Living just an hour and a half from the Canadian border, stories about border incidents are always of keen interest to me. To be sure, we get stories about the mistreatment of Muslim citizens at the northern border on a regular basis, so much so that it’s really old news at this point.
It’s troubling to me how uncontroversial this policy has become, and doubly so because I’m finding myself less and less surprised by stories of multi-hour detentions, long interrogation sessions, and shocking hostility towards American citizens attempting to re-enter the country at a border which I recall during my college days as being essentially open.
But these hassles apparently do not begin and end with people of Muslim faith or Middle Eastern ethnicities. I was listening to the Toronto Vegetarian Podcast while working this afternoon, and was surprised when the conversation, normally centered around cuisine, books, and dining locations, turned to border crossings.
The idea that they’re detaining (however briefly) vegetarians at the border is to me quite a surprise, and the questions they were asked are simply scandalous. What business is it of the US border patrol what reason a random Canadian citizen has chosen for not eating meat? What possible consideration should that be given in entering America and, perhaps most importantly, is there some “wrong answer” that would cause them to be denied entry?