A traveller who authorities say admitted to lying during his immigration interview about plans to seek asylum in Canada was stopped at the Douglas border crossing Wednesday.
Officials with U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Friday that a 39-year-old Afghan citizen was taken into custody by U.S. officers after his refugee claim in Canada was denied.
According to a news release issued Friday (Oct. 7), the traveller received a non-immigrant visa from the U.S. consulate in Kabul, Afghanistan before arriving in Washington, DC on Sept. 28.
"He immediately started his trek to Washington state with the intent of travelling north to Canada," the release states.
"Under oath, the man stated he lied to the consular officer and again to immigration officers about his intent to enter the United States. He said he knew his visa would be denied if he declared his true intentions of asking for asylum in Canada."
The release notes that the Blaine area has seen an increase in the number of northbound non-immigrants who plan to enter Canada to live illegally or claim asylum. A vast majority of these individuals are citizens of Iraq or Afghanistan, it states.
Area port director Kenneth L. Williams described violating the terms of a visa as "a serious crime.
“A large number of non-immigrant visa holders who come to Blaine attempt to enter Canada without inspection. We will continue to work closely with CBSA to keep these people out.”