On this blog, 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.
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.
Sunday, January 27th, 2019. Afternoon at Roxham Road, USA.
A cold sunny afternoon. While we were there two groups of people arrived at Roxham and a total of 6 people crossed into Canada: three adults and three children.
The first taxi brought a man from Haiti and his daughter of about 7 years old. He was anxious to cross and did not need extra warm things. The officer spoke to him in French and they crossed without incident.
Later a taxi arrived with a family from Nicaragua: mother, father, 8 year old boy and a baby about 10 months or so old. We gave a couple of warm things. Mom was carrying the baby and she was very scared. Before she went to the border, she said 'God bless you.' and exchanged a hug with one of the volunteers.
This visit was cancelled due to bad weather conditions and the cancellation of buses going to Plattsburgh.
Wednesday January 16th, 2019. Afternoon at Roxham Road, USA
A BNB volunteer was there with two volunteers from Plattsburgh Cares. Five people crossed while we were there. Four adults and one teenager.
The first taxi brought two people: a woman of African origin who spoke English and was happy to receive a pair of boots and some warm accessories and a man from Angola who spoke a bit of Spanish (his mother tongue is Portuguese). He was very scared about being arrested. Before they crossed, some warm hugs were exchanged.
The next and last taxi to come brought three people from Rwanda: a mother and teenage son and a man. The adults needed some warm accessories and the man was given a very warm coat. Everyone was apprehensive. Again more hugs were exchanged before people entered Canada.
The RCMP officers respected their script and every one crossed without incident.
Sunday, January 13th, 2019. Afternoon at Roxham Road, USA.
No one arrived while we were there!
Sunday January 6th, 2019. Roxham Road, USA.
A milder winter day. We arrived a bit later than usual and probably missed some people who had arrived earlier in the mid afternoon. Soon after we got there a taxi pulled up with a lone male passenger who was from Nigeria and looked to be in his mid-thirties. He gratefully accepted a scarf from us. The RCMP officer who greeted him determined which language he spoke (English) and then went through the protocol (see below). He grabbed his bags and stepped over the border into Canada. He was the only person who arrived while we were there.
For Your Information:
The RCMP protocol consists of officers conveying these three points to the refugees:
A. It is illegal to cross here at Roxham Road. **
B. If you want to cross at an official port of entry you must go to Lacolle.
C. If you choose to cross at Roxham Road, you will be arrested.
It is not the role of the RCMP to deter people from crossing at Roxham Rd or to coerce them into going to the official border crossing at Lacolle.
** In fact it is not illegal to cross irregularly, according to Canadian and International law. See: http://www.bridgesnotborders.ca/myths-and-facts-2.html
Sunday December 30th, 2018. Afternoon at Roxham Road, USA.
We arrived today with a Canadian photo-journalist who has been working on a project looking at refugee shelters along the Canada/US border. We spoke with one of the RCMP officers who said it had been busier the last few days. While we were there a total of 14 people crossed into Canada. They were from four countries: Angola, Senegal, Pakistan and Nigeria.
The first taxi to arrive brought a family from Angola: a woman with an 8 month-old baby in a sling on her back, a young boy and 2 teenage girls. They had lots of luggage which they had to get across the border at the same time. Not long after, a shuttle arrived with a man from Pakistan and two children.
15 minutes later two tall young men arrived who were originally from Senegal but had been living in the USA for some time. One spoke English and the other French and they were overjoyed with the hats and mitts we offered. They insisted on hugging all of us. The receiving RCMP officer helped them with their luggage and told them the protocol and also told them they had a right to a lawyer.
Shortly afterwards a taxi arrived with a friendly family, originally from Nigeria, but who had been living in the US: a mother with 3 teenage daughters. As previously the RCMP confined their remarks to the protocol. Everyone was able to cross without incident.
One of us was able to give out mittens and a hat that belonged to her late husband. The photographer respected the confidentiality of those crossing by taking pictures only of retreating backs, hands and feet.
The border visit reports are written by the volunteers who were at the border on that day.