Canadian Border Crackdown May Keep Bush from Trade Summit
Jennifer C. Berkshire
Global Press Service
Quebec City, Canada
QUEBEC CITY -- Tough new enforcement of immigration laws at the Canadian
border has prompted concern that President George W. Bush may have trouble
entering the country for the Summit of the Americas, scheduled to begin on
In preparation for the Summit, authorities have implemented unprecedented
security precautions at the border, including checking the arrest records of
every entrant into Canada. Now, say some officials, those measures may even
be extended to Summit participants
including George W. Bush.
`We are looking for any history of criminal activity, any evidence that a certain individual may be harmful to himself or the Canadian people,`said
Francois de Rigaud, an immigration official in Quebec.
Yesterday, border police at the Derby crossing in Vermont refused entrance
to a prominent New England labor leader, on the grounds that he had been
arrested during a Vietnam-era protest in 1971.
The exclusion of the labor official, who was to have participated in an
international pre-Summit meeting starting last night, has triggered
speculation that President Bush himself may have difficulty crossing the
border, due to a conviction for drunken driving in 1976.
`We`re obviously concerned,`said one Republican party leader close to the
President. `We weren`t aware that the Canadians were going to be checking
Ąsked earlier this year about the DUI arrest, President Bush expressed
sorrow over the incident. ``I regret drinking while intoxicated,`` he said,
``but I was never under anybody`s influence at the time.``