At a recent event for the Center for American Progress Action Fund, controversial liberal mouthpiece Rev. Al Sharpton threatened to leave the United States if Donald Trump becomes the next president. Of course, he didn’t mention any particular destination; he merely said “I’m reserving my ticket to get out of here if he wins.” Since many celebrities, such as Raven-Symone and Miley Cyrus, have specified Canada as their destination, one can assume that Sharpton may have his sights on our neighbor to the north.
But, if that is the case, Al Sharpton– and many others– will be rudely surprised when they reach the border. Why? Because Canada, unlike the United States, has very strict laws when it comes to allowing persons with criminal convictions from entering their country.
According to Canada’s TRP (Temporary Resident Permit) website, it is clearly stated that any US citizen with a criminal record may be denied entry to Canada because of “criminal inadmissibility”. The government website states:
Any person wishing to visit Canada needs to meet all the requirements of Canadian Immigration Law before he or she will be permitted entry. Under Canada’s health and security regulations, foreign nationals with a criminal conviction (including misdemeanor DUI/DWI) may be considered inadmissible to enter Canada unless they are granted special permission from the Canadian Government.
Even if “special permission” is granted, don’t get too comfortable– If you have a criminal record, at best, you will be offered a Temporary Resident Permit. The key word here is temporary. The permit is good for a maximum of three years. Therefore, unless Trump dies in office or is impeached, you’ll still have to come back.
As for Rev. Sharpton, his tax evasion conviction alone is a disqualifier for citizenship. In 1993, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for failing to file a state income tax return. So, sorry Rev– looks like you’ll be staying put. At least until the millions owed in back taxes are paid back. With a criminal rap sheet that goes back to 1970 (when he was arrested for disorderly conduct), it is highly unlikely that Sharpton will ever call Canada home. Maybe that’s why he never directly stated that Canada would be his destination.
Other celebrities have also refused to mention Canada by name, presumably because their lawyers or managers have informed them that they would most likely be denied entry.
Samuel L. Jackson, for instance, insists that he’ll move to South Africa if Trump becomes president. However, the Pulp Fiction star-turned-Capital One spokesman was convicted of unlawful confinement– a second-degree felony– in 1969. Jackson, along with several other members of the Black Power movement, held members of the Morehouse College board of trustees as hostages. Unfortunately for Mr. Jackson, South Africa tends not to offer citizenship to convicted kidnappers.
Citizenship is almost always denied to those with felony convictions. But in many countries, such as Canada, even a tiny misdemeanor is grounds for criminal inadmissibility. Most offenses fall into this category, such as assault, DUI, obscenity, indecent exposure, possession of a controlled substance, domestic violence and a slew of other offenses that often mar the reputations of many American celebrities.