Bill C-23 will give US Customs and Border Protection officers more authority over Canadian citizens traveling to the US. Immigration experts are concerned about the legal implications of Bill C-23 for the current 12 million Canadians who go through preclearance at 8 Canada airports. The bill was first negotiated between the governments of former prime minister Stephen Harper and former US president Barack Obama as part of the Beyond the Border agreement. Canadian federal government has pointed to the fact that the bill establishes that preclearance officers’ duties and functions will be subject to Canadian law.
If passed, Bill C-23 will:
- authorize US Customs agents to question, search and detail Canadian citizen on Canada soil
- allow US border guards to carry guns on Canadian soil
- increase the number of airports in Canada that have US pre-clearance
- require travellers who want to withdraw their application if asked a question they feel is inappropriate to answer questions about why they are withdrawing
- permit US Customs agents to strip search Canadians if their Canadian counterparts are not available to conduct a search when notified
To learn more about Bill C-23, read here.