A young woman from Gatineau, Que., says she was strip-searched and stranded in Windsor, Ont., in the middle of the night by U.S. border officials.
Vroemen, who studies theatre at Concordia University, set off from Montreal on May 5 on a Greyhound bus. She had found the volunteer job in California through World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, and planned to spend a month helping run art workshops at the farm. She thought she would explore the U.S. by bus on the way there.
Just as an aside, I rode the Dog from Los Angeles to Phoenix a few years ago. Great opportunity to learn foreign languages.
The bus arrived at the Windsor-Detroit border at 2 a.m., and Vroemen was interviewed about her plans by a U.S. border guard.
"He was trying to make it seem like … because I was getting room and board, that was considered being paid," said Vroemen, who had previously volunteered through WWOOF in Europe. "He told me that I was taking jobs from American citizens because I was going to help out on this community workshop."
Note to the border guard: As I drive the length of California, I pass many, many farm workers out in the fields picking lettuce and celery and stuff. There ain't a Canuck among 'em. You're doing a great job of protecting the U.S. and this time you've outdone yourself by protecting us from a Canadian college kid who was going to wreak havoc on our economy by volunteering at an artsy-fartsy hippie organic farm for room and board on her summer break. Bravo!
I think you deserve a promotion. I think you need to be promoted to our southern border and work your magic there and give more Americans the opportunity to do the stoop labor they're clamoring for. Of course, the northern border will be left undefended and the next time I drive down California all the farm workers might be Canadian. It's a chance I'm willing to take.
To Miss Vroemen: On behalf of whatever sane Americans remain, I apologize.