Excuse me, is there a US law that you have to tell Canadian border agents the truth (or somehting at all), even about other people? Just curious.
Are you trolling?
If you go into a country, and they ask you questions, you don't _have_ to tell the truth, but it makes things a lot easier. If you lie, they will often notice. If they notice, they will often deny you entry. Or worse, depending on what you're lying about.
Also, when you're talking to folks on the Canadian border, you're not really in the US anymore.
Just wondering...if he'd said something like "I needed to visit the Italian consulate" would they have pressed much further? Because I think that would have been my approach, but I've never experienced a border crossing of this nature. I'd like to go to Canada or Mexico in the future, though, and since such interactions make me nervous, I'm curious how much probing to expect.
It's seriously not rocket science. They ask questions. You tell them the truth, unless you think the truth is going to send you to jail, in which case fuck you for whatever dumb-ass shit you did. Sometimes they probe for five minutes, sometimes they wave you on after thirty seconds, it depends on the officer and their mood. It's often a bit brusque, but almost never rude.
Where are you coming from?
Where are you going?
Do you own this car?
To whom is it registered?
Why are you going there?
How long will you be there?
How long have you lived where you currently live?
Do you have any alcohol, firearms, weapons, blah blah, in the car?
If so, how much?
Do you have money with you above ten thousand dollars?
Do you have money [to support yourself while you're here - requirement to entry; they don't want bums]?
What do you do for work? / Where do you go to school?
How do you two [three, four] know each other?
Have you ever been fingerprinted?
Has your car been searched before?
Have you ever been denied entry?
They will definitely ask some of these (alcohol/firewarms/weapons, money above 10 grand, where are you going, for how long, where are you coming from). The rest are just asked rapid-fire to catch you in a lie. They don't really care, they just want consistent answers.
Also, don't pull up to the booth until they signal you, they want to take a photo of your car and plates and face. Take your sunglasses off.
Do you have to answer these questions? No. You don't have to go to Canada, either. It's not a right, it's a privilege, and they can refuse you for any reason or no reason if they don't think you're being honest.
I've gotten my car searched three times (once by Canada, twice by the US) , and the second two times, they told me precisely why: young male, traveling alone, talks of very long distances yet isn't flying; it raises suspicions. I don't care, it's just an hour of my time wasted at most. They're quite polite even in searching the car. But they will want you to unlock any electronics so they can check out your laptop / phone / camera / etc (they're looking for child porn, they don't really care about anything else unless you have blatantly obvious schematics for explosives or some such bullshit.)