Friday, June 17, 2016

Canada Denies Entry To U.S. Mohel

Canadian border officials last month refused entry into Canada to a Detroit-based mohel who was crossing into neighboring Windsor in order to perform a Jewish ritual circumcision for a family in Windsor.  According to a June 8 report by the Detroit Jewish News, Dr. Craig Singer (a physician, as well as a mohel certified by Hebrew Union College) was told by border officials that he would need a permit as a temporary foreign worker, and that he could be prosecuted for performing a surgical procedure in Canada without proper authorization. Canada's Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, Paragraph 186(l) provide that a foreign national may work in Canada without a work permit "as a person who is responsible for assisting a congregation or group in the achievement of its spiritual goals and whose main duties are to preach doctrine, perform functions related to gatherings of the congregation or group or provide spiritual counselling."  Enforcement guidelines provide:
Persons seeking entry under the authority of R186(l) should be able to provide documentation to support their request for entry that addresses: the genuineness of the offer of employment of the religious denomination that seeks to employ them; and their ability to minister to a congregation under the auspices of that religious denomination.