Currently, individuals with criminal records are inadmissible and cannot apply to become Canadian citizens. For example, US citizens with a DUI on their record will be turned away at the Canadian border. At the very base of this system is an agreement with the US and Canada that developed after the terrorist attacks of 2001. Ever since, the two countries have shared information on individuals’ records that cross between their borders.
A new case has arisen regarding an American citizen who arrived in Vancouver, Canada in 2006 and applied for permanent residence. The individual, Peter G. Rogan, was detained by the Canadian Border Service Agency in May 2008 upon his return from a business trip. Rogan had a $64-million judgment passed against him by the US Government in 2006 shortly after coming to Canada. The case against him is in regards to fraudulent health-care claims, as he was the CEO of Edgewater Hospital in Chicago.
The charges against Rogan would result in a trail if he returned to the US and a maximum prison sentence of 20 years. Currently, Canadian immigration officials believe that Rogan is inadmissible to Canada due to the criminality charges on his record. According to Joanna Vasilekas, the Canadian border agent who detained Rogan on his return from the business trip, the goal is to “prevent Canada from being used as a safe haven by persons who are facing criminal proceedings in another country”.
Rogan’s admissibility hearing is scheduled to be held in the next couple days. Judges would be wise to consider that since Rogan does not face maltreatment upon returning to the US, giving him refugee status should be out of the question. Canada and the US have been long-time allies and it is important to keep up relations. If the situation was reversed Canada would want the US to comply and return citizens who have broken our laws in order for justice to be upheld.