Vive Le Canada

Crossing the U.S. border
Date: Sunday, August 07 2011

By Syed Hussan

"We are just here to ask you some questions Syed."

Said the younger, shorter man who introduced himself as Ryan. This other one said his name was Dave. "We are from the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Air Marshall Service." Badges flashed and taken away.

Its 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 28, 2011. I've just been put in an interview room with blood stains on the floor and clothes strewn around. I've been at the United States border, the Peace Bridge, since 4:45.

"I understand you are under house arrest, Syed."

"No, I am not."

"I see, why are you trying to enter the United States today, Syed."

I've already been interrogated by Customs and Borders Patrol, by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, by plain clothes men that declined to introduce themselves and I am exhausted.

"Look as I told the last five people, I was arrested with 1,100 people during the anti-G20 protests in June 2010, and I am awaiting trial. My house arrest was lifted a month ago. My mom was diagnosed with cancer last week, she's just had surgery and I need to go see her. I am just here to go to the Canadian consulate, get a Canadian re-entry visa, so that I can get back into Canada on my way back from Pakistan. I have had my bail conditions changed to allow that. The embassy closes in 30 minutes, why am I being held here?"

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