U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

CBC National correspondent denied entry into United States

Incident Details

Date of Incident
August 25, 2019

Border Stop

Border Point
Washington, D.C.
Target Nationality
US Citizenship Status of Target
U.S. non-resident
Denied Entry?
Stopped Previously?
Asked for device access?
Asked intrusive questions about work?
August 25, 2019

Carolyn Dunn, a national correspondent for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, was denied entry into the United States on Aug. 25, 2019, according to her social media account.

The reporter was traveling to Washington, D.C., to fill in for a colleague when she was refused entry by a border agent, who cited her as “imported labor.”

“Guys, I’ve been refused entry into US. Sections 212 (a) (7) (A) (i) (I). Me going to DC is ‘entry into the labor’ market and I’d be ‘imported labor.’ I’ve never been pulled aside at a US border let alone refused entry,” Dunn tweeted.

Dunn also shared a screenshot on her feed of the Department of State’s website that read “Citizens for Canada and Bermuda do not generally require visas to enter the United States as members of the press or media working in the United States.”

Dunn was later allowed entry into the United States: She tweeted the following day, “Second time’s the charm. Will board for a US bound flight soon.”

Dunn did not respond to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker’s request for comment as of press time.

Customs and Border Protection also did not respond to the Tracker’s request for comment as of press time, but a spokesperson for the agency said in a statement to the Washington Examiner in Aug. 2019, “All travelers to the U.S. must possess valid travel documents. For foreign nationals this includes a current passport and the appropriate visa for their intended purpose of travel. For example, if a Canadian reporter is seeking to enter the U.S. to engage in that profession, that reporter must apply for and be granted an I visa.”

The News Photographers Association of Canada expressed concern over the incident in a statement. “It’s a disturbing trend,” NPAC vice president Ryan McLeod said. “The members of the Canadian press have always had a mostly cordial relationship across borders. It doesn’t matter if it’s television/print/web, freelance or staff; citizens of Canada should not and do not require visas to enter the United States. While Ms. Carolyn Dunn was eventually allowed to board a flight into the United States, it speaks volumes about the current climate.”

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected].