TORONTO (Reuters) - U.S. actor Randy Quaid said on Wednesday he is being detained by Canadian border security and threatened with deportation because of confusion over a long-standing property dispute with California officials.
Quaid has been seeking permanent residency in Canada and has been living with his wife Evi, a dual Canadian-U.S. citizen, in Montreal for three years.
He said a Canada Border Services Agency officer arrested him when he checked in with the agency on Tuesday morning. Quaid said he has been checking in every two weeks since May as part of the conditions set when his application for permanent residency was rejected.
“I met every condition but they are saying ‘you’re not going to leave if we tell you to leave,'” Quaid said in a telephone interview from a detention center near Montreal.
A spokeswoman from CBSA would not confirm or deny the arrest.
Quaid had sought asylum in Canada in 2010, claiming that business associates sought to harm him, but was arrested in Vancouver in 2010 over what he said is an outstanding warrant connected with a Santa Barbara property dispute.
He later dropped the asylum application and sought permanent residency.
“We love Montreal. It has a great film scene. My wife is here, she’s Canadian, and we should be able to be together. We’ve been married 26 years,” Quaid said.
Quaid, 65, is known for movies such as “The Last Picture Show” and “The Last Detail,” for which he received an Oscar nomination. He is the older brother of actor Dennis Quaid.
Quaid, a Texas native, and his wife were arrested in California in 2010 on suspicion of burglary and entering a building without consent.
Quaid said the building was their own home, after a failed attempt to sell it. He said they still own the property.
Evi Quaid was also charged with failing to pay a bill at a hotel, but she said in a phone interview she disputes both charges.
“It’s a property dispute. This should not be a criminal dispute at all,” Randy Quaid said.
The couple said they expect Canadian officials will try to deport Randy Quaid, but that they would prefer to voluntarily leave and re-apply for permanent residency from abroad.
“If I judge says we have to leave, we will leave ... I can’t be deported - that will screw up my ability to make films in other countries,” Quaid said.
Reporting by Andrea Hopkins; Editing by David Gregorio and Lisa Shumaker