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According to this article in the Winnipeg Free Press, a Polish man visiting family in Canada for the first time was detained by immigration officials for 10 days upon arriving at a Toronto airport.
The man, a successful businessman in Poland, did not speak English, but also did not have a criminal record. He also had all the necessary identification with him.
The man was headed to Winnipeg to visit family, but his family members were not told he was being detained. In addition, Toronto immigration officials called his family to ask questions about his income and the reasons for his visit. According to the article, all the family members knew was that their loved one was late and they had no idea what had happened to him or whether he was okay – and even thought back to the 2007 incident where Polish visitor Robert Dziekanski was Tasered at a Vancouver airport and died.
While the family had not received much of a reason – or apology – for the man being detained for 10 days, the article says that an immigration officer though he might be trying to stay in Canada with a wife and child based on the items in his suitcase. The items, a baby toy and women’s clothing, were gifts for his relatives and not his wife and child – who are in Poland.
The man tried to explain he had a successful business in Poland and had no reason to try to stay in Canada but the immigration officers allegedly did not let him say anything. In addition, the incident proved quite costly – a missed flight and an almost $400 new ticket from Toronto to Winnipeg, in addition to a $5,000 bond that had to be paid to the immigration office.
The man and his family would have probably been in a better position if they had a qualified immigration lawyer on their side to keep communication lines open and keep the family informed, along with having him released from detention sooner.
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