US & Canada

Americans are increasingly blocked at Canada border - report

A Canadian Customs and Fisheries officer watches over the U.S.-Canada border between Blaine, Washington and White Rock, British Columbia November 8, 2001 in White Rock, BC. The Peace Arch border crossing is one of the busiest crossings in North America Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The number of Americans denied entry to Canada has been growing

The number of American citizens turned away at the Canadian border has reportedly jumped significantly in recent years.

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) figures obtained by Montreal newspaper La Presse suggest 31% more US citizens were turned away last year than 2015.

In 2016, 30,233 Americans were sent back at the boundary compared to 23,052 the year before.

The report comes amid concerns in Canada about travel to the US.

La Presse also reports that in 2014, just 7,509 US citizens were refused entry to Canada.

An immigration lawyer told the paper that the spike in people turned away was probably in part because of the increased sharing of data and information, including criminal records, between Canada and the US.

The CBSA said in a statement that the numbers fluctuate from year-to-year and they "will not speculate as to reasons for the increase".

Despite concerns in Canada about whether it is becoming more difficult to cross into the US, figures provided by US Customs and Border Protection indicate the number of people being denied entry at that boundary is in line with previous years.

In fiscal year 2014, 28,875 people were turned away at the Canada-US frontier.

In 2015 it was 27,311. In 2016, it was 28,584.

A lot of border anxiety in Canada is thought to be linked to the Trump administration's proposed travel ban, which has been suspended indefinitely pending court challenges.

Organisations such as the Girl Guides of Canada have put trips to the United States on hold until further notice because they fear problems at the border.

Canada's largest school board also recently cancelled new school trips to the US.

The Toronto District School Board announced the decision this month citing "uncertainty" with regards to who may be affected by US President Donald's Trump's latest travel restrictions.

A few other schools across Canada have also decided to temporarily halt travel to the US.

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