Alex and Alejandra Grecu were supposed to be enjoying their new life in Cancun. Instead, the Canadian couple has spent months stranded in an Airbnb after they were prevented from driving across the U.S. border.
The couple, married for four years, bought a house on the Yucatan Peninsula and sold their home in Ontario earlier this year.
At the end of April, they came to Windsor with all their belongings. But due to COVID-19 restrictions, U.S. Customs and Border Protection refused them entry to Michigan and continue their journey south.
Alex is Canadian while Alejandra is a permanent resident and Mexican citizen.
“We decided to stay … we had no place to go back to,” said Alex, a retired bus driver. “We rented this Airbnb on May 1 and we’ve been here ever since and we’re waiting.”
They said the wait has been draining their savings after spending $7,000 on the rental.
A spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Protection told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. that travel restrictions will remain in place until July 21.
Border patrol officers make the final determination of whether travelers are admissible and that they take into account the totality of each traveler’s circumstances.
“I’m very sad because we planned and we [were] expecting to stay in Mexico right now,” said Alejandra, a dentist who is hoping to continue her career in Mexico.
While Alejandra is a Mexican citizen, she can’t drive there as she doesn’t have a license. The couple also said that flying and shipping all their belongings would be too expensive.
“Right now I feel a little bit let down as a Canadian citizen,” Alex said. “We consider Mexico the third North American country and we should have free access.”