The following is an excerpt from CBC originally published on March 13, 2017.
A group of church volunteers from Hamilton heading south to do relief work were denied entry to the U.S. for fear they would take American construction jobs, said a spokesperson for the church.
The 12-person contingent from Hamilton's Rehoboth United Reformed Church was travelling by road on the morning of Saturday, March 11, to New Jersey.
Erik Hoeksema, the church's outreach director who was travelling with the group, said they intended to spend March break cleaning up and rehabilitating neighbourhoods affected by Hurricane Sandy.
U.S. border law says Canadians do not require a visa to enter the country for volunteer work, as long as they can provide proof that their work will not be compensated.
'If you can't get a church van with 12 white folks through (the border), how much worse is it for any person of colour?'- Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale of the Reformed Church of Highland Park, New Jersey
Hoeksema says the group was told they had failed to have a letter sent from the host church "paroling" them into the country.