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U.S. Border Police Confiscate $500,000 From A Canadian Family

A warning to other Canadians.
Senior Editor
U.S. Border Police Confiscate $500,000 From A Canadian Family

The U.S.-Canada border is called the "longest friendly international boundary in the world." Indeed, since the Second World War, the two countries have worked to better integrate their economies and develop cultural ties.

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Those efforts produced an alliance that is among the strongest on the planet. The U.S. and Canada even share responsbility for the defense of the entire continent.

That relationship changed irrecoverably after 9/11, when the U.S. began to strictly enforce border security. Suddenly, travellers needed passports to cross between the two countries and communities that straddled the border became divided.

Under the Trump administration, American border security has become only more severe. U.S. border police can seize Canadians' cellphones, deny entry to any individual who has had contact with marijuana, and have even executed raids into Canadian-controlled waters.

The border is the site where rising tension between the United States and Canada become physically manifest. So it's worth remembering that stringent regulations and protocols govern the boundary between the two countries.

Undeclared transfers of large sums of money across the border, for example, are forbidden. Violations of that rule are cause for American border police to seize incoming money.

That's what happened to one Ontario family. When David Saikaley attempted to transfer a family member's inheritance to his home in Ohio, border agents confiscated the entire sum, amounting to a $500,000 loss for the beneficiary in critical condition, according to the CBC.

Saikaley sent the money through the mail in the form of bank drafts. While many know that it is illegal for individuals crossing the border to transport over $10,000 in cash without declaring it, few also know that that restriction also applies to mail and internet transactions.

Despite close connections between the U.S. and Canada, there are still barriers to cross-border transactions and living. Under the current American administration, that's unlikely to change anytime soon.

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