Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > Travel Safety/Security > Checkpoints and Borders Policy Debate
Reload this Page >

The Star: Canadian Paraplegic denied entry to US because she'd been depressed

The Star: Canadian Paraplegic denied entry to US because she'd been depressed

Old Nov 28, 13, 7:59 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: ATL Lost Luggage
Programs: Kettle with Kryptonium Medallion Tags
Posts: 6,763
The Star: Canadian Paraplegic denied entry to US because she'd been depressed

The War on Dignity, Thanksgiving day update:

The Star:
Disabled woman denied entry to U.S. after agent cites supposedly private medical details -
A Toronto woman is shocked after she was denied entry into the U.S. because she had been hospitalized for clinical depression

Published on Thu Nov 28 2013


A short quote:
Ellen Richardson went to Pearson airport on Monday full of joy about flying to New York City and from there going on a 10-day Caribbean cruise for which she’d paid about $6,000.

But a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent with the Department of Homeland Security killed that dream when he denied her entry.

“I was turned away, I was told, because I had a hospitalization in the summer of 2012 for clinical depression,’’ said Richardson, who is a paraplegic and set up her cruise in collaboration with a March of Dimes group of about 12 others.
The above is not an isolated incident; an earlier CBC article:

CBC News:
Canadians with mental illnesses denied U.S. entry -
Data entered into national police database accessible to American authorities: WikiLeaks

Posted:Sep 09, 2011 5:10 AM ET
Last Updated:Sep 09, 2011 4:21 PM ET


More than a dozen Canadians have told the Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office in Toronto within the past year that they were blocked from entering the United States after their records of mental illness were shared with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Lois Kamenitz, 65, of Toronto contacted the office last fall, after U.S. customs officials at Pearson International Airport prevented her from boarding a flight to Los Angeles on the basis of her suicide attempt four years earlier.

Kamenitz says she was stopped at customs after showing her passport and asked to go to a secondary screening. There, a Customs and Border Protection officer told Kamenitz that he had information that police had attended her home in 2006.
and

Kamenitz was eventually allowed to board a plane to Los Angeles, four days after missing her initial flight. But in order to do so, she had to submit her medical records to the U.S. and get clearance from a Homeland Security-approved doctor in Toronto, who charged her $250 for the service.

Benson says the response from the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers in Kamenitz's case was fairly typical. "Now that the note from her doctor is on her records," he says, "I wouldn't expect her to have any more problems."

Included in the Homeland Security forms Kamenitz was required to fill out were questions about whether she had a history of substance abuse and whether she had diseases, such as AIDS or tuberculosis.

"These are private and personal medical records that I’m now handing over to a foreign government," she says.
RatherBeOnATrain is offline  
Old Nov 29, 13, 12:43 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: PGA
Programs: Expedia All Your Booking Channels Are Belong To Us Club
Posts: 5,024
Or, Blues? No Cruise
mbstone is offline  
Old Nov 29, 13, 11:36 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Nashville, TN
Programs: WN Nothing and spending the half million points from too many flights, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 8,034
From The CBC News article"

Brad Benson from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security says medical records aren't shared between countries. However, "if you have an arrest record, Canada would share that with us," he says.

If a police encounter includes information about mental health, Benson says front-line officers can use it.

"Mental illness is actually under our law as a reason that you may not get admitted," he says. "The issue is always going to be: could someone be a danger to someone [else]?"
Having a diagnosed mental health problem is a far different situation than having a possible mental health issue in a police report. The fact that DHS seems to equate the two is another on my list of disturbing things about DHS.
InkUnderNails is offline  
Old Nov 29, 13, 11:37 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: YQR
Programs: Nexus/GE, UA/MPG, Bonvoy Tit, LTP
Posts: 1,289
Words can't describe how this makes me feel. The old British expression of Gobsmacked comes to mind.

I do not and have never been diagnosed with a mental illness but can't imagine the invasion of privacy that comes from such an event. Does this now mean that we cannot visit Disney World with our grandchildren and daughter because she had some MH concerns in her teens?
Fizzer is offline  
Old Nov 29, 13, 11:43 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: YQR
Programs: Nexus/GE, UA/MPG, Bonvoy Tit, LTP
Posts: 1,289
deleted

Last edited by Fizzer; Nov 29, 13 at 11:59 am
Fizzer is offline  
Old Nov 29, 13, 12:30 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Left
Programs: FT
Posts: 7,285
i find it disconcerting that they have medical information.

i suspect that the attempted suicide was fed by local police into CPIC and that is how they US authorities obtained it...what i find odd, is that suicide in canada is not illegal so not sure why the canadian authorities would be putting this infomration in CPIC.

i found this article.

http://www.mentalhealthpolicerecords.ca/crossborder
mkjr is offline  
Old Nov 29, 13, 12:32 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Left
Programs: FT
Posts: 7,285
Originally Posted by InkUnderNails View Post
From The CBC News article"



Having a diagnosed mental health problem is a far different situation than having a possible mental health issue in a police report. The fact that DHS seems to equate the two is another on my list of disturbing things about DHS.
funny, perhaps we should ask people in the US if they hold/own guns on the assumption that only crazy people would do that and perhaps deny them entry to canada.
mkjr is offline  
Old Nov 29, 13, 12:44 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: SFO
Programs: AA, UA lowly commoner
Posts: 704
Maybe they got this "confidential" medical information from the book about it that this woman is selling: http://ellenrichardson.ca/index.html.
Giggleswick is offline  
Old Nov 29, 13, 12:55 pm
  #9  
Ari
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 11,221
Originally Posted by Giggleswick View Post
Maybe they got this "confidential" medical information from the book about it that this woman is selling: http://ellenrichardson.ca/index.html.
The mental health incident specifically cited by CBP as grounds for her inadmissibility took place in 2012. Her book was written in 2009. I doubt she wrote about her 2012 incident in 2009.

The information came from CPIC.
Ari is offline  
Old Nov 29, 13, 12:56 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Ontario. Canada
Programs: Aeroplan, IHG, Enterprise, Avios, Nexus
Posts: 7,275
Originally Posted by mkjr View Post
funny, perhaps we should ask people in the US if they hold/own guns on the assumption that only crazy people would do that and perhaps deny them entry to canada.
I know several Americans with concealed carry permits who when attempting a land crossing into Canada are often asked if they are permit holders and whether they have a firearm in their vehicle.

Note to Americans, information sharing goes both ways. Don't lie if you hold CCW and do NOT attempt to bring a handgun into Canada. If one is discovered in your vehicle during a search you will go to jail.
Badenoch is offline  
Old Nov 29, 13, 1:11 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: SFO
Programs: AA, UA lowly commoner
Posts: 704
Originally Posted by Ari View Post
The mental health incident specifically cited by CBP as grounds for her inadmissibility took place in 2012. Her book was written in 2009. I doubt she wrote about her 2012 incident in 2009.

The information came from CPIC.
Sorry, I stand corrected.
Giggleswick is offline  
Old Nov 29, 13, 1:51 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: IAD, and sometimes OMNI/PR. Currently: not far from IAD, but home will always be SAN (not far from the "touch my junk and I'll have you arrested" Memorial TSA Check Point) even if I'm not there so much these days.
Programs: UA, CO, Calcifer Award for Mad Haiku Skillz
Posts: 5,075
This is a disgrace.
youreadyfreddie is offline  
Old Nov 29, 13, 3:40 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 9,530
Originally Posted by youreadyfreddie View Post
This is a disgrace.
+1
sadiqhassan is offline  
Old Nov 29, 13, 4:41 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: LAS HNL
Programs: DL DM, 5.7 MM, UA 3.1 MM, MARRIOTT PLATINUM, AVIS FIRST, Amex Black Card
Posts: 4,479
Quick question. Did she fly into the USA or was she denied boarding in Canada?

Not that it matters, just curious. I thought Customs, etc. was done in Canada, so flights become like a USA domestic flt.

Her travel insurance company takes the cake.

Again, I did not see in the article. Did this happen in the USA or Canada?
kettle1 is offline  
Old Nov 29, 13, 6:40 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 147
Originally Posted by kettle1 View Post
Quick question. Did she fly into the USA or was she denied boarding in Canada?

Not that it matters, just curious. I thought Customs, etc. was done in Canada, so flights become like a USA domestic flt.

Her travel insurance company takes the cake.

Again, I did not see in the article. Did this happen in the USA or Canada?
Doesn't matter. Staffed by the same folks in either case.
annehamnitz is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: