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OPINION

Should U.S. Border Agents Deny a Canadian Speaker’s Entrance into America for Conference?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

A travesty of justice occurred at this year’s New Orleans Investment Conference. One of the speakers, a veteran Canadian investment writer, who has presented at the event almost every year since the 1970s, was denied entrance into the United States because he didn’t have a “work permit” to give a speech in America.

When questioned by U.S. immigration officials before taking his flight in Toronto, he was asked about the purpose of his visit to America. The man said, “To give a speech in New Orleans.” Then they asked if he would be compensated for the speech, and he said “yes.” The U.S. immigration officials at the airport insisted that he needed a “work visa” to be a paid speaker in the United States. Therefore, the Canadian speaker was denied boarding onto the airplane to New Orleans, even though he was traveling first class and had a NEXUS travel card, which identifies card holders at border crossings by having them undergo a retinal recognition scan.

The border patrol also lied to the Canadian speaker, saying that if he voluntarily gave up his seat on the plane, the U.S. authorities would not revoke his U.S. travel card. Even though he agreed to give up his seat, the U.S. authorities sent him an overnight letter revoking his U.S. travel card anyway. He’s fighting now to get it back.

Can you believe this travesty? Has anyone ever heard of requiring a foreigner coming into the United States to present a speech to have a work permit? Unbelievable! What is this country coming to? It is scary to see how much arbitrary power U.S. border agents carry.

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