American FlagA Vancouver woman is afraid to try to enter the United States after she was held for hours without reason and eventually denied entry at a border crossing — a situation immigration lawyers say is becoming more common.

Software developer Jaklyn De Vos had planned to visit her godfather in Seattle, Wash., in April when she and her partner were brought in for questioning at the Sumas border crossing in Abbotsford, B.C.

After nearly five hours, a border patrol officer told her she was denied entry and that she would need a visa — something not normally required for Canadians at land border crossings — to enter the U.S. again. With no criminal record or history of problems entering the U.S., De Vos said she can’t understand why she has not been given an explanation. The denial didn’t apply to her partner, but the two decided to turn around and return to Vancouver.

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If you get into a similar situation, please ask a border officer that you wish to withdraw your request to enter into the USA. You are allowed to withdraw your request to enter into the USA without any legal obstacle in future. I would also recommend that you document all conversations, carefully, in writing, right after in order to refer back to in any appeal or future proceeding. Finally, I recommend to check your own record through Freedom of Information Act in USA, which is free, to receive your information.