Dept of Homeland Security Shocker: Denies Canadians with Mental Illnesses Entry to U.S.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Fans of Janet Napolitano’s Dept of Homeland Security have their work cut out for them to defend this.

According to the Canadian Broadcast Corporation, more than a dozen Canadians have told the Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office in Toronto within the past year that they were blocked from entering the United States after their records of mental illness were shared with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Lois Kamenitz, 65, of Toronto contacted the office last fall, after U.S. customs officials at Pearson International Airport prevented her from boarding a flight to Los Angeles on the basis of her suicide attempt four years earlier.

Kamenitz says she was stopped at customs after showing her passport and asked to go to a secondary screening. There, a Customs and Border Protection officer told Kamenitz that he had information that police had attended her home in 2006.

“I was really perturbed,” Kamenitz says. “I couldn’t figure out what he meant. And then it dawned on me that he was referring to the 911 call my partner made when I attempted suicide.”

Brad Benson from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security says medical records aren’t shared between countries. However, “if you have an arrest record, Canada would share that with us,” he says.

If a police encounter includes information about mental health, Benson says front-line officers can use it.

“Mental illness is actually under our law as a reason that you may not get admitted,” he says. “The issue is always going to be: could someone be a danger to someone [else]?”

According to diplomatic cables released earlier this year by WikiLeaks, any information entered into the national Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database is accessible to American authorities.

This entry was posted in Canada, Homeland Insecurity, International News, Janet Napolitano, News, Privacy, USA and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Dept of Homeland Security Shocker: Denies Canadians with Mental Illnesses Entry to U.S.

  1. Jolly Roger says:

    This isn’t particularly surprising; the Canadians, themselves, have rules that look a lot like these. And we do have more than our fair share of teh crazy to begin with…

  2. Fran says:

    If that person detained only had one incident & that was used as a reason/excuse to deny entry, that that is disturbing. Are jay walking & littering going to be the next legal offenses that put you on a watch list?

  3. Pingback: Dept of Homeland Security Shocker: Denies Canadians with Mental … » Security Ops | We test your lines of defense

  4. PUMA Lisa 1972 says:

    Very troubling. Medical records are no ones business. Including mental health records.

  5. Stephen Iversonn says:

    As an American, I would assume my own government would not behave in ways that further the stigma associated with a mental health condition.

    Denying entry into the USA because assumes you could be unstable, violent or dangerous because you have a mental health condition. A recent study said 40% of Europeans suffer from mental health issues. Are we to deny entry to the USA of 40% of travelers originating from Europe? This is nonsense and discriminatory.

    Consider some of the harmful effects of such discrimination Americans face at home can include:

    Lack of understanding by family, friends, colleagues or others you know
    Discrimination at work or school
    Difficulty finding housing
    Bullying, physical violence or harassment
    Health insurance that doesn’t adequately cover your mental illness
    The belief that you will never be able to succeed at certain challenges or that you can’t improve your situation

    I suppose it is of no surprise that Homeland Security — a branch of the federal government after all, would maintain such an entry policy when the agency is nothing more than a reflection of the beliefs of the greater society.

  6. Marcus Ybanez says:

    I find this ironic to say the least. So, the medical record of Canadians who tried to commit suicide have been passed along to Janet Napolitano but, the criminal background record of the Christmas shoe bomber was not?

    What am I missing here?

  7. TOM339 says:

    America becomes more and more like the old Soviet Union each day.

    The USSR practiced systematic, state-sponsored political abuse of psychiatric patients every day, using such medical conditions as anxiety, depression and bi-polar to obstruct universal human rights of these groups.

    Russia confined mentally ill citizens to prisons versus offering them treatment and used their illness as a tool to carry out illegal and legal repression. Soviet psychiatric hospitals were nothing short of political prisons to isolate hundreds or thousands of political prisoners from the rest of society, discredit their ideas, and break them physically and mentally.

    Especially Russian citizens who dared to challenge their government. I guess one day soon we will all meet in some gulag in Texas or West Virginia.

  8. ajihani says:

    We won’t let a Canadian enter the U.S. who once suffered from depression and attempted suicide but we turn a blind eye to Mexican drug cartels who enter the U.S. to set-up marijuana farms in rural, Mendocino, CA? You know what? The U.S. deserves to collapse. I mean it.

  9. Bill Hussein O'Reilly says:

    What kind of shit is this, Janet Napolitano? You fugly dyke.

    If mental illness is a deal breaker for being in the USA, then everyone from Barack Obama, to John Boehner, to Mitch McConnell, to George W. Bush, to Dick Cheney, to Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann, would summarily to deported.

  10. Rendaculous says:

    I don’t know about any of you but, depressed people terrify the hell out of me. Not! Get a fucking clue, Janet. Mental illness is an illness just like diabetes or heart disease.

  11. polishifter says:

    Tea Baggers want to cut government spending. Why don’t they start with DHS? It’s a colossal waste of money and one of the largest expansions of government ever. It’s extremely intrusive and cuts away at our Freedom. DHS should be the number one Tea Bagger target. Instead they focus on …. welfare and food stamps…why?

    DHS is nothing but a propaganda outlet for the Government to keep everyone scared and so they can keep justifying massive wasteful military spending to keep enriching the Military Industrial Complex. Eisenhower would be ashamed.

  12. VicoDANIEL says:

    Yes, Yes, Yes, to the recommendation from Polishifter.

    Homeland Security is a $58 billion dollar boondoggle. Every fiscal year they ask for, and receive, more money from the U.S. Congress and for what? This department is accountable to no one and the American taxpayer just keeps writing the checks to them.

    Homeland Security now includes public affairs, legislative affairs, health affairs, intelligence affairs, immigration, narco enforcement, TSA, US Customs and Borders, FEMA, Secret Service, and the Coast Guard. I half expect Obama to put the IRS under the Homeland Security umbrella too as he seizes federal income returns from Americans who refuse to buy Obama Care plans.

    We don’t need a monster-sized agency like this. It’s too big and unwieldy.

    vicodaniel1987@yahoo.com

  13. DMason says:

    Fine. Since 60% of Americans are said to suffer from some degree of mental illness, I hope the Canadians demand access to our medical records and then refuse to allow any and all American citizen into Canada if they have been diagnosed with depression, OCD or anxiety disorder. Turn about is fair play.

  14. Each time a story like this appears, I understand more and more why the Obama administration was freaked out about the Wikileaks cables becoming public.

    The legacy of the U.S. government isn’t always good and this is one of those examples.

    As for the above comments, I agree with everyone. The Dept. of Homeland Insecurity is completely out of control and is behaving in ways that suggests the people at the top have a mental illness that causes paranoia.

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