I am already restricted from entering the United States because not only does the Immigration and Naturalization Service have the authority to ban me from even visiting, due to my HIV status, the very fact that I know about this puts me at higher risk of being prosecuted. This measure, enacted during the Reagan years, came into play rather publicly post-9/11 when a Canadian man was refused entry to attend the funeral of his partner, killed in the WTC attacks, because his HIV medications were found in his luggage.
It is also why the International AIDS Society has consistently refused to hold its huge conferences on U.S. soil, whereas Canada is among several countires that has played host – to two so far (in Montreal and Vancouver) – and the next will be in Toronto this August.
This all comes to mind as our new, hopefully quite temporary, Prime Minister Stephen Harper did not get President Bush to budge on the matter of requiring passports of anyone travelling to or from the United States. This may seem like a no-brainer but Canada-U.S. visitors have never had to provide more than a birth certificate and this passport requirement is seen as a bad omen for tourism on both sides of the border.