A Hamilton man is selling his home in Florida, because he cannot enter the U.S. Ken Drake says he’s travelled to the states more than 100 times but two days after Trump’s inauguration, he was turned away because of a minor theft conviction from 47 years ago when he was 17.
Ken Drake left Hamilton’s central police station after trying once again to look for records that no longer exisit. He was 17, when he moved out of an apartment in Hamilton and says he accidentally took floral picture frames from the unit. He was charged with theft over $50.
It happened in 1970 and when he packed up his truck and trailer to head down to his Florida home with his wife on January 22nd, something he’s done many times he was denied.
“They always ask, and I say yeah, when I was 17 I was convicted with something and its never been an issue. But this time they said that it shows up on the computer that I was convicted at 18 and now they don’t have to let me in.”
Drake needs to prove that he was 17, a minor when he was charged but the RCMP, Hamilton’s court house and Hamilton police only have records of the date he appeared in court, which was less than a month after his 18th birthday at which point he was an adult.
Safety and security consultant David Hyde says Canadians, like the rest of the world, are going to have to get used to this kind of border security.
“This is the philosophy of the Trump administration. They are very strict on borders, very strict on immigration and unfortunately when you are that strict it paints a very wide brush.”
In the meantime, Drakes dreams of retiring in Florida are dwindling away. To regain access to the U.S he also needs 2 letters of recommendation and pay a $585 fee. Then he has to wait 10 to 20 months to hear back from border security and even so he still may never be able to travel to the states again.