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Fewer Canadians traveling to the United States

Posted at 6:09 PM, Apr 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-17 21:30:21-04

A Washington Post article states that fewer Canadians are traveling to the United States because of President Donald Trump's travel ban. But Canadians we spoke to said that's not the case.

"I will still be doing my trip to New York City even if I have to go by myself," said Barbara McLeod, who's from Fort Erie, Ontario.

McLeod has planned a trip to the Big Apple for quite some time now. After reading the article, she says she still dreams of going there for the first time. However, she had plans to go with a friend, and he has a different opinion.

"The gentleman friend that I want to go with will not go because Donald Trump is President," McLeod said. "Personally, I have no problem with Donald Trump being President!"

"I got my gas filled up and a lady said it's just a nightmare getting over there," said Barb Bredin, who's from Stevensville, Ontario. "I guess from being stopped and being questioned."

For Bredin, the article is not a surprise. But like most Canadians we interviewed Monday afternoon, it's not President Trump's travel ban that's keeping them from crossing the border.

"I travel less to the U.S. but it has nothing to do with Trump," said Robert Brooke, who's from Fort Erie. "It has to do with the dollar exchange!"

"The exchange and the money," said Doreen Arcuri, from Ridgeway. "It's not feasible, you get good sales here, so it doesn't pay to shop over there."

But Akram Shibly, who's a U.S. Citizen and filmmaker in Buffalo says it's his experience at the border that's made him uneasy.

"On the second trip, when I refused to turn over my cellphone, I was assaulted by three officers," said Shibly over the phone. "One grabbed me by the throat, another grabbed my leg, and they reached into my pocket and forcibly removed my cellphone."

He says he believes it's because he's Muslim that each time he crosses, patrol agents ask for his cellphone. Although this policy was used under the Obama Administration, many were not aware this is legal.

"I think it's an invasion of privacy," said Gary Sinclair, from Fort Erie.

"What's on my phone is private," said Bredin.

NPR reports that Customs and Border Protection agents searched a little over 8,000 devices in 2015 and over 23,000 in 2016.