to make a questioning authority have a partial basis for a denial. Whether the denial is a stretch is besides the point, such data sharing exists between US-Canada authorities. Most individuals in the US did not consent to the movement of data between authorities. Whether through a third party private contractor, like Peter Thiel's Palantir', or, through a binational database, this personal data exists within some type of international database. Creepy.
"We do this shuttle service too, but we don't....' know who can come in or out appears to be the answer from a Canadian citizen. The Canadian agents, some tatooed with long hair, were really no different from their US counterparts. Like Trudeau's liberal words, their nods to counter-culture were only surface deep.
Upon returning to the US, I was subject to more questioning. Presumably, Canadian authorities must pass along data back to their counterparts should anything be of interest. When I arrived, I did not see my felony case comrade, who really did look like Whitey Bulger, but saw nothing but Brown and Asian families:
VIDEO: No whites questioned on US side of US-Canada border.
This begs the question of Why all the questions?. But, deep down, I think we all know the answer.