A young woman from British Columbia was issued a lifetime ban at the U.S. border after officials found an email, between herself and her doctor, about a fentanyl overdose she survived a year ago.
Peppered with questions about drugs while crossing the Washington-British Columbia border, the 28-year-old woman whose name is being withheld, said her phone was searched for two hours by U.S. border agents, reported Vice.
After her phone was searched, she admitted to using illegal drugs in the past, including cocaine.
“It was super violating—I couldn’t believe they went into my sent emails folder and found something from a year ago that was addressed to my doctor,” said the woman referred to as Chelsea. “It was really humiliating, and it felt terrible having to bring that up.”
In the summer of 2016, Chelsea accidentally ingested and overdosed on fentanyl given to her by a friend at a party. The friend overdosed and died that same night. Since then, Chelsea has been totally drug free.
In a blatant invasion of her privacy, U.S. border guards read an email about this incident between Chelsea and her personal physician and on that basis, banned her from entering the United States.
Having visited the U.S. this past April, when they checked her phone at the border and allowed her to enter, Chelsea assumed that on this recent occasion, it was a mistake.
In addition to asking about the overdose she survived, the border agents asked her questions about an abusive relationship she’d previously been in.
“That part actually made me start crying because… Is that any of your business? My past abusive relationships? I couldn’t believe that,” she said.
It is not just hard drug use that can keep you from being denied entry into the U.S.
The Trump administration’s crackdown on marijuana is also being enforced at the borders.
Under Trump, searches of personal devices like computers and cellphones have skyrocketed, to more than 5,000 a month.
And if a foreign national is asked to hand over a device to a border agent, and declines, access to the U.S. can be denied.
Check here for some good advice on how to avoid the outrageous and humiliating invasion of privacy Chelsea from Canada endured.