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Aug 27, 2013

Kelowna Chamber supports legal push for open borders

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Date ArticleType
8/27/2013 Media Releases
Kelowna Chamber supports legal push for open borders

Kelowna, August 27, 2013 – The BC Chamber of Commerce has joined litigation filed in a U.S. court to push back against border measures that pose a serious risk for B.C. businesses and tourists.

Currently, British Columbians heading to the U.S. for business or tourism purposes face a border regime that empowers border guards, at their own discretion and without avenue for appeal, to bar Canadians entry to the U.S. for periods of five years or more under an “expedited removal” process.

“Although we recognize the mutual sovereignty of our border with the U.S. we would welcome some reasonable flexibility when border guards feel the need to deny entry to Canadian business people,” said David Bond, president of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce. “As our countries strive towards new levels of co-operation through the Beyond the Border Action Plan, these border rules could negatively affect both Canadian and U.S. based businesses.”

The border rules pose a particular threat to B.C. businesses.

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce supports the BC Chamber of Commerce who has partnered with the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce, the Northwest Economic Council and Pacific Corridor Enterprise Council to file an “amicus brief” in a case pending before a U.S. appeals court (the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals). That case concerns the issue of whether a Canadian citizen seeking entry to the U.S. can be subject to expedited removal by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

An amicus brief is a legal vehicle that allows parties who are not involved in a specific legal action to provide courts with additional information pertaining to the case that’s before the courts.

Greg Boos is the Bellingham-based immigration attorney who authored the amicus brief on behalf of the BC Chamber and the other involved parties.

“Allowing CBP to make unreviewable determinations of admissibility into the U.S. invites abuse of discretion,” Boos said.

Recent border situations in the Pacific Northwest where Canadians have been placed into expedited removal have involved Canadians seeking entry to the U.S. to attend meetings, visit vacation homes or engage in other travel into the United States.

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce acts as a single powerful voice for their 1200 members and their 25,000 plus employees to promote local business interests. The Chamber provides a cohesive business network for its members to expand their business contacts, value-added benefits, programs, and services aimed at improving the bottom line of Chamber members. Their mission is to foster a positive business environment by providing members with leadership, advocacy and services of value.

For more information contact:

Greg Boos
Attorney at Law
Cascadia Cross-Border Law (Bellingham, WA)
T 360.671.5945
E gdboos@americanlaw.com

Caroline Grover
CEO, Kelowna Chamber of Commerce
T 250.469.7356
E caroline@kelownachamber.org