Monday, 19 October 2009

Monday October 19, 2009-The Day From Hell

The day started off beautifully and I had a lovely walk the length of the beach.

Today was the day we were going to Canada Customs to get our cameras and computers registered for border crossing. After that we were going to cross into Buffalo and scope out our route to check on construction etc for leaving tomorrow.

We pulled up to the U.S. border and gave the lady our passports. She swiped it and obviously something came up on the screen so she said that we had to go inside. She kept our passports.

Eventually I got called to the desk and was immediately treated like a criminal. Apparently what happened was I applied for a green card in 1992 as we had been married in 1990 and Gordon had not gotten a job in Ontario yet so since I worked for State Farm we thought I would just transfer to somewhere in the US, Virginia Beach was on the table. However, Gordon got a job and I never moved to the U.S.

Gordon was with me when I got my green card and I was not told that I had to return it if I didn't use it, so I still have the card. I kept it as kind of a souvenir. Anyway after a certain time they started deportation proceedings against me which is ridiculous since I never lived there and I have been back and forth across the border often during that time visiting family and twice a year in the past five years of fulltiming.

Anyway, this Immigration person was rude, nasty and was basically calling me a liar. It was freaking me out! Eventually he said that they would fingerprint me to see if I had a record - Who Me? With that being done I guess they ran my prints, then he came back to me and said that I could apply to have the deportation set aside and gave me a form with instructions. Nowhere in the instructions did it tell you where to go about doing this or what forms were needed or anything else. He did give me the phone number there for Immigration and a phone number for the Judge. We stopped at a couple of lawyers in Fort Erie but none of them could help with US Immigration, only Canadian Immigration.

So we're heading back to Ottawa on Wednesday and will probably get the RV winterized although my sister thinks I should hold off till we go to the US consulate in Ottawa and see what they say. At any rate, I don't think this will be resolved quickly. We are, after all, dealing with the Government.

We're both exhausted, angry and very tired and I'm quite put out about being treated the way I was. There is more to it but I'm trying to do a synopsis.

So, we'll see what happens from here. We've cancelled all our reservations that we'd made for Ohio, called all the kids and Gordon's sister and will have to call our park at Port Lavaca to let them know what's happening.

I have a line on a place to live if it works out so we'll have to buy winter boots and a snow brush!


  1. I'm so sorry!!! That's really hard to believe after all this time. Thanks for posting.

  2. Nancy8:29 pm

    Wow, you're the first criminal I've ever known! LOL

    Be cool. It will take whatever time is necessary and you can't do a thing about it. Worst case scenario, you get to visit with a lot of friends and family. You can skate on the Canal and have beaver tails and snow at Christmas. Anything can be fun if you set your mind to it.

  3. Oh, Sandra!! What an awful mess, we're so sorry this is happening. Please hang in there and don't give up yet! If there's anything we can do to help, like references, or whatever, please let us know right away!

    Hugs to you both!

  4. Oh I feel so for you.. I bet they will work it out though.. Be patient and take if one day at a time.
    Thoughts are with you..

  5. Well they are certainly on top of things. Only took 'em 17 years to catch up to you.

    I really am sorry your trip was ruined.

  6. Jiminy Sandra! Whatever next? I hope that you can get it resolved quickly and still make it to Port Lavaca.
    Happy Trails, Penny, TX

  7. Keep the faith, Sandra! Work through this mess one step at a time and you'll be sunning down south before you know it. We're thinking good thoughts!

  8. Hang in there! As Jim & Ellie said, if there's anything we can do to help, let us know.
    Doug,JoAnn & Fillmore

  9. So sorry to hear this Sandra. We hope that this is resolved and You and Gordon can get on with your life.

  10. So sorry to hear about the "issue"...hope you can get it ironed out quickly! Big HUGS to both of you! M&B

  11. The world must be a pretty safe place if you are the worst desperado they could catch today.

    I would stop in at a consulate and get someone to check it out for you before I started winterizing though. Might be an easy fix.

    Good Luck

  12. Wow I guess the post 9/11 and homeland security is partly to blame for your problem. Sorry to hear your having to go through this and hope it gets ironed out soon. I was and still am looking forward to your posts in Texas and the great photos.

  13. Sandra, so sorry to hear about this bump in the road. We totally agree that US Customs officials at the border are rude and unnecessarily demeaning. I know this will get settled in your favor. As Nancy said, it's out of your control now, and will work itself out in due time -- but that's what is so maddening!

  14. Good heavens! After all these years, they are just now deciding that you have a problem. It shows just how terrible our US customs is. They could have contacted you years ago.
    I am hoping for the best at the consulate!

  15. Michelle11:23 pm

    Hi Dad & Sandra,
    Uhgg, what a mess, what a disappointment. We are going to miss seeing you, but are more grieved that you both had to go thru such a hardship today. I pray it will be something that is short-lived and easily resolved and you'll be able to move on and get to that warm weather.
    Eric says he's not surprised. He says they are crackin down and trying to clean up loose ends in customs and border protection. He's seen changes in aviation regs in the past year.
    Still hope we can see you soon!
    Love you,

  16. I am so sorry Sandra and Gordon. Please have some positive thoughts - it probably looks bleak now but things can change sometimes as fast the other way 'round. I agree with JB's assessment of checking with the consulate first ( perhaps nicer staff there?) before winterizing.... Best of luck

  17. What a nightmare for you both. This stressful situation will hopefully be resolved to your satisfaction. Good Luck!

  18. Well, if you 2 didn't look so much like terrorists they wouldn't have stopped you. We have to keep the country safe from Canadians, because god knows we can't do much with the real terrorists. :-)

    Hopefully the embassy will have more common sense and straighten this out quickly for you.

  19. That sounds awful. Hope you can get it resolved quickly. Someone over there has to have some common sense.

  20. Your just the wrong color...we have people here illigally in Texas with bogus green cards and you can't get in for that! Those folks need to be down here on the Texas Mexican border maybe we could stop this problem down here.

  21. Just adding my condolences for your situation. Who would have thought . . . Hoping that the US consulate can straighten things out and you can venture south. Take care.

  22. I'm so sorry, Sandra, that you were treated that way! It's insane with all of the border crossings since '92 that they just got around to telling you they need their green card back!!

    I hope you can quickly resolve this issue! We'd be glad to help out with references for you both!

    Wintering over in Ontario sounds very very cold and I hope it doesn't come to that!
    Kathy and Grant

  23. We understand your harsh treatment at the border only too well!!!! Thinking about you & sincerly hope some common sense & respect will enter into your situation & you continue your journey south. We run the Guantlet again Saturday:((

  24. Anonymous2:57 pm

    Oh no! That stinks Aunt Sandra! Hopefully you can get this resolved quickly.

    All wouldn't be bad if you were here for Christmas though.

    Love Nick and Becky

  25. Oh Sandra & Gordon,
    What a terrible experience.... it just is not fair.... I'm really sorry to read what has happened .

  26. Sandra, Really sorry to hear about your border difficulties. Maybe the contents of your blog will demonstrate that your intentions towards our American friends are honourable!

  27. Just now catching up in blogs and I read this....EGAD!!! Hoping it gets straightened out quickly. Gotta love red tape...sigh... HUGS!!

  28. Oh my!!! I'm just catching up on Bloggs as well. How did I miss this??? This is "an adventure" you don't need on your travels....I know! We hope the best...and that things will be cleared up for you soon. I wouldn't have known 'bout turning in the green card..guess you can't anything for granted huh? Our prayers are with you...and please keep posting!!

  29. I wish there was some way for me to help... I can only wish you both my best. I hope this thing is over soon.

  30. I am only just now getting around to reading this and just can not believe my eyes! this is just so insane. With all the real criminals in the world they have to stop you at the border? Ridiculous! I hope things get straightened out for you soon.


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