Stupid is as Stupid does

A Canadian church group was on their way to New Jersey to continue volunteer work dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

The 2012 hurricane was the largest in size ever recorded, more than 1,800 km across before slamming in to the coast of New Jersey. It affected a far wider swath of North America than any previously – 24 of the US states were directly impacted, and there were two deaths from the storm in Ontario, Canada, nearly a thousand kilometres from the coast. It was huge.

Four going on five years later, a Canadian church group was heading south to help out with some of the ongoing neighbourhood renewal work when another huge thing prevented them. US Customs and Border Protection, broadly interpreting their mandate from the President, stopped them at the border to prevent them from stealing US jobs.

This was a van with twelve self-described white folk, with Canadian passports, who have all done this sort of thing before. There is a specific exception to allow volunteers who are not being paid to come in. But no, apparently US volunteers should do this sort of work, or something, according to the borders services.

So they were turned back at the border.