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US Entry Waivers and Strange Border Security Practices

mudslide video of our team- EAP… earplugs might be needed. pardon the screaming. ;P last words: Define MUD!
Video Rating: 5 / 5

As with any other country, the United States has a process in place to secure its border against unsavoury characters attempting to gain entry. Its border with Canada, officially known as the International Boundary, is the longest shared border between any two countries on Earth, so it would seem natural to expect that the system of checks is extremely comprehensive and well-defined. While this is mostly the case, we will see that there are some very odd exceptions that seem to run counter to the entire idea of border security.

When crossing the border from Canada to the US, all Canadian citizens must declare (by law) whether they have ever been arrested and if they have a criminal record, which is obtained by having any charge levelled against you. Note that you must declare your criminal record even if you have been granted a pardon, as the US doesn’t recognize them. The United States Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) considers having a criminal record as sufficient grounds to deny entry.

If you do not mention your arrest history or criminal record, several things can occur.

If you are not yet in the United States, the CBP:

may simply deny you entry and inform you that you must apply for a Waiver of Ineligibility (US Entry Waiver) if you wish to get in
may confiscate your vehicle and other property
may detain you at a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) enforcement facility while they determine your eligibility
may deem you permanently unqualified to enter the country

If you make it past the border, you:

may be arrested and deported. If you ever wish to re-enter the US, you will have to fill out Form I-212: Permission to Reapply for Admission into US after Deportation or Removal (not the same as an entry waiver).
might be home free. If the DHS has never accessed your profile and you have been pardoned, your criminal history may not come up on a check. Of course, there’s no way to know if they’ve ever accessed your profile, and simply making it through once doesn’t mean you’re in the clear forever. They may just not have checked that time.

It is important to remember that if you apply for and are granted a US Entry Waiver prior to attempting to visit the States, all of these contingencies simply collapse into one: Welcome to America. However, in the case of certain crimes, a waiver isn’t even necessary. The American government determines some convictions as not involving moral turpitude, meaning they aren’t contrary to community standards of good morals. Oddly enough, among them are:

Drunk Driving only ‘simple’ drunk driving (no aggravating factors)

Smuggling only if the intent to commit fraud was not present

Vehicular Homicide only negligence must be proved to be convicted of vehicular homicide (involuntary) and recklessness makes it a crime involving moral turpitude

Carrying a Concealed Weapon
Escaping from Prison
Immigration Violations
Loan Sharking
Failure to Register as a Sex Offender

It certainly seems as if those would be contrary to community standards of good morals. Equally as strange, “Taking part in a conspiracy (or attempting to take part in a conspiracy) to commit a crime involving moral turpitude where the attempted crime would not itself constitute moral turpitude” is a crime involving

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