When both the United States and Canada leave their dual citizens to wallow in uncertainties, those hapless fish/fowl are left to grasp at protruding roots that encircle the morass of quicksand.
Most often, those handholds are not data. If good data could be had, the atrocities of the situation would be too evident.
In absence of data, anecdote becomes all that is left to latch onto. Here are three, newly acquired this week.
One. A person from Canada in a position to test the system deliberately travels to the United States with an expired US passport. Objections. So sorry, so busy, didn’t notice, didn’t get around to it. Allowed in. Next time, not so good. The computer tells us that you were expired last time, and we know we told you that. After that second trip, testing accomplished, the passport is renewed. (At first hand.)
Two. Many travels from Canada across the border to see an aged mother. No problems. Mother now departed. Recent flight to Los Angeles to transit to cruise to South America. With U.S. place of birth in Canadian passport, the traveller is “grilled.” Companion traveller in same circumstance not grilled, because place of birth was not US or Canada. (At solid second hand.)
Three. Worst for last. Person in Canada owing U.S. tax of something less than $70,000 receives warning letter from Homeland Security. Message: Attempt to enter the United States and we will take you into custody. (At solid second hand.)
One small form of protest is to sign the petition I have started calling for the repeal of FATCA:
Please sign if you haven’t already!
I also love the idea of some kind of direct non-violent action to raise our voices to a pitch where they are heard. What a great idea to declare our independence from citizen based taxation!
Signed, including comments. A bit scary because I don’t want to do anything that might let IRS know where I am.
I have travelled (driving) to the USA with my Canadian passport (which states I was born in the USA) many times over the past decade, the last time being in October 2011. Never once was I questioned or hassled. Now I’m worried, however, about my next trip. I refuse to spend the money on a US passport since I’m planning to renounce once I get all the tax forms filled out and sent.
What can they do to you, besides the harassment for traveling with a Canadian passport? Can they fine you, or refuse you entry? Is there a US law regarding this?
somerfugl: The US passport is about more than the cost of it. Once you get the passport, they determine you are American. Calgary411, like many of us thought she had relinquished decades ago. She was told at the border to get a US passport. That was the beginning of a huge nightmare for her and her family.
I don’t know what they can do legally. I think they can refuse you entry, but that hasn’t happened to me. I’m nervous about my next trip because I was notified on my last one that I should get US passport.
I’ve said it many times before: After my elderly mother’s death, I will never again cross the border.
@Blaze and Tiger
I was told at my interview that it was the one and only time I would be interviewed. It was very mundane and probably took about 20 minutes. The $40 has to be paid each time your renew your license.
There are 3 documents involved in Ontario and there is a very detailed list of what information goes to who. The only departments involved in the transfer of the place of birth are:
from MTO to the Office of the Registrar General
from MTO to CIC
it is not shared with the Canadian Border Services Agency
The Canadian Border Services Agency shares the following with the US Customs and Border Protection:
• Full name
• Date of birth
• Licence issuing province
• Licence issuing country
• Licence expiration date
• Licence status and data changes
• Licence status and status changes
• Radio frequency identification (RFID)
• Tag Identification Number (TID)
• Optical character recognition (OCR) unique identifier
There are also detailed descriptions of the use of the specific information by each agency that receives it. As far as the RFID chip is concerned (i.e., what the US side accesses when you present the card)- the RFID chip
does not contain any personal identifying information. The RFID chip embedded in the EDL contains a number, unique to the EDL which allows allows border officials to quickly identify an EDL holder and confirm that the EDL being presented is legitimate.
I can’t speak to whether or not the process is as “protected” as described, but I would at least consider there seems to be an effort to do so. At any rate, for those of us with CDN passports and US birthplaces, at least for crossing via driving or on a boat, it may be helpful in alleviating some of the anxiety….
@nobledreamer: Thanks for that detailed info. When I called, it was an MTO employee who told me you need an interview each time you renew.
Did you have to go pick up your EDL or did they send it to your home? When you renew, do you have to go back to an EDL location or can you go to any license office?