Abbotsford-Huntingdon port of entry

Abbotsford-Huntingdon port of entry

Updated: Pair arrested for human smuggling at Abbotsford border

U.S. residents were caught trying to sneak a man into Canada

Two U.S. residents were arrested at the Abbotsford-Huntingdon border crossing after one of them was discovered hiding inside the truck bed of a pickup.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) said 38-year-old Amando Cody was discovered concealed in a vehicle driven by 45-year-old Valdis Joe on June 22.

When the CBSA officers discovered Cody, they arrested both men and charged them with violating the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).

On June 24, after spending a day in jail, the two men appeared before an Abbotsford Provincial Court judge.

Cody pleaded guilty to one charge of entering Canada without authorization and Joe pleaded guilty to a charge of “knowingly misrepresenting facts that can induce an error in the administration of the act.”

Each was sentenced to time served.

Asked if the pair had been sent back to the U.S., the CBSA issued a written statement that said for privacy reasons, the agency cannot confirm or deny the removal of any one person.

“What we can say is that in general, foreign nationals are considered to be criminally inadmissible if they have been convicted of an offence in Canada and consequently they may be refused entry to, or removed from Canada,” the statement said.

Someone with a criminal conviction in this country must seek a record suspension (formerly a pardon) from the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) before they will be allowed back into Canada.

Canadian immigration law expert Gordon Maynard of the Maynard Kischer Stojicevic law firm in Vancouver said obtaining a record suspension is a lengthy process that cannot even begin until three to five years after the conviction (depending on the nature of the criminal offence).

“They just tossed away their ability to cross the border for some period of time,” Maynard said of the Abbotsford arrests.

U.S. Immigration expert Spencer McGrath-Agg of the Boundary Bay Law firm in Bellingham, Washington said Canadians charged under similar circumstances would be unlikely to spend time in an American jail because a finding of fact can be made “right at the port of entry” by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers without having to wait for a judge.

However, they could be held at the port of entry until the CBP officer makes their ruling, McGrath-Agg added.

Canadians caught trying to sneak into the U.S. could be declared inadmissible and returned to Canada, and would have to seek and obtain a “waiver of inadmissibility” before they could enter the U.S. again.

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