December 31, 2001
PRAYER ALERT: CANADIAN CPTER REFUSED ENTRY TO U.S.
On Thursday, December 27, Stewart Vriesinga, a Canadian Quaker from
Lucknow, Ontario, was refused entry into the U.S. while traveling by
car to Chicago for CPT’s Peacemaker Corps training. Immigration authorities
searched his belongings and confiscated his e-mail address book, then told
him not to come back for six months until he could prove “permanent
residency and employment.”
Vriesinga had been caring for his mother full-time for the past six
years until her death last spring. He applied to join CPT as a full-time
Corps member for a three-year term. Vriesinga recently sold his mother’s
house and moved to a farm where friends offered him free housing during his
time with CPT.
CPT immediately faxed Vriesinga a letter of invitation explaining the
organization, assuring full financial support during his stay in the
U.S. and verifying that his full-time ministry will be supervised through
the CPT Canada office.
Vriesinga returned to the border with the letter and was once again
detained. This time he was interrogated for 5 hours and given a 5-year
ban from entering the U.S. CPT is working with Vriesinga to prepare
documentation requesting a reversal of that ban.
At this time CPT asks for your undergirding through prayer as we
discern further action.