BC Chamber joins litigation to push for open borders

The BC Chamber of Commerce has joined a group pushing back against border measures that it says pose a serious threat to British Columbian businesses and tourists.

The BC Chamber of Commerce has joined a group pushing back against border measures that it says pose a serious threat to British Columbian businesses and tourists.

The chamber joins litigation filed by the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce, the Northwest Economic Council and Pacific Corridor Enterprise Council in opposition to border rules that permit border guards to bar Canadians entry to the U.S. for five years or more at their own discretion.

“This draconian regime flies in the face of open borders and Canada’s long-standing friendship and trading relationship with our neighbours to the south,” said John Winter, BC Chamber of Commerce president and CEO.

“As our countries strive towards new levels of co-operation through the Beyond the Border Action Plan, these harsh border rules need to be fixed.

“If an overzealous U.S. border guard targets a B.C. CEO or other key company personnel for expedited removal, that company’s business with the U.S. risks grinding to a halt.”

The chamber joined the group to file an amicus brief – a means for a party not involved in a particular litigation to provide additional information directly affecting the legal action – in a case pending before a U.S. appeals court.

The legal action pertains to the issue of whether a Canadian wishing to enter the U.S. can be subject to expedited removal by U.S. border guards.

Bellingham immigration lawyer and amicus brief author Greg Boos said, “Allowing CBP to make unreviewable determinations of admissibility into the U.S. invites abuse of discretion.”

ecrawford@biv.com

@EmmaCrawfordBIV