On this blog page, we are posting information about our visits to the border at Roxham Road, USA side.
For more information about the purpose of these visits go to the news page.
We have also started to post our newsletters on the blog.
Sur ce blogue, nous affichons des informations sur nos visites à la frontière, Roxham Road, États Unis.
Pour plus d'info sur le but de ces visites allez sur la page nouvelles.
Aussi, nous avons commencé à poster nos infolettres sur le blogue.
Sunday July 7th and Sunday July 14th, 2019. Roxham Road, USA.
On July 7th we were unable to cross over in time into the USA because of long queues at the border due to the July 4th "long weekend".
On July 14th we arrived at Roxham Road earlier (2:30 pm) because the Greyhound bus schedule had changed. When we arrived we greeted the RCMP officers who were outside the building enjoying the nice breeze. We talked to one of them to ask what they day had been like, and he said unusually quiet. During the time we were there, there were no arrivals by taxi from the bus station, train station or airport and neither by private car. We stayed until just past 4 pm. Reflecting on our experience and what the RCMP officer had said earlier, we thought it likely that people who are undocumented in the US were hiding out after Trump’s announcement that he was starting nationwide raids by ICE on this very day.
Sunday June 30th, 2019. Evening at Roxham Road, USA.
We arrived after 6pm and met an academic who was conducting research at the border and had spent the afternoon at Roxham. Some of the report contains her observations of people who crossed during the hour before we arrived.
The first taxi brought 2 brothers from Pakistan and a friend who had travelled north via Central America. The same taxi returned with a young couple from Sudan. The woman was 7 months pregnant. Her husband asked for our prayers. The RCMP officer engaged with them and put them at ease. Shortly thereafter another taxi brought a family of 4 (a couple with two small boys). They were likely from South Asia. Next came a taxi bringing two men from the airport. One of the men had no luggage because the airline had lost his suitcase. They were English speakers from Africa.
Finally a taxi brought three passengers of African origin from the bus station. They were a couple and woman on her own. They had lots of luggage and struggled with it. They spoke English with the RCMP officer. The couple crossed first followed by the woman who struggled with one very large bag and a smaller one that popped open. She managed to get across without help.
Sunday, June 16th 2019. Afternoon at Roxham Road, USA.
A total of seven people crossed into Canada today: six men and one woman.
A shuttlebus arrived about 20 minutes after we arrived bringing six men aged from about 20 to 30 years old. Three men were of African origin, possibly Nigerian and the other three individuals were from Turkey, El Salvador and China. They did not engage with us before crossing over.
Later, a car drove up with 2 men and a young woman in her 20s who was from Liberia. Her older brother and a friend had come to accompany her. She was the only one to cross over. They were very appreciative of our gesture to be there.
The RCMP officers were very appropriate with clear communication, making sure the refugees understood English.
Sunday June 9th, 2019. Afternoon at Roxham Road, USA.
A hot day with plenty of bugs! We entered the US at the Moores' crossing and the customs officer was unfazed by our brief explantation of our destination of Roxham Road.
Only three people - all adults - crossed into Canada while we were there.
First arrived a taxi from the bus station bringing two friendly young men about 30 years old. They were from Angola and Nigeria. They were not travelling together but had met "at the park" . One of them thanked us for our well wishes.
Shortly afterwards another taxi arrived with a young woman who was in a big hurry to enter Canada. She waited only long enough to listen to the RCMP officers and then crossed quickly.
RCMP officers respected their protocol.
Sunday, June 2nd 2019. Afternoon at Roxham Road, USA.
It was a muggy afternoon. The mosquitoes were out in force!
Nine people crossed into Canada today. First came a taxi bringing an exhausted group of people from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The group included two adult men, a little boy about six years old and a woman carrying a small girl about 2 years old. The woman looked very stressed and distraught.
They entered Canada without incident.
Next came a taxi bringing three people: a single woman of African origin who spoke French and was struggling with two large suitcases and a friendly young couple from Columbia carrying only backpacks. The couple spoke some English and were happy to exchange a few words. They all crossed into Canada without incident.
Very soon after this a taxi brought an anxious young man from Angola who went to the border's edge. No RCMP officer appeared so he crossed over and went to the RCMP building.
With the first two groups the RCMP respected their protocol.
No Bridges Not Borders volunteers went to Roxham Road today. There was an unexpected snafu that made it impossible to go.
Sunday, May 19th 2019. Afternoon, Roxham Road, USA.
A quiet time at the border, except for the black flies which were out in force!
Only one car arrived coming directly from New York City, bringing three people. One was a very friendly young woman from Ivory Coast, and the other two, were young men from Gambia. We greeted them and spoke to them briefly. They crossed without any problems. The RCMP respected their protocol.
Sunday May 12, 2019. Afternoon at Roxham Road, USA.
A pleasant spring afternoon. Only three people crossed when we were there. The shuttle bus brought a French speaking Haitian woman with her son aged about 10 years old who is disabled and in a wheelchair. The other person was a young woman of African origin who spoke English.
We helped the Haitian mother move her luggage to the edge of the border. The RCMP officer told them the standard speech and waited. The woman with the boy in a wheelchair just stood there unsure of what to do. She did not seem to understand that she could now cross. One of us said to her ''Tu peux traverser maintenant'' and a second officer told us ''You can't say that.'' Another few minutes passed and the second woman decided to cross at which point the Haitian woman also moved ahead with her son in the wheelchair and their luggage. The officers did not help her.
Sunday May 5th 2019. Afternoon at Roxham Road, USA.
It was a busier afternoon than we had seen in a long time. In total 15 people crossed today (five children and 10 adults). We got there about 3:20, but a taxi was ahead of us already bringing five adults. They were of African origin speaking French but they preferred not to say where they were from. One woman in the group was quite upset. The RCMP stuck to the protocol of what to say. This group of people seemed completely prepared to hear that they would be arrested and crossed into Canada without difficulty. They were followed by a young man on his own from Columbia and who crossed quickly
A next taxi arrived with a family of four from Columbia who spoke only Spanish. They were anxious to go across as soon as possible. The last taxi brought a very young family also from Columbia with three very small children. The Mom was crying and the father was struggling with the luggage for the whole family. An older RCMP officer, who had been unfriendly so far, saw the weeping woman and called to her, "Don't worry, you're safe here," which was nice. They were told they cannot make two trips back and forth with the luggage (this is the case with everyone). The taxi driver helped the father load up all the luggage and stagger over the border. They crossed without incident.
We found a baby car seat that had been abandoned at the border and brought it back with us to give away.
Spotlight on Columbia: ''The 52-year armed conflict between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the government officially ended with a peace accord in 2016, but violence associated with armed groups increased again in 2018 after initial declines the 2015 FARC ceasefire. Civilians have suffered serious abuses at the hands of the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas, FARC dissidents, and paramilitary successor groups. Human rights defenders, journalists, indigenous and Afro-Colombian leaders, and other community activists have faced death threats and violence. Violence associated with the conflict has forcibly displaced more than 8.1 million Colombians since 1985.'' Many people have simply disappeared but the government does not help their families to find out the truth about the disappearances.
Sunday, April 28th 2019. Afternoon at Roxham Road, USA.
A fresh sunny spring day. Six people crossed into Canada while we were there this afternoon. At the border we met a photographer doing a documentary on refugees in Canada. She was accompanied by a teacher of sociology at SUNY.
We waited quite a while until the shuttle bus arrived from the Pittsburgh bus station. There were 6 people aboard, a youngish couple with two young children aged about two and five years old, along with two adult men. We believe they were all from Haiti. They all crossed at the border without incident.
The border visit reports are written by the volunteers who were at the border on that day. There are about 15 active volunteers in our border visit committee.