Wealthy philanthropist inexplicably rejected for Nexus pass
CTV British Columbia
Published Friday, April 12, 2013 7:15PM PDT
Last Updated Friday, April 12, 2013 7:17PM PDT
If you’ve ever applied for the Nexus border crossing program and been rejected without explanation, you’re in good company.
Retired B.C. businessman Stan Hrescak, an 81-year-old who has donated millions of dollars to the St. Thomas More Collegiate in Burnaby, recently had an application unceremoniously rejected for the second time.
“I recognize these people have a right to deny me, but I’d like to know why,” Hrescak said.
The wealthy philanthropist said his record is squeaky-clean, despite a single speeding ticket 40 years ago, and that at one point in his life he even had military clearance to enter the U.S.
But the rejection letter he received from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection simply said, “You do not meet the program eligibility requirements.”
Nexus passes, introduced in 2002, were created to let low-risk travelers breeze through the often busy border crossings between the U.S. and Canada.
But applicants must first undergo a thorough approval process, including a background check of any potential issues regarding crime, customs, immigration, agriculture and terrorism.
They also must submit to fingerprint checks and an interview with a border officer.
Hrescak said he assumes there was a mix-up with his application, and that his wife Jeanette’s was actually approved.
But Washington State immigration lawyer Len Saunders said he’s seeing more and more rejections for unspecified reasons.
“I’ve definitely seen a trend,” Saunders said, adding that even when applicants successfully appeal the decision “they don’t tell you why they were rejected in the first place.”
After CTV News contacted U.S. customs, they agreed to look over Hrescak’s application over the weekend. Saunders said he’s hopeful for a positive outcome.
“I’m hoping his case is reviewed thoroughly and get a Nexus card because I think he deserves it,” he said.
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Mi-Jung Lee