Toronto, Feb. 15 (AFP): The Canadian government has said it will investigate what happened to a Canadian woman, who was pulled aside at Chicago’s O’Hare airport and deported to India after US officials accused her of obtaining a false passport.
Berna Cruz was in tears on January 27 when the US immigration and naturalisation service officials denied her consular assistance, cut the front page of her passport and threatened her with jail after suspecting her passport was fake, the Toronto Star reported.
“We’re aware of the case concerning Ms Cruz and Canadian officials are investigating the incident,” said department of foreign affairs spokeswoman Marie-Christine Lilkoff.
“Canadian officials in Washington will discuss the matter with American officials once we’re fully aware of all of the facts,” the spokeswoman added.
The American officials, who believed that she obtained her passport in Sri Lanka, photographed, finger-printed and barred Cruz from re-entry to the US for five years.
They also marked all of her passport pages with “expedited removal” stamps.
“It was a total abuse,” Cruz told the daily, saying she was repeatedly denied a phone call to consular officials.
The US officials refused to listen to her when she denied the passport was fake and offered other identification cards.
“It was humiliating. What I felt was that it was total discrimination, racism,” she said, noting that she was taken to an airport room with other dark-skinned people.