U.S. officials revoke thousands of Canadian NEXUS cards

According to CBC News, US authorities have revoked the NEXUS trusted travel cards of thousands of Canadians in the past five years-more than three times the number revoked by Canadian officials.

Experts say that if Canadians’ NEXUS cards are revoked by US officials, it will be difficult to appeal the decision or revoke the decision.

Toronto attorney Cyndee Todgham Cherniak said: “There are very few successful people. In the past year and a half, this has been almost impossible.”

The NEXUS Trusted Traveler Program is jointly operated by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), allowing cardholders to quickly pass through customs and quickly pass through the airport. Although many people use the card for cross-border travel, some cardholders mainly use it to reduce waiting time when traveling within Canada.

CBSA stated that as of May 2021, there are 1.7 million NEXUS card holders. According to CBP, 77% of NEXUS card holders are Canadians, 21% are Americans, and 2% fall into the “other” category.

However, although Americans account for a small proportion of members, data obtained by CBC News shows that US officials are responsible for 77% of NEXUS card cancellations.

Canadian and U.S. officials revoked 15,807 NEXUS cards between January 1, 2016 and May 25, 2021. The CBSA stated that it revoked 3,591 cards-22% of the number of revocations-while US CBP officials revoked 12,216 cards.

CBP spokesperson Rhonda Lawson (Rhonda Lawson) said that the service cannot tell how many of the cards revoked by U.S. agencies are held by Canadians and how many are owned by Americans.

But overall, she said, 70% of the cards revoked by CBSA or CBP are held by Canadians, 26% of revoked cards are held by Americans, and 4% of the revoked cards fall into this category. . another”.

Toronto lawyer Cyndee Todgham Cherniak said that the Canadian government should call on Americans to improve their appeal procedures for people whose NEXUS cards have been revoked. (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

Lawson said that those whose cards have been revoked or whose applications have been rejected by US authorities can appeal to CBP’s inspectors.

Todgham Cherniak said this is not as easy as it sounds.

“There is no sound and transparent procedure to appeal the confiscation or cancellation of the NEXUS card by US officials.”

Todgham Cherniak recently won a lawsuit in the Federal Court of Canada, where the judge ruled that Montreal businessmen should not lose their NEXUS cards due to minor violations. The judge also ruled that government officials have a responsibility to explain why minor violations caused them to lose trust in him.

She said that although there is a procedure for the cancellation of the Canadian or American NEXUS card by the CBSA, it is even difficult to contact the CBP inspector.

“Last year, we encountered a situation with some Canadians, and we sent a paper copy of the submission to the old U.S. CBP inspector address,” she said. “They were all deported because they moved.

“So we picked up the phone and called the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. No one in Customs and Border Protection knew where they moved. They didn’t know how to write to new people or how to get in touch with anyone. .”

Retired lawyer Ruth Hornstein (Ruth Hornstein) tried to appeal to the inspector when the newly updated NEXUS card at Montreal Trudeau Airport was revoked in 2018 because a friend who was traveling with her had an apple in the wallet And an avocado-this violates the U.S. agricultural regulations.

“They said,’Sorry, you can’t get your NEXUS card back, it has been revoked for life,'” she said.

zero tolerance

Robert Leo, a New York lawyer whose NEXUS card representing Canadians was revoked by US authorities, said that Americans adopted a zero tolerance policy long ago.

“Any abnormal situation at the border, they will take the NEXUS card,” he said.

He said that it is not easy to appeal the decision to revoke the card.

“Unlike Canada, the United States has no regulations,” Leo said, adding that CBP rejected the idea of ??adopting regulations. “There is no other procedure other than that you can now request reconsideration of the customs decision online.”

Leo estimates that his company has won approximately 30% of appeals, and he said those who wish to appeal should first use the Freedom of Information Act to obtain copies of their documents. He said that no record of illegal entry into the United States before or after the incident also helps.

“One thing someone has to prove is that they were trusted travelers before, and now they are trusted travelers, which is an aberration,” Leo said.

Todgham Cherniak stated that she hoped that the Canadian government would participate and urged the US government to improve its appeal procedures.

“What we really need to do is get the Canadian government to contact the U.S. government and say’this is not fair’,” she said.

Elizabeth Thompson can be reached at [email protected]

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