Visiting Canada? Not if you’re on welfare

An American woman and her two children were recently denied entry into Canada – twice – because, according to the Canadian border agent, people on welfare shouldn’t take vacations.  This raises and interesting set of points to consider. 

The main reason that people are denied entry into a foreign country these days seems to be a concern over intent to emigrate rather than just visit.  This woman was going to visit friends and family, so she had a base of support infrastructure available to her on the Canadian side of the border.  And it is arguable that she had nothing tying her down in the USA that was particularly compelling to make her want to return.

It may not be politic to say it, but I can understand where the Canadians are coming from on this one and I actually tend to agree with the decision.  I don’t know whether the woman was planning on emigrating or not, and saying it the way they did was probably stupid, but the border agents operate within a relatively well defined set of guidelines and this case seems to have met the litmus test of probably not being a viable candidate for entry.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. Careful with that line of reasoning. Last time I saw the stats many more illegals entered via the northern border than the southern one.

  2. How did the Canadians know about her welfare status? Well, I guess the answer is: based on the documentation she provided. But how did they know to ask for it?

  3. My understanding is that she was crossing a land border. The first time they asked her for paperwork proving citizenship and financial status. She didn’t have it. The second time they bounced her after reviewing. I have no idea what she did to draw the initial ire, but it could have simply been showing up without a passport.

  4. Must be a cover-up by the Canadian government, hiding the truth from their people. I get the feeling in the USA that they’d publicize their successful efforts to keep out an illegal alien. Yeah, we’re really that bad. 🙁

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