Here is a letter from the ICC to Minister Goodale about Bill C-23, The Preclearance Act.
Kind Attention: Honourable Ralph Goodale
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Dear Minister Goodale,
The Iranian Canadian Congress (ICC) is a non-profit, non-religious, and non-partisan organization whose mandate is to defend and advance the interests of Canadians of Iranian descent. We are writing to convey to you our views on Bill C-23, the Preclearance Act. The Congress is very concerned about the negative repercussions Bill C-23 will have on Canadians who attempt to cross the US-Canada border and urges your government to remove those parts of the Bill which endanger the dignity and safety of Canadians.
We believe that this Bill is against the interests of all Canadians, especially those with dual nationality status from countries like Iran, under any circumstances, but especially so in view of the new US administration’s xenophobic rhetoric. According to our analysis, this bill will allow discrimination and unlawful detention of Canadians by US authorities at the border, and may especially affect immigrant communities from Muslim majority countries, such as the Iranian-Canadian community.
This Bill denies Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents the right to walk out of interviews conducted by border guards and return to Canada at their discretion. This means that border agents can ask deeply personal questions and conduct unreasonable searches of Canadians without any recourse for those individuals. Failure to answer such questions or submit to these searches will put travelers into undesirable and even dangerous situations, including detention by U.S. authorities. Such actions and the privileges given to U.S. border agents may even be considered a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which the Canadian government has a duty to safeguard and protect.
We therefore ask you and your Government to withdraw or amend the particular provisions of the proposed Bill C-23 that endow the above named excessive powers to U.S. border agents on Canadian soil and protect all Canadians’ rights and dignity at the border.