Cab confusion: Taxi drivers weigh in on refugee debate
GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ)--An update to a story we brought you earlier this week. As refugees continue to pass through our area to get to Canada, some are asking for the law to come down on cab drivers.
Now, a cab driver is speaking out.
WDAZ’s Kenneth Chase spoke to a man who's been driving cabs for 30 years.
The man says about five years ago, fares started asking him to take them to Canada -- and in the last year, it's only picked up.
“They treated me like a common criminal,” said Cab Driver, Gary Spicer.
Gary Spicer had to wait at the Pembina Border Crossing for six hours.
"They were trying to sort things out because his wife was already in Canada,” said Spicer.
While Canadian immigration officials approved his passenger--and it wasn’t a one-time event.
He says his company regularly gets people asking him to take them to the border.
"We don't have the authority to ask them if they've got Visa's or passports. That's none of our business,” said Spicer.
Spicer says some admit to him they're illegally in the country.
But he treats them like any other fair--and doesn't think he should be responsible for keeping them warm while crossing the border.
"We're just drivers. We're not caregivers,” said Spicer.
A refugee case worker in Canada is hoping American law enforcement steps in.
"Dropped him at the border, stripped him of $700 for that service, didn't warn him about the cold,” said Karin Gordon, of Hospitality House Refugee Ministry.
With leaders on this side of the border questioning if a change in law would make a difference -- this driver is hoping for clarification.
“If they want us to do that, they should be coming up here and educating us to what they want us to do,” said Spicer.
Ken spoke with Border Patrol Agents on Tuesday and Wednesday.
They had to do some digging to figure out how the law applies here.
They say since the drivers are taking them to the border and not away from the border -- what they're doing is legal.