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Canadian accused at U.S. border of 'stealing American jobs'
CBC ^ | March 17, 2009 | Kathy Tomlinson, CBC News

Posted on 03/17/2009 9:17:18 AM PDT by Chief Engineer

A B.C. sales representative who markets equestrian products in Canada was barred from crossing the U.S. border to attend a trade show last month by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer who accused him of trying to steal American jobs.

"He looked at me, and in a yelling voice he said, 'You're friggin' stealing jobs away from American citizens,' and I tried telling him that I wasn't," Joel Borsteinas told CBC News.

Borsteinas, a Canadian citizen, said he's been in business for 15 years, acting as a middleman between U.S. and Canadian suppliers of western wear and equestrian products and Canadian retailers who want to stock the products.

He said he goes to the U.S. half a dozen times a year, to attend trade shows and meet with suppliers who want him to market their products to retailers north of the border. They pay him a commission for every Canadian order he sends to them.

On Feb. 26, Borsteinas said, he was on his way to a trade show in Oregon when he was pulled over at the border and questioned for an hour before being refused entry. He said he's never been stopped at the border before, and he said he always tells the truth about where he is going and why.

Anybody that buys off an American distribution company or an American manufacturer company has some sort of a liaison in Canada," said Borsteinas.

'I'm creating American jobs' "I'm creating American jobs. The (U.S.) companies that I actually work for — I have been in touch with them all — and they still think that this is absolutely crazy."

Borsteinas said the border officer who refused to allow him entry to the U.S. was the supervisor on duty at the time, at the Sumas crossing in southwestern B.C.

"I said, 'Well I don't actually bring the products in. I just write the orders. It's all in Canada,'" said Borsteinas.

He says, 'Oh you are a consultant then.' I says, 'No — I'm just a salesman. I sell to Canadian stores.' And he says 'Nope, you are a consultant,'" said Borsteinas. "Once again, he says 'You are stealing jobs away from us.'"

Borsteinas said he was then fingerprinted and sent back into Canada. The border officer warned him if he tried to enter the U.S. on business again, he should expect to be prosecuted.

More at link.


TOPICS: Business/Economy
KEYWORDS: canada; donutwatch; idiots; uscustoms
I have run into almost the same thing when I return from Canada.
1 posted on 03/17/2009 9:17:19 AM PDT by Chief Engineer
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To: Chief Engineer
If the story is true (if....) then the border patrol guy needs to be given the opportunity to find new employment.

His job wouldn't be "stolen," he gave the damned thing away!

2 posted on 03/17/2009 9:19:23 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: Chief Engineer

As our Govt grows, yes, the FEDS will get more and more aggressive, but at the same time, there is still some responsibility in the system.

Why didn’t he get names and badge numbers, as well as written statements or other records when he was pulled aside. These should be readily available.


3 posted on 03/17/2009 9:21:24 AM PDT by PGR88
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To: r9etb

It is the guys the border patrol doesn’t catch that steal American jobs.


4 posted on 03/17/2009 9:22:27 AM PDT by kabar
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To: Chief Engineer

Hasn’t this guy been made aware of the new pay to play system we have here?


5 posted on 03/17/2009 9:26:24 AM PDT by Spokane (Yeehaw! Change has come to Washington! Free money for everyone!)
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To: Chief Engineer
10 years or so ago my employer sent me (reluctantly) to Canada to troubleshoot and resolve a software problem. I flew into Canada and when I was asked why I was there, I told them. They brought me into an interview room and began questioning me as to why I was doing it, and not some good Canadian engineer. I explained they'd been having the issue a while and were unable to resolve. I explained further we were unable to figure it out from across the border, so they sent me. For 3 hours (no exaggeration, THREE HOURS) we went round and round. At one point he said that they should send me back. So I said "Fine by me. I didn't want to come here to start with...". I picked up my bags and asked them which gate is the flight back to Boston. They called my bluff and I was on a plane back 40 minutes later. Boy was my boss angry.

That was the first time I learned that Canadians really had issues with us.

6 posted on 03/17/2009 9:31:27 AM PDT by theDentist (Qwerty ergo typo : I type, therefore I misspelll)
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To: kabar
It is the guys the border patrol doesn’t catch that steal American jobs.

Well, no, that's completely false ... you've got cause and effect reversed.

There are no jobs to "steal."

The jobs belong to American employers, and some American employers quite often employ illegals rather than Americans.

The roots of the illegal immigration problem (and it is a problem) are to be found on the demand side; the border-crossers (the supply side) are simply taking advantage of the opportunities given to them by American employers.

If you really want to take care of illegal immigration, you might do better to address the demand/employer side of the equation; the illegal immigration problem will go away as soon as you take care of the demand side.

7 posted on 03/17/2009 9:34:24 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: PGR88
One time I went to Canada to take care of some matters for my wife.

My wife's daughter made some HAM sandwich's for me to eat during the trip. This was during the time that the importation of Canadian beef was prohibited.

My lunch was confiscated. I was told that beef could not be imported. No amount of explaining could convince the idiot at the Roosville, MT crossing that the sandwiches were HAM not beef.

P.S., I stopped in Missoula for lunch!

8 posted on 03/17/2009 9:36:25 AM PDT by Chief Engineer
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To: r9etb
The jobs belong to American employers, and some American employers quite often employ illegals rather than Americans.

Au Contraire. It is illegal to hire illegal aliens. Legally, they don't have the choice to employ illegal aliens.

The roots of the illegal immigration problem (and it is a problem) are to be found on the demand side; the border-crossers (the supply side) are simply taking advantage of the opportunities given to them by American employers.

No doubt that jobs are the magnets that draw most of them here--approximately 7 million are working here. American employers can't offer such "opportunties" legally. The problem is that the USG is not enforcing its own laws.

If you really want to take care of illegal immigration, you might do better to address the demand/employer side of the equation; the illegal immigration problem will go away as soon as you take care of the demand side.

As a member of a grassroots organization that lobbies on the Hill and at the state level, we are trying. For example, we would like to have the E-Verify program be made mandatory for any of the stimulus package projects. It was in the House version, but the Senate took it out in the version that came out of conference. The E-Verify program will expire in September, i.e., the six months extension expires.

Our biggest nemisis has been the American Chamber of Commerce, which has bought many Congressmen. It is all about the bottom line. The businesses reap greater profits while the taxpayer subsidizes much of the expenses. Good deal for them, bad deal for us and the country.

9 posted on 03/17/2009 9:46:22 AM PDT by kabar
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To: theDentist

So what ever became of the soft-ware issue...did the Canadians finally find some-one to fix it on their end..or did you have to get sent back again?


10 posted on 03/17/2009 9:47:36 AM PDT by mdmathis6
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To: kabar
Au Contraire. It is illegal to hire illegal aliens. Legally, they don't have the choice to employ illegal aliens.

So? The jobs still belong to the employers. To "steal" a job is to suggest that jobs properly belong to the people whom the employers decide not to hire. "Stealing" jobs is clearly a nonsense idea.

Just as clearly, the matter of "illegality" has very little effect on the Americans who willingly flout those laws. There's much more involved on the demand side of the economic equation than the "no illegals" side of the argument is willing to address.

American employers can't offer such "opportunties" legally. The problem is that the USG is not enforcing its own laws.

The problem is that American workers cost too much relative to the competition; and American employers are looking to trim costs as much as possible. It is exactly the same problem that drives the out-sourcing of American manufacturing to lower-cost countries.

... For example, we would like to have the E-Verify program be made mandatory for any of the stimulus package projects....

Well and good -- but those are predicated on controlling the supply side of the problem, which is merely a response to the underlying economic issues that bring those folks northward.

Part of the problem is high overhead imposed by government, in the form of taxes, paperwork, and so on. Another, bigger, part of the problem is Americans' expectations: we demand more money and benefits as a condition of employment; and we have a welfare system that effectively places a floor on the wages Americans are willing to accept.

11 posted on 03/17/2009 10:02:21 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: theDentist

> That was the first time I learned that Canadians really had issues with us.

100% yes. I’m from BC originally and it’s the infamous “Canadian inferiority complex”. You see, we have been taught/indoctrinated since grade school to hate Americans. That’s what fuels Canadian patriotism, nothing else.

What’s not surprising is that the CBC, the propaganda piece for this hate-America mentality is reporting this like there’s no other news to report. Heck, I;ve already made bets with FReepers that in 2010, the American anthem will be boo’d incessantly at the Olympics. Canadians are a sorry bunch.


12 posted on 03/17/2009 10:07:35 AM PDT by max americana
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To: r9etb
So? The jobs still belong to the employers. To "steal" a job is to suggest that jobs properly belong to the people whom the employers decide not to hire. "Stealing" jobs is clearly a nonsense idea.

I think the terminology of the open borders types is "doing jobs Americans won't do." The jobs may belong to the employers, but they can't hire whomever they want, e.g., illegal aliens. The "stealing" refers to taking jobs away from those legally in this country.

The problem is that American workers cost too much relative to the competition; and American employers are looking to trim costs as much as possible. It is exactly the same problem that drives the out-sourcing of American manufacturing to lower-cost countries.

You are providing a phony justification. Wages are product of supply and demand. Americans and legal residents are not competing on a level playing field when illegal aliens apply for jobs. They are depressing wages.

Well and good -- but those are predicated on controlling the supply side of the problem, which is merely a response to the underlying economic issues that bring those folks northward.

We can only control what we can control. There are billions of people living in dire economic conditions and poverty around the globe. Most of them would love to come here. There is no shortage of applicants. And there are millions of Americans, many of them unskilled, who do not have jobs. The Bureau of Labor statistics for Februay 2009 show an unemployment rate of 8.1% with 12.5 million unemployed and the rate for blacks is 13.4% and Hispanics is 10.9%.

Part of the problem is high overhead imposed by government, in the form of taxes, paperwork, and so on. Another, bigger, part of the problem is Americans' expectations: we demand more money and benefits as a condition of employment; and we have a welfare system that effectively places a floor on the wages Americans are willing to accept.

People need more money to survive. American workers are not the problem. It all goes back to supply and demand. We are bringing in 1.2 million legal immigrants a year and 500,000 to 1 million enter illegally. And about a million more are brought in every year under non-immigrant work visas. Supply is driving down wages.

Our immigration policies will result in this country adding 135 million people in the next 40 years (75% due to immigration) just as those policies caused our population to increase by 100 million since 1970. Immigration, legal and illegal, has had and will continue to have a major and far-reaching impact across a broad spectrum of existential challenges that confront this nation, e.g., national security, the economy/global competitiveness, health care, taxes, energy independence, education, entitlement reform, law enforcement, social welfare programs, physical infrastructure, the environment, civil liberties, and a continued sense of national identity/shared sense of endeavor. In many ways immigration policy is the defining issue of our times with enormous implications for the future of this nation and the preservation of our patrimony. Yet, rarely will you hear immigration mentioned by our political and intellectual elites in connection with these challenges.

13 posted on 03/17/2009 10:22:18 AM PDT by kabar
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To: mdmathis6

They sent myself and another back. At the border we said we were just visiting friends before going to our next stop in Detroit or something. Took a day or 2 but we identified the problem and fixed it. A few months later I left that company.


14 posted on 03/17/2009 10:28:14 AM PDT by theDentist (Qwerty ergo typo : I type, therefore I misspelll)
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To: kabar
The "stealing" refers to taking jobs away from those legally in this country.

And again ... those jobs are not being "taken away" from anybody.

You are providing a phony justification. Wages are product of supply and demand. Americans and legal residents are not competing on a level playing field when illegal aliens apply for jobs. They are depressing wages.

Ironically, your argument for saying that my justification is "phony," just happens to be ... my argument: illegals get hired because they cost less than Americans do.

We can only control what we can control.

And yet you apparently refuse to focus on the demand side, which is the real source of the problem.

People need more money to survive. American workers are not the problem. It all goes back to supply and demand.

Now you're just hiding your head in the sand. The demand is for low-cost workers; the supply of legal workers is asking for more money/benefits than the employers are willing (or able) to pay.

15 posted on 03/17/2009 10:28:59 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: theDentist

yes, I’ve heard from many in this situation that you only get yourself into trouble by telling the truth. If you LIE to them and say you are there to visit Aunt Penny or go to a casino there are no questions asked.

One gets the feeling that those who can’t cut it in drive-thru window school get jobs as Customs Inspectors. (and didn’t Hitler flunk out of Customs Inspector school?)


16 posted on 03/17/2009 10:38:38 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Chief Engineer

Was it lunch time? He probably wanted to eat your sandwiches.


17 posted on 03/17/2009 10:38:58 AM PDT by ViLaLuz (2 Chronicles 7:14)
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To: Chief Engineer

Enforcing the law getting boring? Make up your own!


18 posted on 03/17/2009 11:48:50 AM PDT by Slings and Arrows (Ever think "That'd make a great name for a rock band?" http://twitter.com/newbandnames)
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To: r9etb
And again ... those jobs are not being "taken away" from anybody.

And again, you are wrong. You are making the phony assumption that none of those 7 million plus jobs would be filled if there were no illegal aliens to fill them.

Ironically, your argument for saying that my justification is "phony," just happens to be ... my argument: illegals get hired because they cost less than Americans do.

Of course they are cheaper. The only problem is that it is against the law to hire them.

And yet you apparently refuse to focus on the demand side, which is the real source of the problem.

Demand isn't the problem in this ountry. We have plenty of labor, skilled and unskilled.

Now you're just hiding your head in the sand. The demand is for low-cost workers; the supply of legal workers is asking for more money/benefits than the employers are willing (or able) to pay.

The employers might be willing (or able) to pay if they didn't have access to any more illegal workers. You just don't seem to get it. FYI: We are bring in both skilled and unskilled workers legally to the tune of about one million a year.

19 posted on 03/17/2009 12:08:42 PM PDT by kabar
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To: r9etb

Q & A session with Milton Friedman at the 18th Annual Institute for Liberty and Policy Analysis (ISIL) World Libertarian Conference, August 20-22, 1999, in San Jose, Costa Rica. Co-sponsors: The Mackinac Center for Public Policy; the Atlas Economic Research Foundation.

Q: Dr. Friedman should the U.S.A. open its borders to all immigrants? What is your opinion on that?

A: Unfortunately no. You cannot simultaneously have free immigration and a welfare state.

Q: Do you oppose a unilateral reduction of tariffs and if not how can you oppose open immigration until the welfare state is eliminated?

A: I am in favor of the unilateral reduction of tariffs, but the movement of goods is a substitute for the movement of people. As long as you have a welfare state, I do not believe you can have a unilateral open immigration. I would like to see a world in which you could have open immigration, but stop kidding yourselves. On the other hand, the welfare state does not prevent unilateral free trade. I believe that they are in different categories.

Q: Instead of a green card [resident alien status], can the USA issue a blue card which does not give welfare?

A: If you could do that, that would be fine. But I don’t believe you can do that. It’s not only that it is not politically feasible, I don’t think that it is desirable to have two classes of citizens in a society. We want a free society. We want a society in which every individual is treated as an end in themselves. We don’t want a society in which some people are in there under blue conditions, others are in there under red conditions, others are in there under black conditions. We want a free society. So I don’t believe such ....

I haven’t really ever thought of that system. It’s a new question. I very rarely get a new question, but I must admit that’s a new question for me. And I haven’t really thought about it a great deal, but my initial reaction is that it’s a very undesirable proposal.


20 posted on 03/17/2009 12:11:54 PM PDT by kabar
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To: kabar
And again, you are wrong. You are making the phony assumption that none of those 7 million plus jobs would be filled if there were no illegal aliens to fill them.

I didn't say that.... what I did say is, that the economics of illegal immigration are driven by cost. Americans cost more -- a lot more -- than illegals. A lot of those jobs (especially in agriculture) are only available because of the low wages that illegals will accept. Getting rid of the low-wage workers may well drive many Americans out of business.

Of course they are cheaper. The only problem is that it is against the law to hire them.

Hm. Have you ever wondered about why so many American employers are so blatantly unimpressed by that argument?

Demand isn't the problem in this ountry. We have plenty of labor, skilled and unskilled.

Two sentences that have very little to do with one another. The demand for labor is quite obviously being filled by illegals, and not by those from whom jobs are allegedly being "stolen." The difference in employability between illegal and domestic labor sources has its roots in one thing only: the cost of illegal labor is much, much lower.

The employers might be willing (or able) to pay if they didn't have access to any more illegal workers.

And many of them might well go out of business, too. You have to figure that they're flouting the law for a reason.

21 posted on 03/17/2009 12:27:08 PM PDT by r9etb
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To: r9etb
I didn't say that.... what I did say is, that the economics of illegal immigration are driven by cost. Americans cost more -- a lot more -- than illegals. A lot of those jobs (especially in agriculture) are only available because of the low wages that illegals will accept. Getting rid of the low-wage workers may well drive many Americans out of business.

What kind of logic is that? It sounds like the same reasoning that went into the slave trade. Hiring illegal workers as a cheap, inexhaustible supply of labor is AGAINST THE LAW. Are you suggesting that we change the law or open the borders?

Hm. Have you ever wondered about why so many American employers are so blatantly unimpressed by that argument?

Because the USG has not been enforcing its own laws and the US taxpayer is subsidizing the costs in terms of health care, education, and other social benefits. Tomorrow, the Center for Immigration studies will be issuing a new report on the impact of Immigration Enforcement in the Meatpacking industry. I will send it to you tomorrow and you can see how Swift was able to deal with the raids on their plants. Hint: They were able to find replacement AMERICAN workers and they paid them more.

Two sentences that have very little to do with one another. The demand for labor is quite obviously being filled by illegals, and not by those from whom jobs are allegedly being "stolen." The difference in employability between illegal and domestic labor sources has its roots in one thing only: the cost of illegal labor is much, much lower.

Why do you keep stating the obvious? Of course they are cheaper, which is why they are attractive. You don't have to provide them with the same benefits that are required by law. The point is that they are illegal and businesses are prohibited by law from hiring them. The foundation upon which this country is built is the rule of law. Businesses that hire illegals should be punished severely.

And many of them might well go out of business, too. You have to figure that they're flouting the law for a reason.

Pure BS. It is up to them to comply with our existing laws or have them changed. We already bring in one million guest workers thru programs like H1B, H2B, etc. I don't understand where you are coming from.

22 posted on 03/17/2009 12:57:20 PM PDT by kabar
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To: Chief Engineer

I had the opposite happen. About 15 years ago I went to Canada to visit some companies with our Canadian sales rep. When I went through Canadian customs I slipped on the verbiage a bit and it came off to them that I was up there offering these Canadian companies a service.

I was detained for nearly half an hour and they went through all of the regs, licensing and tax requirements if I were up there providing a commercial service. We finally cleared it up but in my return trips over the years I’ve learned to just say “accompanying our Canadian rep on some customer visits” even though I was the one providing the particular support service. Never run into that in any other country I’ve visited on business.


23 posted on 03/17/2009 2:43:52 PM PDT by NewHampshireDuo (Earth - Taking care of itself since 4.6 billion BC)
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To: Chief Engineer
"They took our jaaabs!"
24 posted on 03/17/2009 3:04:58 PM PDT by Oztrich Boy ( As for a future life, every man must judge for himself between conflicting vague probabilities. - D)
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To: Chief Engineer
Canuckistan expats living overseas are a rather silly bunch also.

Especially the ones supposedly teaching "english" to kindergarden=age children.

Which is "illegal" in some countries.
25 posted on 03/17/2009 8:01:11 PM PDT by Tainan (Where's my FOF Indicator?)
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To: Tainan

Ahem this man was coming to the U.S. and going back to Canada to sell American produced goods to Canadian companies! The border guard was wrong! Did you read the story?


26 posted on 03/17/2009 8:09:09 PM PDT by Chief Engineer
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To: Chief Engineer
"Did you read the story?"

2 times. Word for word. I agree with your opinion on the border guards actions.
Apologies for going off topic with my comment. I was responding to some general comments re:Canadians and the seeming inferiority complex some of them possess.
No thread hijack intended.
27 posted on 03/17/2009 9:42:35 PM PDT by Tainan (Where's my FOF Indicator?)
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To: Tainan

Please don’t tar all Canadians with the same brush, my wife is a Canadian and is extremely law abiding!


28 posted on 03/17/2009 9:46:38 PM PDT by Chief Engineer
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