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Mental Illness Grounds for Denying Entrance to U.S.?


"'s valuable information, knowing that perhaps this person may harm themselves."

There are a slew of reasons why those crossing the border -- either way -- between Canada and the United States may be stopped or denied entrance. Here's a new one: mental illness.

CBC News Canada has the story:

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.

. . .

According to diplomatic cables released earlier this year by WikiLeaks, any information entered into the national Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database is accessible to American authorities.

One such person was Lois Kamenitz, 65, of Toronto. Kamentiz tried to enter the United States and went through secondary screening where a customers officer revealed he had a note that police had entered her home. Before she could enter the United States, she had to obtain medical clearance:

“I was really perturbed,” Kamenitz says. “I couldn’t figure out what he meant. And then it dawned on me that he was referring to the 911 call my partner made when I attempted suicide.”

CBC goes on to report Stanley Stylianos, program manager at the Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office, as saying he has heard of more than a dozen similar cases happening at the border and receives calls from those worried they could be stopped:

RCMP Insp. Denis St. Pierre says information on CPIC not only contains a person's criminal record, but also outstanding warrants, missing persons reports and information about stolen property, along with information regarding persons of interest in ongoing cases. It also can contain individuals' history of mental illness, including suicide attempts.

The database contains anything that could alert authorities to a potential threat to public safety and security, and all CPIC information is available to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, St. Pierre says. There are a few exceptions, including information regarding young offenders, which is not available to American authorities.

“If a person is a danger to themselves and the police are dealing with that person in another jurisdiction … it's valuable information, knowing that perhaps this person may harm themselves," St. Pierre says.

CBC contacted the U.S. Department of Homeland Security but they did not respond to their request.

[H/T Drudge Report]

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