Peyton Smith - Americanuck Radio
Immigration has become such an emotional and politicized battle in so many countries, including my own country, the United States. In the midst of all the pulling of the heartstrings and the desire by many people - media and politicians included - to maintain the narrative of open borders for any and all, there are many qualified and quality individuals who are waiting patiently to immigrate to our nation who only wish to get in line and go through the proper process - which can take quite some time.
The progressive left and the neocons who claim to be part of the right, were chomping at the bit in decrying the separation of Central American families at our southern border, which has obviously been porous for awhile. As far as an emotional outburst or even "mass hysteria", as Dr. Michael Savage would say, the outcry was off the charts. The media further stoked the fire in patent disregard for the facts - such as human trafficking that occurs across the southern border or the hardened criminal elements that would go to any lengths in getting into the country. If a criminal shows up illegally at the southern border with a child in tow, then all rationality and logic goes out the window. Whether or not it is in fact a real family becomes a moot point.
Recently, I had the opportunity to speak to a Canadian gentleman, Anthony Gaalaas, who was living in the U.S. for 16 years up until 2017, but now not allowed back in and currently resides in the Canadian province of Alberta. His ordeal in becoming a citizen of the United States is one that I felt needed attention. If separation of families is truly a sin, then his being separated for the past year from his wife of 15 years who is American, and his two children, now 10 and 11, should certainly be of concern.
In 2001, Anthony was employed by a company in Canada, whose base of operations is here in Washington. He requested a transfer to the U.S. and was granted a visa to come here and work. Following this move, he met his wife, but prior to meeting her, Anthony had already been pursuing permanent residency in the states, which he applied for after his marriage and was subsequently denied. He was told his denial was based not solely on the fact that he had a criminal record, but rather one detail on his record mentioning the word trafficking. Upon appeal of this decision by his attorney who argued they had misunderstood the charge, he was denied yet again.
The charge in question goes back to 1985 when Anthony was 19 years of age and the police responded to a complaint by the landlord of the apartment complex where Anthony was living. He was arrested and found in possession of a few hundred dollars of drugs and was charged with “possession for the purpose of trafficking”. With no prior drug charges, the prosecution presented him with a plea deal that would give him probation, rather than jail time. Even though he wasn’t caught in the act of trafficking or had any intention of trafficking, Anthony took the deal as any teenager in the same predicament would've most likely done, because he was only given 18 months probation.
In 1992, Anthony obtained a non-resident alien, Canadian border crossing card, which acts as a waiver for those with a criminal record to cross into the United States, at the discretion of U.S. customs. Anthony used this card to travel across the border hundreds of times, without any incident and never running afoul of the law in the U.S. during those travels.
In 1995, Anthony received a full pardon in Canada which means the person has rehabilitated themselves and worthy of forgiveness and their record is now sealed at a federal level. When U.S. Immigration denied his application for permanent residency because of the word “trafficking” Anthony explained he wasn’t trafficking and showed his Canadian pardon, but under U.S. Immigration laws a foreign pardon is not recognized. It’s funny how they’ll recognize a foreign record, but not a foreign pardon. What’s even crazier is that if Anthony’s record was in the U.S. and had received a U.S. pardon, his application would have been approved and he would have received his permanent residency card within two weeks. The Hypocrisy of the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) is absolutely jaw dropping, as well as the degrading language used in the letter sent to Anthony.
The denial letter Anthony received from USCIS also said that if he failed to depart the U.S., then proceedings would be instituted to enforce his departure. He inquired about getting his case before a judge, but was told by his attorney that if a court hearing failed, then he would be taken and deported immediately. Anthony was assured by his attorney that while he would continue to appeal the decision yet again, he was still legal to stay in the U.S. As the months and years went by, Anthony diligently contacted his attorney for any news of progress on his case and was told they were working on it and to be patient because new U.S. Immigration laws could be introduced that could overturn his denial.
As the years went by, Anthony started a legal company in the U.S., employed several U.S. citizens, and paid taxes. He has mentored young adults at his church and local prisons and has attained over 100 letters of reference from friends, business owners, police officers, and pastors confirming his fine character and contributions to the U.S.
Now wondering if his attorney was in fact working on his case, Anthony contacted U.S. Immigration authorities directly for any advice or help in moving forward only to be told they couldn't help, and to contact another immigration attorney instead. Upon trying to seek out immigration attorneys, he found all wanted a huge fee - one shyster who wanted 35 grand - with no guarantee of a green card, but a solid guarantee of a sickening cash grab. Anthony has also reached out to governors, senators, and even President Trump, with the hope of gaining ground, as well as traction for the process of his case... but all his efforts on those fronts, as well as those of many people who emailed the President on his behalf, fell on blind eyes, and deaf ears.
After many dead end roads and unsure of his true legal status, Anthony went back to Canada in June of 2017 to reestablish Canadian residency and go back and forth as a visitor until he could get U.S. permanent residence. A few days later, Anthony was allowed back into the U.S. on a visitor visa, with no difficulty or problems. A month later he returned to Canada with his wife and children for a family visit and in August of 2017, he was allowed back into the U.S. on a visitor visa again. A few months after that, Anthony went on vacation to Mexico, but upon his return into the U.S., again on a visitor visa, he was detained in Houston by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for seventeen hours while officials casted doubt on his leaving because he had a wife and children in Austin, TX and what they said was an overstay on his original visa. Anthony rightly referred the officials to his attorney - the same attorney who assured him he was legal during the overstay and the fact that he had moved back to Canada and came back as a visitor a couple times with no problems. He was then asked to provide paperwork from his original visa right up to present for his legal stay while appealing his denial for permanent residency. Anthony had to call his wife in Austin and she went through the mountain of paperwork accumulated at that point, taking pictures of assorted documents and texting them to him for officials to review only for him to be told he was refused entry because of the overstay. So, even though Anthony’s attorney assured him he was legal and ok to stay and even though he had voluntarily returned to Canada and was now coming and going as a visitor, the officials in Houston still refused him entry and put him on a plane back to Canada. That's the treatment Anthony received for simply trying to do the right thing and stay within the law as he was counseled. He was even told by an off duty immigration officer of a friend of his that all this was wrong and he should have been a U.S. citizen by now. This is just beyond despicable.
After being sent back to Canada, Anthony went back to the Edmonton airport the next day, to try and come back to the states as a visitor once again, but U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials saw that he was detained in Houston, and asked him what was going on. He replied that he was only trying to come back into the states as a visitor to see his wife and children. So the officer was very helpful and gave him a list of documentation needed to satisfy the CBP that he was in fact living back in Canada and going back as a visitor. Anthony went and compiled the documentation requested, which included bank statements, utility bills, etc. and a week later, brought back all that was requested. He met with the same officer he talked to a week previously, who then flipped through the documentation briefly and said he was good to travel. Within the span of a week, Anthony went from being detained for nearly an entire day in Houston, to being told he was now legal to travel back and forth to the U.S. He was told to bring all the paperwork that the CBP told him to compile, when traveling back and forth between Canada and the U.S., should any future problems arise.
Anthony then went back to the states for a month, then returned to Canada for a month and a half. In January of 2018, he went to fly again to the U.S. through the Vancouver airport and sure enough, he was questioned, but he had all the paperwork he compiled in Edmonton, which satisfied the officials in Vancouver and he was good to travel. Anthony went back to his family in the states for three weeks, but came back in two weeks, in order to show his good faith, and that he could be trusted. On February 17th, he returned to the Vancouver airport to fly back to visit his family, and yet again was questioned by CBP officials and after showing them all his paperwork he had showed twice before, this time he was refused entry, and was told he should have a ten year ban for overstaying his original visa back in 2005. He was told that he was merely lucky and that the officers up to this point were wrong to let him enter at all and was told he would have to apply for a waiver for the ten year ban. He never saw this coming, as he was never told by his attorney or any of the many CBP officers up to this point. Any overstay should've rightly been moot, considering the number of times Anthony had already been permitted to travel back and forth. This kind of governmental and legal ineptitude is staggering at best, and plain denigrating at worst. Speaking personally, I wouldn't know which way was up, after receiving all the conflicting information from customs officers, immigration officers, and attorneys, that he received. There is no excuse for the treatment he has been given - not to mention the trauma his wife and children have experienced without a husband and father - and in my mind, had actual competency been paramount, he would've been a citizen by now.
The next turn of events in this horrible rollercoaster ride took Anthony to an attorney in Toronto, who works with Canadians that own companies in the U.S., but who are experiencing difficulties with establishing legal residency in the U.S. Anthony consulted with the attorney, and was advised to apply for a five year investors visa, followed by applying for a waiver for the ten year ban which was imposed on him - logic being that if he went for the visa first, that would help in the application process for the ten year ban waiver. He is currently waiting for an answer regarding his visa application, which is where the situation now stands. Hopefully, there will be approval on both applications, and he can at last return to a normal life in the states with his family for at least 5 years while he can find someone who can help overturn his denial for permanent residency and finally put all this senseless difficulty he has been subjected to since 2003, behind him.
May this plea for justice, for a man who was done such injustice, find the right recipient. I call on anyone who might be able to right this wrong, and unite Anthony with his family. I call on reason, and sanity, to overcome the insanity that he and his family have had to go through. If trying to stay within, and obey the law has any merit anymore, in regards to the pathway to citizenship here in the U.S., then Anthony will find a successful resolution, hopefully sooner rather than later. If that's not the case, and this kind of mixed up draconian nonsense is allowed to prevail, then may God help anyone who finds themselves in his shoes, because the system sure won't.
U.S. authorities say companies in Canada were among the targets of two Chinese citizens charged with carrying out an extensive hacking campaign to steal data.
An indictment was unsealed today against Zhu Hua and Zhang Shillong, who prosecutors said were acting on behalf of China’s main intelligence agency to pilfer information in several countries.
Papers filed in Manhattan federal court allege the hackers were able to breach the computers of enterprises involved in activities ranging from aviation and space to pharmaceutical technology.
U.S. prosecutors allege the hackers were able to steal “hundreds of gigabytes” of data from targets in 12 countries.
In Canada, the RCMP had no immediate comment on the U.S. charges.
In the last several months, the U.S. Justice Department has filed charges against several Chinese intelligence officials and alleged hackers.
NurPhoto via Getty Images
If you’re trying to make sense out of the NAFTA negotiations, where Canada is suddenly rushing to avoid being shut out of a US-Mexico deal, consider this: With his insufferable moral arrogance, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been cruising for a bruising — and now he’s gotten it.
Given Trudeau’s attempt to reinvent the country as the smarmy Eddie Haskell of nations, it’s been fun to watch — but let’s make sure it doesn’t end up costing both Canada and the United States.
Trudeau’s first rude awakening, by the way, didn’t come at the hands of Team Trump. Justin had become a laughingstock when visiting India last February, where he dressed the family Bollywood-style. Even the Indians thought he was a joke.
More serious was his next reality check, via the Saudis. The Canadian foreign ministry had tweeted that Saudi Arabia should release women’s-rights activists, and the Saudis responded by closing their embassy, ordering Saudi students to return home and freezing all trade ties. Diplomatically, that’s going rogue.
Remarkably, the US refused to take sides. Our State Department simply asked both parties to work it out.
Then came Trump’s rebuff of Trudeau over the NAFTA talks. The Canadians had assumed they were in the driver’s seat, and presented a set of initial demands that were guaranteed to infuriate Trump. They wanted gender equality and native rights to be on the table, and suggested that right-to-work laws were an unfair trade practice.
They took their time bargaining, and let the Mexicans know that they’d look after them. They knew Trump had problems with Mexico and told Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto they’d stick up for him.
Except that Justin had gone out of his way to annoy Trump. When the G-7 assembled in Quebec last June, Trudeau prepared the wokiest of politically correct topics to discuss, and showed he was peeved when Trump turned up late at a session.
It all came undone over the last two weeks. First, the Mexicans, to whom the Canadians had condescended, showed that they didn’t need Trudeau’s help and cut a deal with Trump that excluded Canada. Of course we want Canada to be included in NAFTA, they said. But you have to understand that, for us, Mexico comes first and we need a trade deal with the US.
So much for the three amigos.
After the deal with Mexico was announced, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland cut short a European visit to come to Washington and negotiate with the US trade representative. While the talks were ongoing, the Toronto Star revealed that Trump had said off the record that the United States wasn’t going to bend on any item. If they had problems with that, he said he had an easy answer. He’d show them a picture of the Chevy Impala, which is made in Oshawa, Ontario, and shipped to the US duty-free under NAFTA.
If NAFTA goes down, Canada will be the big loser, especially in its auto industry, where 120,000 Canadian jobs are at stake. But we also would be losers. The auto industry has suppliers on both sides of the border and just-in-time production methods would put thousands of Americans immediately out of work if Detroit’s Ambassador Bridge were shut down for a few days. As it is, more US trade crosses over that bridge than our entire trade with Japan.
Trump worries about trade deficits, but we’re running a trade surplus in goods and service with Canada, and it’s one of the very few countries of which that can be said. It’s the most important trading partner for 35 states, and as many as 9 million US jobs depend on trade with Canada.
It’s not as if there will be much daylight between the two countries, when trade negotiations begin on Wednesday. We’re not happy with Canada’s supply-management system, which subsidizes eggs and milk products — and that’s something the Canadians should be happy to give up, since it costs the average Canadian family $150 a year.
The Canadians also want a dispute-resolution mechanism, which could prove an advantage to the US as well as Canada. Everybody cheats, and it wouldn’t hurt to have neutral parties work things out.
So both sides should be able to compromise and get to yes. Given the two leaders’ personalities, it’s easy to see how the Canada-US deal could fall apart. Let’s hope it doesn’t.
F.H. Buckley is the author of the new book “The Republican Workers Party: How the Trump Victory Drove Everyone Crazy, and Why It Was Just What We Needed.”
If this case gets tossed, the justice system is in terrible shape.
At the hearing, in Poweshiek County, Cristhian Bahena Rivera’s attorney, Allan Richards, argued against allowing expanded news media coverage of the case and shed some light on Rivera’s life before Tibbetts’ death.
“The coverage that’s out there is leaning all one way and, in fact, [the] government has weighed in at the highest levels,” Richards said in court.
Authorities have described Rivera as an undocumented immigrant and both pundits and politicians, including President Donald Trump, have invoked the case as a talking point in ongoing immigration debates.
Tibbetts’ relatives appear to have rebuked such rhetoric, however, with her aunt writing, in part: “Evil comes in EVERY color.”
“In our system of justice, he’s entitled to that presumption of innocence until some evidence is presented,” Richards continued. “Portraying Cristhian as something that he isn’t, in some ways I view that as a political payback for what’s swirling around.”
Experts often say that trade wars can spread easily — and here's an example from right here at home in Canada.
The federal government is planning new tariffs and quotas on steel from China and certain other as-yet unknown countries, according to a report at Bloombergnews service.
But this isn't the result of some new protectionist streak among the governing Liberals — it's the outcome of the brutal logic of trade wars. Canada is trying to to prevent the dumping of Chinese steel on the domestic market in the wake of the Trump administration's steel tariffs.
Along with the European Union, Canada is concerned China could engage in "dumping"; steel that was meant for the U.S., now with no buyer, could instead be sold below cost in Canada or elsewhere.
A spokesperson for the federal Department of Finance declined to comment on the report, but noted in an email to HuffPost Canada that the government has already taken steps to protect Canadian steelmakers from the possibility of aggressive competition in the wake of a trade war.
Among other steps, the government announced earlier this year it is beefing up Canada Border Services Agency''s budget, adding 40 new officers to handle trade-related complaints.
"Canada is a trading nation, and we will not allow North American industries to be hurt or threatened by unfair trade practices, like the diversion of steel and aluminum," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in March.
At that time, Canada was exempt from the U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs, making it a distinct possibility that Chinese and other exporters would use Canada to access U.S markets. Trudeau vowed Canada would not be "used as a backdoor" into the U.S.
But with tariffs now in place on steel going to the U.S., the focus has shifted to protecting Canadian manufacturers from aggressive competition from abroad.
Read more HERE
The Trudeau Liberals call Bill C-48 the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act.
But it’s not a tanker ban at all. It’s a product blockade. And most of the blocked products are from Alberta.
“This bill is an attempt to further restrict the oilsands,” says Alberta Sen. Doug Black, who promises a major fight on second reading in the fall.
The Alberta NDP pitched in Wednesday with a written request to object at Senate hearings.
Black says: “Bill C-48 is a direct aim at the oilsands and at Alberta’s ability to refine products and ship them. Right to the heart!”
From the northern tip of Vancouver Island to Alaska, the bill would prohibit loading shipments of everything from diluted bitumen to oil and gas condensates.
You have to wonder why, if Ottawa is so keen on banning tankers, the bill didn’t just block ships from coming to port.
It doesn’t do that. Rather, it bans loading of a long list of common crude and refined products, many of which, like propane, could be shipped to Asia.
In her letter to the Senate, Alberta Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd wrote:
“Alberta continues to have serious concerns with this legislation’s treatment of persistent oils, such as partially upgraded bitumen, and particularly condensates.”
Ottawa has steadily added more products to the ban, citing spill concerns.
The province says this shotgun approach threatens billions in revenue and refining projects.
“Many stakeholders are supportive of shipping these products off B.C’s north coast,” says McCuaig-Boyd.
“It is also worth noting that tankers have been safely moving along Canada’s West Coast since the 1930s.”
Read more HERE
Premier Moe says Saskatchewan won't help source oil for Canada if Alberta decides to cut supply
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says he'll stand by Alberta if the province decides to restrict oil exports to pressure British Columbia to abandon its opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.
Moe said he would "absolutely" encourage Rachel Notley, his Alberta counterpart, to cut off domestic exports of its oil.
"If the fuel tanks start to run dry because Premier Notley has turned the tap off, it won't be Saskatchewan filling them up," the premier told CBC Radio's The House.
Though Saskatchewan isn't connected to Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline, the delays in getting the $7.4 billion expansion completed are affecting rail shipments of grain and other products in and out of the province because a lot of oil is moving by train, Moe said.
In early February, B.C. Premier John Horgan proposed restrictions on bitumen shipments that would flow through the expanded pipeline from Alberta to the West Coast. In response, Premier Notley pulled Alberta back from purchasing hydro power and wine from its western neighbour.
B.C. is asking the courts to decide if it has the power to limit how much diluted bitumen can flow through pipelines in the province.
The war escalated a few weeks later when Notley floated the idea of cutting oil shipments from Alberta entirely.
Though the issue revolves around the two westernmost provinces, Moe said he'd back Notley if she decided to cut oil supplies to any market.
"I think she can turn them off to wherever she has access to until we ensure that this pipeline that has been approved by our federal government is starting construction."
Federal government slow to intervene
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has vowed to stand his ground on the expansion, saying it will be built.
"We're just going to reiterate that the decision we made was in the national interest and we're going to move forward with that decision, which means we're going to get the Trans Mountain pipeline built," he said.
But there has been no action since that statement in February — and words alone aren't enough for Notley.
South Africa’s proposed move towards land expropriation without compensation is catching the attention of some very important people across the world.
Peter Dutton, the Australian Home Affairs Minister, certainly qualifies as one of them. He was speaking to the media on Wednesday and said that creating a fast-track visa for “persecuted” white South African farmers was up for consideration:
“If you look at the footage and read the stories, you hear the accounts, it’s a horrific circumstance they face. From what I have seen, they [white South African farmers] need help from a civilised country like ours.”
“We want people who want to come here, abide by our laws, integrate into our society, work hard, not lead a life on welfare. And I think these people deserve special attention and we’re certainly applying that special attention now.”
Fast-track visas for white South African farmers?
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Dutton has directed the Home Affairs Department to explore whether the farmers can be accepted into Australia through refugee, humanitarian or other visas, including the in-country persecution visa category.
The minister’s comments prompted Australian media to report on farm murders in South Africa. This will no doubt be something that Peter Dutton will use to his advantage if he tries to pursue this legislation.
Should farmers get “refugee” status?
The fears over land expropriation without compensation have been developing since Parliament passed an ANC motion, allowing the party to go ahead and implement their redistribution plans.
The DA has staunchly expressed their opposition, claiming that a non-compensatory approach is bad news for the economy. They are against expropriation – which gives land to the state – and favour reform, which aims to focus on issues of restitution.
Dutton completed his address by saying he was “confident” Australia could agree on a deal with the South African government.
In the wake of the Florida student shootings that have galvanized anti-gun Americans and Canadians, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale promised Thursday he will table legislation “within weeks” to complete Liberal gun-control election commitments.
Goodale said he was impressed by U.S. public reaction to the Parkland, Florida, shootings and subsequent decisions by at least two national retail chains in the U.S. to hike the gun-buying age to 21 or stop selling assault-style rifles.
In Canada, the national outdoor equipment retailer Mountain Equipment Co-op reacted quickly Thursday to a sudden and fast-growing online petition and announced it would discontinue lines of sport and outdoor accessory brands owned by a company that also owns Savage Arms Company, one of the biggest gun manufacturers in the U.S. that has a Canadian subsidiary.
“It’s amazing, the commercial and personal outpouring in response to the Florida situation, compared to others where that didn’t seem to happen,” Goodale said. “The impact of this one seems to be far more profound, and may bring about significant change in attitudes.”
Goodale first promised a bill to implement remaining Liberal gun control promises last October, in the aftermath of a mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada, where a lone gunman used several semi-automatic rifles to kill 58 people at an outdoor music festival and injure another 850.
“We’re working on the final detail right now. It’s just about ready to go to the House, not quite, I hope to be table it in Parliament within the next very few weeks.” Goodale told iPolitics.
“Part of the difficulty in this period is we’ve got the budget process and we’ve got these two weeks on (in Parliament), two weeks off, two weeks on, which drives me crazy in terms of logistics,” he said.
Goodale said one of the Liberal promises that might need legislative amendments — a requirement for all vendors to keep records of firearm inventory and sales to assist in police investigations and gun crimes — is already a practice of firearm retailers.
“The requirement that is mentioned in the platform, with respect to commercial inventories, is no different than what (Canadian gun retailers) are already doing, it’s just normal commercial practice, normal practice that is the standard pretty well the right across North America, including places like Arkansas and Texas,” Goodale said.
Goodale last November announced $327 million over five years toward anti-gang programs and a crackdown on gun crime. The Liberal platform promised $100 million annually, but Goodale said the regular annual transfers would begin after the first five-year period ends, in 2012.
Legislative changes would be required for other aspects of the campaign platform, including tightening down on transport permits for prohibited firearms and restricted handguns and rifles, including assault-style semi-automatics that can only be used at licensed gun clubs and shooting ranges.
The Canadian Firearms Registry shows a total of 979 AR-15 semi-automatic rifles — the kind used in the Parkland shootings — registered to individuals, business and museums in Canada to the end of January, 2017.
A total of 6,756 AR-15 variants were registered up to that time, a copy of the registry shows, while an RCMP table released under an access to information request shows a total of 52,131 “AR-15 type rifles and variants” were registered up to the end of December, 2016.