The U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act Section 212

A Canadian who is a paraplegic and has a mental illness was denied entry to the United States of America. The denial of entry was based on a previous hospitalization for clinical depression. I am not personally alarmed as they have many reasons for my exclusion. Here follow the lawful reasons for exclusion of an alien.

The U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act Section 212,  (I) to have a physical or mental disorder and behavior associated with the disorder that may pose, or has posed, a threat to the property, safety, or welfare of the alien or others, or

(II) to have had a physical or mental disorder and a history of behavior associated with the disorder, which behavior has posed a threat to the property, safety, or welfare of the alien or others and which behavior is likely to recur or to lead to other harmful behavior, or

I could have a nosebleed and be denied entry. I would in fact be a threat to someone’s property were I to bleed on their carpet. I would likely be a threat to my own property. I could bleed on my blue suede shoes. It appears to me a fairly inclusive grouping of words. It provides a failsafe to deny entry. More power to them. A country can exclude anyone they choose but it crosses a line when in fact it is discriminatory.

Discrimination is a verb for stigma. I see the words physical disorder but I can’t imagine a threat from a physical illness and any there may be would likely prevent the said alien from day tripping across the border. Does diabetes pose a threat? Epilepsy? Cancer? Amputation? Heart disease? Scoliosis? Hemorrhoids? Are my crutches a weapon? The National Rifle Association laughs. It seems the word physical is thrown in for appearance. I would be curious to know the numbers who are denied entry for a physical disorder and how many are excluded because their disorder was mental.

This reveals an underlying misconception about mental illness. It is associated with violence when only 3% of violence in society is attributable to mental illness. To find threat in depression is odd to me. I might have been a risk to the bed sheets for not caring to get up and change them but little more. I guess the laughable part is that it is unlikely someone who is depressed and therefore a risk would want to go on a cruise ship. I would think that behaviour would be significant proof that any such threat to be found in depression is almost guaranteed immobilized.

The only reason I am even commenting on the United States of America is because they espouse so much more and because I am sincerely concerned for Canadians. What about the Canadian who will suffer in silence at this news. They may forego treatment because they have relatives in the U.S. Possibly they cottage, or have their family reunion in the U.S. I for one would seriously consider going undiagnosed or untreated if the circumstances were such. The condo in Florida is worthless if your depression is a threat. We are talking about one in 7 adults (13.4%) who will experience symptoms that met the criteria for a mood disorder at some point during their lifetime. Depression is a mood disorder nowhere near violence or virus.

If all countries were to profile and turn away aliens with a history of mental illness there would be a few less border guards. Using rough calculation 7 million Canadians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime. If you consider that the average spending per person on an overnight trip to the U.S. by a Canadian is $705.00 it begins to add up. Personally, I have been to Florida several times for a week or two. If you consider I was with family each time it becomes staggering. The Americans can take it or print some more, it doesn’t matter to me. I have enough space to stretch my legs and lift my spirit. Canada has shorelines and mountains. We have Polar bears, muskeg and cities. If I am an undesirable alien because of a mental illness the delusion is America’s.

I don’t know if it adds to my argument but 7 presidents of the United States of America are confirmed to have suffered from depression. John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Quincy Adams, Franklin Pierce, Abraham Lincoln and Calvin Coolidge.

As I know you’re probably eavesdropping Barak I would enjoy an explanation. I dropped the C because you need to.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s