The Strange Case of Ellen Richardson and Homeland Security


Was Ellen Richardson, a Canadian woman with depression really kept out of the United States? That’s the claim that is being made.

A Toronto woman denied a flight to New York as part of a cruise trip wants to know who told U.S. border agents about her history of mental illness.

Ellen Richardson says she was told by U.S. customs at Pearson International Airport on Monday that because she had been hospitalized for clinical depression in June 2012, she could not enter the U.S.

As a result, she missed her flight to New York City and a Caribbean cruise, for which she had paid $6,000, as a result.

Only later, she added, did she wonder how the agent knew her history in the first place. Richardson says she has been on several cruises since 2001, all of which required U.S. flights, with no problems.

The Toronto Star is already hysterically muttering about Big Brother and using the case to attack the Harper government. but there are a couple of problems.

If U.S. Homeland Security can call up our supposedly private health records, does it have access to other government information about us? Somebody in Ottawa or Queen’s Park had better be able to explain how a U.S. Homeland Security agent was able to access a Canadian’s personal health information.

Did this case even happen? Richardson claims to have traveled repeatedly to the US with no problem. The United States obviously doesn’t bar people with depression from entry. If it did… it would be barring a whole lot of people.

Finding out that Ellen Richardson suffered from serious depression isn’t hard. Her self-branded website discusses it. And it’s one of the first things to come up when you google her. The book doesn’t mention her most recent hospitalization, but it does mention multiple prior suicide attempts and hospitalizations.

Back in 2011, the CBC ran a story suggesting that the United States was barring some Canadians with mental problems. There was one document presented. And again it involved a suicide attempt.

Seemingly people who attempt suicide result in a police record which is then used to keep them from entering the country.

The US State Department Foreign Affairs Visa Manual does mention suicide attempts. It distinguishes between crimes which involve moral turpitude and which do not. Suicide does not involve moral turpitude is listed under 9 FAM 40.21(a) N2.3-3 Crimes Committed Against Person, Family Relationship, and Sexual Morality.

Crimes committed against the person, family relationship, or sexual morality which do not involve moral turpitude include:
(1) Assault (simple) (i.e., any assault, which does not require an evil intent or depraved motive, although it may involve the use of a weapon, which is neither dangerous nor deadly);
(2) Illegitimacy (i.e., the offense of begetting an illegitimate child);
(3) Creating or maintaining a nuisance (where knowledge that premises
were used for prostitution is not necessary);
(4) Incest (when a result of a marital status prohibited by law);
(5) Involuntary manslaughter (when killing is not the result of recklessness);
(6) Libel;
(7) Mailing an obscene letter;
(8) Mann Act violations (where coercion is not present);
(9) Riot; and
(10) Suicide (attempted).

It’s an oddball assortment. Are we actually barring people who produce illegitimate children from America? If we did, Obama wouldn’t be here. Also incest isn’t a crime of moral turpitude.

  • Chris Gait

    Really hoping this is a hoax/misunderstanding. No fly list for depression? Really? Cats carry toxoplasmosis, so that’s next, yes? No cat owners on airplanes. Bad driving record? No flight for you! If this story is true, the country is:

    1) Totalitarian (where DID they read her medical records?)
    2) Freaking pathetic.

    By the way, root cause of the no flight list is radical Islam. Keep a B-52 full of pig corpses 15 minutes from Mecca at all times with a note to all Islamist organization that we drop them in case of trouble from them, with a regular B-52 full of H-bombs to follow if they protest…and we won’t need a no fly list.

    • kilfincelt

      Great idea about the pigs!

      • catherineinpvb

        Think I would have a ‘few frozen’ on board per every flight. . .think the ‘good Muslims’ would be okay with it. After all; they want to fly safely too. . .

        • Chris Gait

          Alternate idea for airplanes: Use pigskin for all airline seats except those of El Al and the Arab airlines, providing observant Jews with special discount vouchers to fly El Al charters. Then if someone gets on a plane and refuses to sit down…GET ‘EM!

    • catherineinpvb

      True of course; on nos. 1 and 2. Meantime; and ‘in time'; when all States have legalized pot; and an entire population is ‘smoked'; particularly; those ‘rising'; there will be not even the consideration of such.

    • Hank222

      But if the cat is also depressed they go on the no/fly list.

      • Chris Gait

        Poor Grumpy Cat! He won’t be able to fly anywhere to be filmed anymore!

  • Canadian Electrical Worker

    I hope someone in Ottawa gets FIRED or even sent to JAIL for this! And I am not buying into the Book or 9/11 call BS either !

    I am Flying over the USA on the way to Cuba(Cuber) in April 2014, and I have High Blood Pressure, a Back Problem, and a Knee Problem.

    From Canada(Canader)

    • Daniel Greenfield

      So long as you don’t have a history of suicide attempts that involved police intervention, I don’t imagine any issue.

      • Canadian Electrical Worker

        DHS has access to Canadians medical records.

        • Daniel Greenfield

          Police records

          • Canadian Electrical Worker

            i can see not letting one into the USA due to a ‘Criminal Record’. But she never had a Criminal Record (as far as we know)

          • justsayno

            Thanks for the heads up. It’s a sorry day in Canadian history when the people who are here to serve and protect us just hand over medical records to the DHS. This is sick and disgusting and my dad didn’t fight in WW2 so these sh1theads can have access to medical records which are none of their freaking business. I knew this day was coming because I’ve been screaming about the powers of the DHS right here in Canada for quite a number of years.

          • Canadian Electrical Worker

            Exactly ! My dad in WWII, also(Burma). They would all be OUTRAGED about this if they were still alive. Most of them had Grade 9, maybe Grade 10, but when they found something wrong, they were able to TELL you why it was wrong. Of Course, this was the days before they put Fluoride into the Tap water !

          • justsayno

            So true. Back in the day when they signed up to get a new pair of shoes. Now they sign up just to blow sh1t up. If we keep everyone dumbed down with fluoride, they will soon forget. Glad you never fell for that either. I guess we will continue to make our dads proud and say it like it is.

  • Ed FDNYRetiree

    Not “strange” at all.

    Her misfortune that she is not:

    Muslim, Mexican, Asian, Iranian, Somali, African, Russian, South American, Central American, Red Chinese, or another undesirable.

    • justsayno

      Spoken like a true hack.

  • cannotsay

    Actually, your are mistaken. The US government can deny people entry based on depression: just as until a few years ago it was legal to deny entry to HIV positive immigrants. The really creepy thing is that a regular immigration officer had access to medical information that, in theory, should have been kept private in Canada.

  • Rudy Haugeneder

    That’s what happens when cost-cutting provincial governments and the federal government hire lower-cost American outfits — companies that also pay lobby money to government parties — to file, organize, maintain supposedly secret records (like health and tax records) about Canadians but which then become part of American Homeland Security files.

    Corrupt Canadian politicians and equally corrupt senior bureaucrats and deputy ministers must be investigated and charged and jailed, as well as losing their pensions and other benefits, and banned from ever working for government agencies.

    Unfortunately, the federal police known as the RCMP are tethered to American police and military security and Homeland Security, and would never, never, never betray their USA masters despite having Canadian citizenship. The RCMP Canada’s security agency are just as traitorous as politicians and senior bureaucrats and should/must be publicly shamed.

    • justsayno

      Well that would explain why the RCMP who were investigating the horse mutilation around here came to the conclusion that it died of natural causes. And that would also explain why the same lead RCMP investigator suddenly changed professions and is now in the medical community. And that would also explain why the vet who was called to the cow mutilation scene in Manitoba several years ago came to the conclusion it also died of natural causes. Serve and protect, my a$$. Serve themselves and protect their own a$$es.

      • CarlySimon

        You are sooooo fu*kin’ nuts…….your children
        must be train wrecks.

        • justsayno

          Well it’s too bad your newspaper wouldn’t touch the horse mutilations with a ten foot pole, that says a lot. There were actually two of them and the other family never called the RCMP and just buried the corpse. The kicker was scavengers wouldn’t touch the dead animals because of their toxicity. Being a city person, I’m sure you wouldn’t understand that concept. But it doesn’t matter what your newspaper prints because there are hundreds of people in this area that know about them and are quite willing to talk.