Canadian protesters said they were turned away by border agents at a land crossing in Quebec on Thursday after sharing their plans to attend the Women’s March on Washington in D.C.
The group consisted of six Canadians and two French nationals. Sasha Dyck, a 34-year-old nurse from Montreal, told the Guardian that when they told the border patrol they planned to attend Saturday’s march, they were asked to pull over. He said the agents searched them for two hours, examining their cell phones and their cars. Then, their photos were taken, and they were fingerprinted.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection usually just requires Canadian citizens traveling to the U.S. by land or sea to present either a Canadian passport, Enhanced Driver’s License/Enhanced Identification Card, NEXUS, FAST/EXPRES, or SENTRI enrollment cards. France is part of the Visa Waiver Program, which enables French citizens to travel to the United States without a visa as long as they fill out out an Electronic System for Travel Authorization.
But when the U.S. border patrol completed its search, agents told the French nationals they had been denied entry to the country and that any future visit would require a visa. The Canadians were told they were also denied entry.
“I hope it doesn’t represent a closing down or a firming up of the border, or of mentalities south of the border,” Dyck told Reuters.
Dyck’s group were not the only Canadians denied entry to the U.S. for the weekend. Reuters reports Joseph Decunha, a 20-year-old physics student at McGill University in Montreal, was also turned away after he and his group told the agents they were against Donald Trump.
The Guardian reported U.K. national Joe Kroese, a Canadian, and two Americans were held at the same border crossing for three hours on Thursday. Kroese and the Canadian were denied entry and said they were told it was because they were planning to attend a “potentially violent rally.” They were also told they would now need a visa to enter the country.