TORONTO — A Canadian retiree says he’s been left with no choice other than to sell his house in Florida after being banned from the United States for what he believes was a long-buried bureaucratic snafu.
Mike Quinn, 70, of Niagara Falls, Ont., has spent the past two years trying to figure out why U.S. authorities dredged up a document from 2000 as evidence he had once claimed to be a U.S. citizen.
“If I can’t get this resolved in the next six months, I’m getting out of the States. Sell everything,” Quinn said. “I’m not asking for forgiveness. I didn’t do anything.”
The professional engineer spent 16 years working in the United States, although he always considered the Ontario border town home. He left the U.S. in 2008 but frequently visited or shopped there using his long-held Nexus trusted traveller card to get across the border.
Quinn estimates he crossed the border more than 100 times — including to spend time at the house he bought in Port Lucie, Fla., in 2010 — without any major problems.
Things, however, changed in November 2014. American agents held him at the border for five hours. They claimed he had falsified his Nexus application by giving his marital status as single. Quinn denied the accusation, and told them he had never been married. The officers took his Nexus card.
He spent months trying to get it back — or at least to get an explanation from either the Americans or Canadians — to no avail.